Conception or upbringing: where does the distress of some DC adults come from?

There have been some long conversations going on following two of my previous posts.  Although they are enormously worth reading they are very difficult to follow because of the way WordPress randomly seems to offer the possibility, or not, of replying to a particular comment.  The dates and links between comments become very confused.  Because of this I am going to reproduce a comment that was made by ‘Liz’ on 28th March on the blog but I do encourage you to go to the original and read the comments leading up to it and those afterwards as well.

In my original post I had mentioned that Generation Cryo is to be shown on TV in the UK.  Two others mentioned how good and indeed moving they had found the series but a donor conceived adult who posts as My Parent’s Donor is My Father reminded us that the stories of those who feel less positively about their beginnings should also be heard and posted a heart-rending one for us to read.  I agreed that indeed all views should be heard.  Liz then posted the comment I am reproducing below.  And I do so because it brings together in a way that I have never quite managed, lot of thoughts that I have had swirling in my head for a long time but possibly been reluctant to write.  This is partly because I can’t martial my thoughts in quite the articulate way that Liz manages to do and partly because I in no way wish to deny or attempt to minimise or denigrate the feelings of those donor conceived people who are in pain or distress.  All feelings are real.  But nevertheless I do find Liz’s analysis compelling and feel that DC people need to think seriously about what she says.  Sometimes, and it will only be sometimes, it may be easier to blame the method of conception rather than the shortcomings of parents or circumstances of upbringing.  See what you think.

“I find it hard to distinguish the specificity as to the causes of this negative experience.

I have even seen adoption opponents suggest that biological connection will produce similarities in hobbies, personality, and empathetic connection. But this is clearly not based in factual evidence, as we all know biological children who have drastically different hobbies, personalities, intelligences, and a lack of common interests or personal connection with their biological parents.

Some thoughts that I’ve had for several months, that quite frankly befuddle me: I do not understand why these negative stories are presented as evidence against donor-conception, when, in the negative stories, I tend to hear at least one, if not more then one, of the following:

(1) Late reveal, which causes some degree of identity crisis and resulting trauma. The parent(s) cannot be trusted by the child as they lied for years.
(2) Divorce/ dislocation/death in family structure at sometime between infancy and 18 yrs.
(3) At least 1 un-empathetic or socially-inept parent. This parent has a difficult time relating or communicating with the child. The parent does not connect empathetically with the child. There is a lack of commonality of interests, a personality clash, or the parent does not have much empathetic talents or abilities.
(4) A lack of high quality parenting (I’ve also noticed that at times this parenting ineptness is normalized — the person may not be able to recognize the lack of skills. The inept parenting skills may be explained by the donor conception.)
(5) Mental, physical or sexual abuse. Sometimes the physical abuse is excused as “normal” for that time period.
(6) A degree of economic insecurity in the family.
(7) A lack of economic support for the goals and dreams of the child.
(8) A lack of emotional support for the goals and the dreams of the child.
(9) A lack of sufficient emotional support for donor conception (This lack of sufficient emotional support is directly connected to the inept or low- to middling-value parenting skills. In other words, the talent of the parent falls within the lower quantiles of parental ability.)
(10) Parents who care deeply about genetic connection. (This is obvious, but these parents should not utilize donor conception, as they will communicate this belief to their children. This element falls in the inept parenting category.)

But all of the distress is attributed to donor-conception. This confuses me when these other elements are so clearly articulated.

I will hear people say they had a “happy childhood,” but then the person will describe one or more of the above elements. Sometimes people reveal almost all of the above elements, but still call some aspect of their parenting “good.” Other times they see the above inept or low-value parenting as a result of donor-conception. (ie – My parents divorced because of donor-conception, rather then “my parents divorced because they could not figure out how to emotionally relate with maturity and talent.”) I’m not sure what to make of that, but people tend to normalize their own experiences.

For the person unconnected to donor-conception, it appears that we are expected to ignore these other elements, and blame the distress solely on the method of conception. However, research has long shown that low-value or un-empathetic parenting, divorce, familial instability, and economic insecurity all contribute to emotional dissatisfaction. Research also shows that high-value parenting, familial stability (no divorce or dislocation from infancy), and economic security (and strong support of the child’s education and dreams) contributes to emotionally balanced growth.

That said high-value parenting cannot overcome everything. Major traumas, severe disabilities, biochemical imbalance in brain function (mental illness), severe or chronic physical illness, pain disorders, and other critical events may inhibit the happiness and emotional growth of people.

I have also wondered if some children have a greater need for conformity, and a low tolerance for their family being marked as “different.” This would be a trauma of social stigma, which may affects some children much more then other children. For example, some children may be very upset if their brother is identified as gay, especially if they are teased at school as a result, while other children are little affected by this non-normative situation. I would imagine that some children may be quite distressed by any sort of element which places them into a non-normative category.

Forgive the bluntness and the long post. But I cannot help but think that others who also read the stories may be thinking along similar lines. In other words, the causality of the negativity may appear to be obvious to the story-teller, but it may not be obvious to others.”


About oliviasview

Co-founder and now Practice Consultant at Donor Conception Network. Mother to two donor conceived adults and a son conceived without help in my first marriage.
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133 Responses to Conception or upbringing: where does the distress of some DC adults come from?

  1. TAO says:

    To fix the reply issue: Go to Settings / Discussion / Other Settings / Enable threaded (nested) comments – (you pick the number allowed – I have mine set at 10)…

  2. Kriss Fearon says:

    It may be that it is very difficult to separate some of those things out. Poverty is stressful for the whole family and may mean that parents don’t have the emotional energy available to give to their kids that they might otherwise get if that wasn’t an issue. If the impact of something like that is that kids feel that they aren’t heard or valued they might be more likely to look for internal things to pin this on.

    I used to think that when I was a grown up I’d come to know things and they’d stay known. Now I realise that the more life experience you have, the more likely it is that your views will become more defined, more nuanced or change altogether, over time. And I’d expect the same is true of many people. The starting point for DC people surely has to be that their views are heard and respected in the first place.

  3. There is a super book on adoption called the Primal Wound which for me validates much of what Liz has shared and why transparency in adoption is considered so important that it is no longer possible (in the UK) to hide it or keep it secret as adopted children have adoption certificates instead of a birth certificates.

    There is no physical separation from another mother in donor conception – a recognition of the potential giving donated gamete that is provided in acknowledgement of the loss of fantasy of their parent or parents not conceiving without assistance is manageable for a child to process – as can be seen time and time again by children sharing at DCN events.

    The need for a parent to be comfy with their decisions, so they can model for their children that as adults they too can be comfortable – providing an opportunity for a DC child to process age appropriately, openly, within a loving trusting relationship is, for me, so very important. Kris’s comment above about DC voices being heard for me are at all ages and stages of development.

    The impact of donor conception is not just on a conscious level, the unconscious archetypal images of ‘woman’ change when we intend to parent; no longer sexual being, domestic goddess or strong career woman – instead ‘mother earth/ earth mother’ suggesting we are in some way failing if we don’t procreate . The feelings of hidden embarrassment or shame when we need assistance to parent are recognised in contributing to poor attachments in adoption; again showing why transparency and being comfortable is so important in any sort of parenting.

    Donor Conception provides a very big hook to hang lots of ‘stuff’ on – it also provides emotional buttons to be pushed if you’re not comfy and again recognises the importance of implications counselling and learning more about the DCN before conceiving.

    Another excellent blog post that reminds me how grateful I am in my work to the DCN for just ‘being the DCN’!

    • gsmwc02 says:

      “The need for a parent to be comfy with their decisions, so they can model for their children that as adults they too can be comfortable – providing an opportunity for a DC child to process age appropriately, openly, within a loving trusting relationship is, for me, so very important.”

      Excellent point. I also think the more DC people that come out that we can learn from will help future generations. Websites like Anonymous Us help get the word out. Though I find some of the posts to be rants rather than something we can learn from.


      I’m not sure if you are aware but our mutual friend Eric Schwartzman is putting together a Donor Conception Postcard project where people who have an experience with DC can send him a postcard with their experiences on it. He has gotten a little bit of traction thus far but hopefully the word gets out and he gets more. I’m trying to help him by retweeting on twitter to help get the word out.

    • marilynn says:

      Hi I have a question about what you wrote:

      “There is no physical separation from another mother in donor conception ”
      OK, everyone gets their two bio parents and associated maternal and paternal relatives. All very equal and nobody can argue that. Most people are raised by their bio parents. Some people are not raised by their bio parents; their parents are physically separated, estranged and are absent from their lives in a legal parental capacity.

      I agree your statement that there is no physical separation from another mother, but your stating the obvious if the parent who abandoned them was their biological father. Being abandoned by one parent is not as bad as being abandoned by both unless of course the one that kept you underwrote the abandonment by asking and possibly paying a fee to keep your other parent out of your life. That is so much worse because they arranged for you to experience a tragic loss for their personal convenience.

      If you were also trying to say that there is no physical separation from another mother when a woman gives birth to another woman’s child, then keeps and raises that child, then of course your statement of there being no physical separation of mother and child would be scientifically inaccurate. The relationship between a woman and her offspring is maternal whether she gives birth to them or not. If she does not raise her own children/offspring then they are physically separated from her and likely all their maternal relatives. Giving birth to another woman’s offspring won’t create maternal relatedness and so in a very real and physical way her child is separated from her no different than had she gestated herself. Parenthood does not start until after a child is born. Even with pre birth testing of DNA your only proving expectant parenthood.

      “a recognition of the potential giving donated gamete that is provided in acknowledgement of the loss of fantasy of their parent or parents not conceiving without assistance is manageable for a child to process”
      What do you mean by ‘not conceiving without assistance’? Two people conceived a child. The kid generally understands conception in scientific terms the rest of the world uses. Assistance for them to conceive like IVF or AI is pretty inconsequential. The assisting individuals did not conceive them any more than say someone setting two friends up on a blind date ultimately the people who conceive are the people with offspring and the people who assisted them in doing that don’t really matter because they are interchangeable their parents are not. The problem is not how they were conceived, its the absence of their estranged biological parent legally and physically and their separation from their paternal or maternal family that is the problem to be fixed here.

    • oliviasview says:

      Thanks Tracey. Sorry not to have thanked you before.

  4. oliviasview says:

    Eric has been in touch with me privately and DC Network is going to send a notice to all members about his project, which is a very interesting one. I can also use Twitter to get the word out.
    And you are right about us needing to hear from donor conceived adults all shades of opinion and feelings about their beginnings and lives.

    • gsmwc02 says:

      That’s awesome Olivia. Eric is a great guy and someone I hope can have the positive impact in the US that you have in the UK.

  5. My parent's donor is my father says:

    It is impossible to pin point one reason why some DC are against the practice. Beyond individual stories, there are philosophical, spiritual, legal, cultural, social policy, ‘slippery slope’ and ‘secular sacred’ reasons among others- some DC are against the practice not only because of an element to their own experience but for one or more of these reasons as well.

    I also think ANY ONE personal perspective is irrelevant to any debate about prohibition, because, as Greg also has noted, the laws of our land (the anything goes wild west USA) will never ‘prohibit/outlaw’ this. The best we can do is have honest debate/discussion on the problems and approach this with compassion and empathy towards those DC who feel a loss of meaningful relations or complete dismissal of their biological father/mother/siblings/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins/ancestry/heritage etc. etc. and share advice with those who chose to reproduce this way regardless. When DC stories are shared in a way that is not supportive of the practice, this is not necessarily a bad thing and in fact I believe it’s really necessary to help educate ppl on the issues involved so that they can make more informed choices.

    This issue is very polarized and politicalised. I do not think that any lobbying group can wield enough power to actually make anonymous ‘donation’ illegal in the USA. I also don’t think this is a simple fix such as regulating and ending anonymity (some of these things you just can’t ‘good parent’ away). I think various groups and story tellers can help to educate the public however and push the industry *elites* to give better informed consent (dna testing, social networking making anonymity more difficult for example). I also think there are ways our culture can do this without passing outright prohibition laws, such as more education and open discussion about ALL the MANY many many etc. problems involved and not attempting to squash the dialogue with PC politics…among other things.

    I also think it would help if there was a Holistic parenting movement that could go hand and hand with the Green Movement. It’s actually both a socially conservative and liberal cause, (bipartisan?) it’s just being twisted as primarily a religious and/or conservative (insert the insulting here) movement. I think It can actually bring people together – if allowed.

    This is all so complex and we obviously can’t unbundle it all here in the comments section of Olivia’s blog.

    As a ‘donor’ conceived person, I find that there rarely is much empathy for our intentional losses by those close to us because that would entail acknowledging that their choices that directly resulted in our life were under question. Often times there is a lack of empathy by those close to us – replaced by patronizing ‘sympathy’ – I’m sorry you feel that way – I hope you find peace – is the best we get.

    And THE MOST PATRONIZING thing to say to a ‘donor’ conceived person expressing a loss is…Would you rather not exist? Don’t ever say that.

    I do see a considerable connection between respect for holistic in our environment and our natural procreative, parenting natures. The political correctness nature of our current politics hinders us from acknowledging this. Very much connected.

    • marilynn says:

      I agree that trying to ban or outlaw people from conceiving offspring is not only impossible it would also be a case of government intrusion into the private lives of it’s citizens. I believe we need to forget all about conception and intention and focus on eliminating disparity in what the law requires of people who have offspring, because it will equalize legal protections against abandonment for their offspring. It should not matter how a person came to have offspring. There intentions, wants, needs, desires about whether or not to be recorded and accountable for their offspring as parents should not make a bit of difference for people in the donor category. Human’s have human offspring and when you have children what you want is no longer of front and center importance. If you want to not be responsible for a kid don’t have a kid. Plenty of people have kids accidentally and we hold them accountable as parents still and we have this group of people deliberately having kids that are being exempted from their responsibilities all because someone is paying to play the roll of parent to the kids they abandon. We should focus on the equal rights of all offspring and forget about trying to weigh just how damaging the abandonment was psychologically. It does not matter if the people who bought them did a good job, they never should have been subjected to abandonment in the first place to give those people an opportunity to raise them in the first place. When abandonment happens, and sadly it always will, every minor deserves identical legal protection against it and identical legal protections in their placement in the care of strangers willing to raise them. In short the ability to pay should not be the determining factor in assigning legal parenthood to strangers, neither should marriage to a biological parent and neither should giving birth to another woman’s child. Especially not giving birth to another woman’s child even when the father of that child is her spouse.

      Liz makes important points for my friends who are donor offspring to pay attention to in these debates. Their rights have been violated because the law did not protect them from abandonment the way that the law protects other minors. They are not being treated fairly or equally and the list of laws that exclude them from legal protections other minors have is long. There is no arguing that disparity in legal treatment. The harm is in the injustice of inequality. Anger about that harm cannot be attributed to poor child rearing or teenage angst or gender or biological essentialism, or religious beliefs, or upbringing or divorce or any of the other things people are inclined to cite as the ‘real’ reason why so many donor offspring are pissed off. They describe the wreckage that the unequal treatment has caused in their own lives with their anecdotes hoping their personal experiences will sway the opinions of people who have their checkbooks out ready to pay a fee to some company that contracts people to abandon kids at birth. They don’t have the vocabulary to argue their point because y’all have taken all the right words away. They refer to their step parents as their parents because that is what they were trained to do so that nobody will think they lost anything or anyone. They lost a parent and that can’t be articulated when they are trained to call their absent parent a donor and their step father Dad. You’ve trained them to think of parental abandonment as a method of conception when that just is not true. They say what they are mad about and clever debaters come back by saying that they are angry about their conceptions and that nobody has a say in how their parents conceive them. That is such BS! It’s such tricky propaganda word play. Their conceptions are equal to anyone else’s conceptions, their parents conceived them and somebody gave birth to them. If their parents were not made to be accountable for them at birth on forward they were wronged and quite possibly sold or at least treated as property to be given as a gift to the needy. I really don’t know any donor offspring who’d say they were angry about their conceptions or the way they were conceived anymore anyhow. They are learning to communicate using words that the rest of the world understands and when they finally fully reject the newspeak that was crafted to keep them legally and emotionally indentured to the individuals who funded their abandonment the rest of the world will start to understand just how unfairly they’ve been treated. Legally this is a second class a lower cast of humans with different rights than other people. We could have tons of people abandoned this way saying how great they liked it and it would still be unjust.

      How about treating them equal? Adjusting the law to treat all minors exactly the same and adjusting the law so that all people have their bio parents recorded as their parents, not just most people but all people? How about all people having the right to a court process in order for their parent not to have parental responsibility for them? How about all people having a right to court review of people that want to raise them if they have been abandoned? If the current treatment of donor offspring is so great and their bio parents don’t have to take responsibility for them then make it equal so that bio parents are no longer responsible for their children at all? There would be no more child support orders on the basis of biological parenthood. It would be unfair but it would at least be equal to what donor offspring are subjected to.

      • oliviasview says:

        I sometimes feel you and I live in a parallel universe Marilynn. How about communicating in words that the rest of us can understand, as you say DC adults are learning to do. I certainly find any of them, wherever they are on the spectrum of feelings, easier to comprehend.

      • Mary says:

        I am a 56 year old woman who, at the age of forty, was told I was conceived by donor insemination. Marilyn, I have never been more moved by reading something about the subject than I was just now by reading your post. Thank you for saying what I have difficulty saying. I am a well-adjusted, educated and fulfilled person who simply feels that this hand that I (and others) have been dealt is unfortunate. I get very tired of people telling me to “get over it” or “what’s the big deal?” I am made to feel, by so many, that I am less of a person, or am somehow flawed, by wanting what other people have.

        Through DNA testing, I recently discovered who my biological father was. Sadly, he died many years ago. I have been holding on to a letter that I wrote to his son (who is also a doctor) because I don’t feel like I have any “right” to ask anyone for anything. This man gave me half of my DNA, yet I am made to feel like I have to grovel for any shred of information. It’s dehumanizing, to say the least.

      • gsmwc02 says:


        That is just plain insane that a secret of that magnitude was kept from you for over 40 years. I’m so sorry that you were subjected to that.

      • marilynn says:

        Mary thanks for saying that. You made me feel really good. And where Greg said it was insane that the secret was kept from you I’d agree. What’s more insane is that the law allowed for your father to abandon you when you were born. He became a father 9 months after he got your mom pregnant same as any other man. You would have no reason to be upset about your conception because nobody owed you anything until you were born and that is when your pop your mom and the legal system fell short of providing you with at minimum equitable treatment in granting you the right to care and support from both the people who made you. Then they could screw up and at least the world would agree you were short changed. No parent is perfect and I bet they really did believe that it was going to be perfectly OK for your Dad not to be around because of whatever back up plan they had in mind, but really, Dad could have done his job and back up man could have been there or not. This is all about representing you to be someone that your not in honor of a marriage or singlehood. The alternative is not non existence, it’s living in truth dad is not married to mom, mom maybe married to someone else, they chose this arrangement they should make the best of it as what it is so that their child receives all that every other child has a protected right to. Equal.

      • AnonymousME says:

        “They lost a parent and that can’t be articulated when they are trained to call their absent parent a donor and their step father Dad. You’ve trained them to think of parental abandonment as a method of conception when that just is not true.”

        Absolutely. And a typical tactic of the oppressor to try to deny the feelings of the oppressed. Or pretend no oppression ever happened. Gaslighting.

      • Liz says:

        “Absolutely. And a typical tactic of the oppressor to try to deny the feelings of the oppressed. Or pretend no oppression ever happened. Gaslighting.”

        This suggests confusion with boundaries. It also suggests projection.

        Olivia has not injured you. I have not injured you.

        I am a stranger to you. I am not your “oppressor.”

        I am not a member of your family. I have not molested you, and I am not the mother who emotionally neglected you and exposed you to a pedophile.

      • marilynn says:

        Just re-read your post and I see your afraid to contact your brother. You are affraid because of the kind of statements Olivia and Liz are making here in this thread. Donor’s don’t donate to become parents, they don’t think of their donor offspring the same as their own children that they created and raised in the context of a loving relationship. It’s this lack of emotional connection to the mothers of donor offspring that makes it OK to give those children away to loving couples that could not otherwise have a child to raise. Don’t you see Mary your just not worthy of inclusion in your biological family because your bio parents were not in love with each other and why would you subject yourself to the demeaning experience of going after a relationship with people who are ashamed of you and would really prefer to just pretend you don’t exist. Mary don’t waste your time with people that don’t love you, they don’t care about you anyway but the family that raised you did want you even if you were not their first choice they treated you just the same as if you were their own. They loved you so much they wanted everyone to think you were their own they did not want anyone to ever know that you were child of people who were not married or in love. The family who raised you legitimized you, they made you worthy of care by holding out that you were created in the context of a loving relationship. Don’t be foolish don’t pine away for biologically related people who will probably not understand why you think they’d care about you. Your a stranger to them, your his illegitimate child it’s almost like your not related at all. Give it up and be grateful for the family that sacrificed so much for you. The energy you put into searching for your biological family would be much better spent focusing on the family who does love you and is not embarrassed of your existence. Frankly its a bit bratty and spoiled after all your rearing family has done for you that you’d insult them by wanting to be part of a family that would likely be too ashamed to admit they share DNA with you. Don’t send the letter not only will you embarrass yourself, you’ll go against the wishes of your bio father and could disrupt his relationships with his children and wife his friends and associates. You could destroy his life by making your existence known to them; don’t be selfish. Leave his family alone and stop pining away for a family when you already have one. Your not a member of his family leave them alone….

        Don’t do this to yourself. Don’t do this to your siblings. If you have enough proof to suggest that you are likely this man’s sibling then he deserves to know about it and its not fair of you to conceal that information from him. This truth and hiding goes both ways and if you are this man’s child then they have been lied to and sequestered from their sibling just like you have the only difference is that he raised them. Your children are the full blooded cousins of your siblings kids and that should not be concealed from them. Now that you have the information don’t you become party to perpetuating the secrecy. Write a nice letter and level with him that you believe you are his sister and have anguished over writing because you don’t feel worthy of calling yourself that but there are health implications and there is the matter of your sibling deserving to know you exist. Offer an FTDNA membership to him as a gift so that he’ll have a consolation prize if you don’t turn out to be related. Just do it. You are your father’s child you were always worthy of his attention and if you don’t mail that letter the truth won’t ever be established. It won’t destroy your father’s family – the truth does not destroy anything lies do. I reunite separated families for free and I know of lots of people sitting on that same letter. I’m not afraid you want me to write it I’ll blame the contact on me, not your fault. ask Olivia for my email and ask any donor offspring activist if I’m legit or not, they’ll tell you.

        Sorry for the long comment but it’s just ridiculous what gets done to your guys heads to keep you thinking the family who raised you is the only family you got.

  6. Liz says:

    “As a ‘donor’ conceived person, I find that there rarely is much empathy for our intentional losses by those close to us because that would entail acknowledging that their choices that directly resulted in our life were under question.” “And THE MOST PATRONIZING thing to say to a ‘donor’ conceived person expressing a loss is…Would you rather not exist? Don’t ever say that.”

    Yes, I entirely agree. This is precisely what I meant by inept parenting skills.

    To withhold empathy from a child who is in pain, because one has become defensive, is not an adequate form of parenting. High value parents do not withhold empathy from their children when they are in pain. These parents have a healthy sense of self and good relational skills that translates into empathetic, high-value parenting techniques.

    A person who avoids, minimizes, or dismisses the distress of one’s child, no matter the age of the child, (infant to adulthood), is not displaying high-value parenting.

    People with well-developed parenting skills do not avoid the fact that their child is in pain — they actively work to help their child confront and deal with pain or distress. They involve themselves with their child so they understand the source of the distress, and they keep lines of communication open. They want their child to feel comfortable expressing their distress. .

    Gold standard parents listen to their children. Inept parents ignore, avoid, or dismiss the pain of their children. High-value parents ask how they can help. They show genuine empathy and support. They do not become defensive out of pride or ego. If their child is angry (about anything) they check their anger and approach the child with calm. Anger, avoidance, or withholding are not good parenting approaches. Skilful parents give their children empathetic support for pain, and do not withhold.

    • oliviasview says:

      Absolutely agree Liz, but I do not want to drift into parent bashing here. There are many parents from an earlier era who have provided the ‘gold standard’ of parenting but have not told their children about being donor conceived. Some of them are now feeling very bad about this and are approaching DCN for help in sharing info with their now adult children. From what we can gather these revelations go pretty well and I suspect this is because the quality of relationships in the family have always been good.
      In more modern times it is really important that those people for whom genetics mean a lot do NOT choose donor conception as their discomfort most likely will communicate itself to the child That is why DCN feels a decision NOT to go ahead with DC following one of our workshops is as positive as moving forward with confidence. Feeling comfortable, confident and proud about using a donor – preferably an identifiable one – is key to the potential for optimal parenting. Education, education, education….

      • Liz says:

        “In more modern times it is really important that those people for whom genetics mean a lot do NOT choose donor conception as their discomfort most likely will communicate itself to the child”

        This needs to be underlined and emphasized.

        I apologize for any negativity. I certainly don’t want this to head into parent-bashing.

        It’s difficult to raise children, and as the kids say, people need mad skilz.

        Forgiving oneself for not being perfect is critical for all parents. Parents will make mistakes. Expecting oneself to be “perfect” brings it’s own set of problems and stress to the household.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        I don’t look at it as parent bashing. I look at it as learning from others mistakes to make the world a more supportive place for kids.

        No matter how people become parents they need to be comfortable with who they are and become selfless. This goes for biological parents as well. I don’t think we should limit it to just parents of DC children.

    • gsmwc02 says:

      “Gold standard parents listen to their children. Inept parents ignore, avoid, or dismiss the pain of their children. High-value parents ask how they can help. They show genuine empathy and support. They do not become defensive out of pride or ego. If their child is angry (about anything) they check their anger and approach the child with calm. Anger, avoidance, or withholding are not good parenting approaches. Skilful parents give their children empathetic support for pain, and do not withhold.”

      In addition I think Gold Standard parents recognize they can only parent so much and at the end of the day their child (who will one day be an adult) will become their own person.

      • Liz says:

        Yes – Independence — that’s what a parent ultimately hopes for — that their chick learns how to fly.

    • marilynn says:

      Wait why are you apologizing? Olivia just told you that these days the only ones that go ahead with this process are ones who have no guilt or remorse about paying a fee to cut a person off from half their family in order to make it appear they had a child with their partner. They are so totally comfortable erasing another person’s history and identity that they will tell that person about it early and often so they accept this human rights abuse as something normal that they have no choice but to accept as their lot in life “its just the way they were conceived and nobody has a say in their conception, would they rather not exist?” Desensitizing people to having their freedom and rights repressed for other people’s gain is not OK Liz. Go back to stickcing up for yourself. You were not parent bashing. You were trying to articulate that empathy appears to be lacking in the rearing of donor offspring. That is not bashing and that can’t be achieved with mere telling it means going further and doing what you were talking about – actually caring about how their choices and actions violated another person. Then they might have some hope of salvaging a relationship with them. Telling a person you robbed them is great but then give back what you took away and say sorry for pete sake. The giving back what was stole and the sorry part are the missing parts of this telling and talking dialogue. “We took something from you, now we are going to give it back to you, gee we are sorry it won’t happen again please forgive us.” I’m just throwing that out there as bare bones script. You should not apologize at all. Oh I get so mad at the mind games I see.

      • oliviasview says:

        As usual, you have chosen to misinterpret me Marilynn. I’m not going to engage as our dialogue tends to run on parallel lines with few meeting points.

      • Liz says:

        Expressions of anger do not move the thread forward. Emotional drama is addictive, unhealthy, and unproductive.

        In relationships, and life itself, we have decisions to make about with whom we engage. Do we engage with positive or negative people? Do we engage with people who make us feel better, or who make us feel worse?

        For anyone in a traumatic relationship with family or friends, I suggest engaging with people who give you energy, raise your sense of optimism, and do not seek to harm you emotionally.

    • AnonymousME says:

      No amount of skilful parenting can make up for deliberately depriving a child of being raised by his/her biological parents.

      • Liz says:

        This is your opinion. Everyone is entitled to her own opinion, and I fully support your decision to never adopt or conceive via DE.

        Zach Wahls disagrees.

  7. I have found that when I speak to people about how some donor conceived people feel (the anger), more often than not, there’s no sympathy. I think it’s because most people (that know there bio mothers and fathers) know that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side. What I usually do is remind people that most DI individual aren’t looking for a father through their donors but just want to know who this person is. For the few that lament about not having familial relationships with the donors, that is where I find things to be problematic specifically for those that were raised by productive nonbiological fathers. Before moving on, I want to stress:

    I am not saying that a DC person should not be curious about their donor and even want to find out who he/she is.

    I can understand why a child of a lesbian couple or single mother would feel this way (temporarily) since no father would be present.

    But if a DC person did not experience the adverse scenarios mentioned in Liz’s post and grew up with a great nonbio father, I see no reason why one longs for a man that did not actively parent you…he certainly should not be on equal footing with a man that was there. The reason I’m mentioning all of this is because in any and all segments of society I’m familiar with a man or woman does not receive honor or respect simply for creating a child. Even mothers and fathers must earn that respect by being a proper parent. If I feel that I have to earn the respect of my children, does not a donor or father need to do the same? I feel they do.

    So I can only conclude that if a DC individual is angry, it must be mostly to due with their parents lack of empathy and ownership of their anger. Parents, whether they conceive through donors or natural means bring children into various situations whether positive or negative. If your child is uncomfortable about being donor conceived, you must take ownership. On the other hand, the DC adult must understand that this is rarely a first choice of parents and we arrived at this decision mostly due to some type of adversity or lack of realistic planning on our part. That’s another issue entirely…

    • sorry about my typos.

    • Liz says:

      “I have found that when I speak to people about how some donor conceived people feel (the anger), more often than not, there’s no sympathy. I think it’s because most people (that know there bio mothers and fathers) know that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side.”

      If we aren’t speaking of family or friends, but instead are speaking of the general public, I’ve got a hypothesis of why this occurs. I think it’s projection from their own family lives.

      Let me be clear — I am talking about parents with biological children. Much of the general public are parents. Parents do a very difficult job, and children are never grateful. It’s never the child’s job to be grateful, of course! But, wouldn’t it be nice if children were grateful once in a while? Parents have to cook every single meal for children, and change every single diaper. Laundry, school fees — lots of time, and work, and stress. Some children don’t even cook or do laundry as teenagers. Some don’t even do these simple things as young adults living at home!

      A child saying they wish they had never been born — well, that’s quite a common thing for people to say to parents in arguments. “How can you make me clean my room! I wish I’d never been born.”

      This statement, “I wish I’d never been born,” probably triggers a lot of the public who are parents. It’s re-directed projection from their own feelings about their own children. It has nothing to do with DC or that person. The general public gets upset that their own children might say such a thing.

      • Lorraine Nowlin says:

        I agree. Definitely projection. I remember the comments on the Generation Cryo FB page. Many were quite vicious towards the show’s participants. When I checked their profiles, they were young adults likely projecting. In my own family, my mother specifically, is adamant about a donor’s right to complete privacy no matter how curious the offspring are. She grew up in a two-parent harmonious home. However, I hear it was not uncommon for people to raise other people’s children as their own (usually relatives). The man/woman that raised you was your mother/father while the bio parent was diminished even in the child’s eyes. I wonder how much of that influences the lack of sympathy as well.


        I think that most kids come to appreciate their parents once they reach adulthood even if they are angry as children or teens.

    • marilynn says:

      Your missing the point. This is not about the honor of being called mother or father its about the obligation of being one and how it would hurt if other kids have a protected right to care and support from their bio parent but not them. It does not matter how great someone else did the job – that does not explain why theirs felt it was OK not to be there and not to want to include them as part of their family. Their own bio parent decided it would be OK to just not take care of them like they were not important. That very bio parent may choose to raise other of his or her offspring so why not them? What makes them so unworthy of the bio parents care and attention. The other person who raised them did not owe it to them to be there but their father did the other person’s efforts are in addition to those they were owed by the parent who made them. Their father wanted t be a parent or he would not have donated for reproductive purposes. He just did not want to raise all of his kids and that begs the question why not? How does one pick the ones they keep and raise and those they throw away and leave to others haphazardly?

      Having another man raise them is not the same as having their own father take responsibility for them like he is supposed to when he reproduces himself. It’s not the same as having the person who made them take an interest in them. At best what you get iis a bitter pissed off kid who does not care about their bio parent because they failed them or a zombie that thinks it was noble of him to give them away to strangers as a gift so they could experience child rearing with his kid. He probably would not have given his car to a stranger so they could learn how to drive. Bet he would not give the keys to his house to a homeless person for the weekend so they could experience shelter. It’s not really all that noble at all its nuts. They can think the man that raised them is great but how is that supposed to resolve the issues of real loss they experience. It’s not just about wanting to know who they are it really is that they deserved more and it would be real nice to hear that in the years that passed since the donation they grew up and thought better of walking away from the children they created under contract and that they thought of them often and want them to know they are worthy of his attention his care and his support just as much as any kid he might have and raise with his wife because they are his kids he made them and for that reason he owes them his sincerest apology for having been absent and his warm welcome and introduction to their brothers sisters, aunts uncles and grandparents. He owes it to them to say I’m not ashamed of you son or daughter I am ashamed of myself for not treating you like the member of my family that you are can you ever forgive me I am so proud to know you and would love to introduce you to everyone in my life.

      K that is what they deserve and they can’t get that from anyone but him. Their relationships with others will stand on their own accord and may be very good but it won’t change what they deserve from their absent father, no way.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        “Having another man raise them is not the same as having their own father take responsibility for them like he is supposed to when he reproduces himself. It’s not the same as having the person who made them take an interest in them. At best what you get iis a bitter pissed off kid who does not care about their bio parent because they failed them or a zombie that thinks it was noble of him to give them away to strangers as a gift so they could experience child rearing with his kid. ”

        This is Biological Family Elitism in play. It’s the belief that biological family is better and superior to non biological family. Very sad that in 2014 we live in a world where think type of closed minded thinking exists.

      • AnonymousME says:

        I agree 100% Marilynn.

      • Liz says:

        Zach Wahls seems like a pretty awesome kid.

        He isn’t bitter, or pissed off, or uncomfortable with his family.

        I don’t understand these arguments. Some people are traumatized. And there are life elements that are correlated with trauma, which they have experienced.

        Zach Wahls had a positive upbringing, and he’s doing well.

        This all seems very straightforward to me.

  8. My parent's donor is my father says:

    I truly don’t understand why it is difficult to understand that some ‘donor’ conceived not only want to know a name but be allowed to love him and be loved by their biological father. As a father should. The man whose life theirs traveled through.

    • Lorraine Nowlin says:

      If a man has intentionally not acted as a father, it is my opinion (and the opinion of most) that he does not deserve the honor that an active father deserves.

      I’m going to say this and bow out of this conversation. I do not think it’s healthy for donor conceived adults to long for men that had no intention of being fathers to them. It’s easy to blame parents for choosing donor conception but we cannot continue to deny that donors consciously and purposely do not intend to be the fathers to the offspring. A person must come to terms with and be at peace with that. We should give honor to those that were there for us throughout our lives, not cheapen family by making a big deal out of making a baby.

      • Lorraine Nowlin says:

        This didn’t come out the way I wanted it. It’s not an attack against DC individuals.

      • marilynn says:

        Parenthood is not an honor its an obligation. One which a donor fails to meet. It’s precisely his lack of intention to raise them that is so very hurtful. And really how much can you love a person thats raising you if they wanted you to be abandoned by one of your bio parents so that they could raise you? Really, that’s not love it’s ownership. It’s commissioning. It’s control. It’s Egocentric.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        What’s egocentric is the belief that people who conceived and are raising their child are superior parents to people who didn’t conceive their children.

      • AnonymousME says:

        You absolutely do not have the right to tell DC adults what is or is not healthy. Whatever the intentions of the ‘donor’, he is actually still the father.

    • gsmwc02 says:

      This is the type of thing that a person’s parents need to support in their child if they feel this way. That’s the true definition of love.

    • Liz says:

      “I truly don’t understand why it is difficult to understand that some ‘donor’ conceived not only want to know a name but be allowed to love him and be loved by their biological father.”

      For the general adult public? The simple answer is that many adults don’t want multiple social mothers or fathers. People find it difficult to understand why someone would want multiple people in those roles.

      • marilynn says:

        Multiple people. You get two its not your fault that they are playing games ditching out and vying for title based on who deserves it most. Multiple people. Parents and step parents. That is what the rest of the population calls their mother’s husbands if they are not their bio fathers. Black market adopted people whose step dads are on their original birth records call them dad because they were trained to told early and often “you’ve lost nothing would you rather not exist”

      • gsmwc02 says:

        “Black market adopted people whose step dads are on their original birth records call them dad because they were trained to told early and often “you’ve lost nothing would you rather not exist””

        No, those people call their non biological father’s “dad” because they have a special bond with their dad. While it may be hard for a Biological Family Elitist to believe children can have a special unbreakable bond with non biological parents feeling they are their Mom or Dad.

    • oliviasview says:

      Whilst I do absolutely respect your feelings MPDF, I can only think that sentiments like these are likely to lead to endless heartache. Men and women donate in order to give others the chance of a family. They do not give their gametes in order to become parents themselves. If they wished to become parents, and many of course are or will be parents at some point in their lives, they would be reproducing with a partner with whom they have an emotional relationship. There is, in most cases, no emotional relationship between donor and recipient. A strong and committed emotional relationship, with the surrounding social ties, is the central component of a loving family, no matter what family type is involved. A donor is a father or mother ONLY in relation to the genetic connection, not in relation to anything else. And you certainly don’t need a genetic connection in order to love someone with all your heart. I absolutely do not mean to be offensive but it seems rather perverse to choose to love someone (or want them to love you) when they have chosen not to have a relationship with you.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        Olivia, “perverse” really REALLY? Oh, I’m biting my tongue. I have so much to say about that but I don’t want to be disrespectful. I’ll simply say, I don’t agree with you here.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        Agreed Olivia and this goes beyond just donor conception. In many cases parents even with biological connections don’t necessarily bond with their children. Sure they can say they love each other but it is more so out of obligation than it is true familial love. I tend to think this is a matter of what Liz was describing that these feelings DC people have of needing love from their donors relate more to how they were raised than it being a natural feeling. But that’s just me.

      • marilynn says:

        So you are saying that a man need only take responsibility for his offspring if he is married to their mother? Or not married but at least in love with their mother? So kids whose parents are not in love don’t deserve their father’s care and support. He only has to love and care for them if he is in love with their mother and the rest he should have no legal responsibility for because they are not valuable or important. A child’s value and importance and worthiness for food shelter love from their bio parents hinges on whether their father loved their mother. That’s why we encourage unmarried parents to give their children up for adoption because their bastard children don’t count. Give the bastard children to people who would not otherwise have a chance to raise a child. Take your second rate unloveable unworthy of attention bastard kids and relegate them to a second class with fewer rights and give them new identities and fake papers and make them live out their lives as the loveable worthy children of happy couples that can’t have kids. Never mind that its not who they are and never mind that their intrinsic value and worth does not actually hinge on whether their father loved their mother. Their father should take care of any kid he makes regardless how he feels about their mother because they are not there to serve him and his spouse as a badge of their fantastic love. He made them and owes it to them to take care of them no matter what.

        Don’t tell people not to get their hopes up. Don’t tell them it’s too much to ask to expect their fathers act responsibly its not too much to ask. The law protects other minors in that regard Olivia why not them? It’s not too much to ask it’s not out of the realm of reason and its so demeaning to suggest that they deserve anything less than the absolute love and care of both bio parents. Even if they never get it the world should say yeah they deserve it and the law should protect them in that.

        If your way is so great for donor offspring lets share this way with the rest of the population and take away child support for the children of unmarried fathers. Oh but you’ll say they had sex they knew they could get those women pregnant. Well donors walk into a doctors office and ask them to put their profile in a book so they can get strange women pregnant and have offspring. They want offspring they just don’t want any responsibility for them. If they did not want them they’d donate their sperm for research not reproduction or they would not donate at all frankly. There is way more intent to have children in a donor than the average guy that gets a girl pregnant having sex. Neither intended to become bio fathers neither wants the responsibility. So lets make it equal for those kids too? What do you say. Good to end the paternity test for all time no more financial responsibility for bio parents at all ever? What’s say we treat everyone the way donor offspring are treated.

        • oliviasview says:

          Marilynn: “Well donors walk into a doctors office and ask them to put their profile in a book so they can get strange women pregnant and have offspring. They want offspring they just don’t want any responsibility for them”
          The difference between a donor and an unmarried father is that donors do not want offspring for themselves, they are deliberately seeking to help others have the family they are unable to have without their help. You are right, they don’t want responsibility for any child conceived BECAUSE the intending parents WANT that responsibility. SOME unmarried fathers deny responsibility for children they have helped create through having sex with a woman (pregnancy always being a possibility). Increasingly others accept responsibility and do their duty. Whether they come to love the offspring is another matter. Some will, some won’t. But at no point were they intending to provide a child for others.
          Once again, I can’t decide if your ideas belong to a society in the far distant future where most couples are happy to have another person involved in the upbringing of their child (and these extra people are willing to be in this position) or if you are completely bonkers. As society stands today this is a very unlikely scenario for most heterosexual couples and actually most single women and lesbian couples as well. Some are beginning to include half-siblings as part of an extended family and occasionally, mostly with female parents on their own, the donor is on the scene too. If this works for families and donors then fine. But I doubt it will work for most.
          I strongly refute that in this modern era donor conceived children, young people and adults are having their minds messed with by parents who deny genetic connections with donors. That certainly isn’t happening with members of DC Network, where parents are enormously respectful of genetic connection and supportive of their children’s needs and feelings.
          But why am I bothering? As I have said before, we live in parallel universes.

  9. My parent's donor is my father says:

    This is not a boyfriend situation, this is a genetic biological father. What is perverse in my opinion is the intention of all parties to intentionally dismiss this relationship between father and child (and siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, ancestry, heritage etc.) What is perverse is the mindset that biological fathers/family doesn’t matter. What is perverse is the dismissive mindset behind this practice. Children aren’t pets. I could go on. No offense.

    • oliviasview says:

      And no offence taken MPDF. We just have very different takes on this.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        I find it interesting that Wendy Kramer of the DSR does not have difficulty respecting and understanding this (even though her advocacy is almost identical to yours) but you do. Interesting.

        • oliviasview says:

          We are all different. I am with Liz when she says –
          “People “norm” their own feelings and thought process. It can be very difficult to accept that others truly do have a different perspective. I am trying to understand the different perspective.

          I would like to figure out what generates the feelings, which is so difficult for me to understand on either an emotional or an intellectual level.”
          I do not think this is disrespectful, just different. Familial ties are not necessarily genetic ties. I personally don’t feel any ties to members of my family, alive or dead, with whom I did not have a social and emotional relationship. The fact of being linked genetically means nothing to me but I understand that these connections are very meaningful for others. Why would I campaign for ending of donor anonymity and for people to only use identifiable donors if I did not respect the right to choose to make genetic connections.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        A good intended parent would not intentionally NOT give this choice to their pre-conceived child. That choice not only requires ending anonymity and requiring identity disclosure but it also requires finding a ‘donor’ who is open to allowing a relationship to develop. Which requires an intended parent to ask themselves, what kind of man do I want to be my ‘donor’. Is this the kind of man that my hypothetical child would want to find and to be proud of? This is not the kind of man you find on the internet or purchase out of a catalogue.

      • Liz says:

        “I personally don’t feel any ties to members of my family, alive or dead, with whom I did not have a social and emotional relationship. The fact of being linked genetically means nothing to me but I understand that these connections are very meaningful for others.”

        yes! This!

        And, I don’t understand wanting a blood debt and a hospitality debt with strangers that I have not yet met. It is literally incomprehensible to me.

    • Liz says:

      My parent,

      You asked a genuine question. I answered from my perspective, of _why_ is was so difficult for many to understand.

      This is why it is difficult for me, personally, to understand:

      My father is dead. I loved him more then the sun.

      If I found out today he was not my genetic relation, I may be curious about genetic heritage. I may want to meet and chat. However, I would never view another man as my father. This would be a choice on my part, but it also derives from my feelings.

      I do not know if many in the public feel like me, but if they do, they, also, may find the idea incomprehensible.

      I do not judge someone else for feeling differently. People feel what they feel. I judge actions, not feelings.

      People “norm” their own feelings and thought process. It can be very difficult to accept that others truly do have a different perspective. I am trying to understand the different perspective.

      I would like to figure out what generates the feelings, which is so difficult for me to understand on either an emotional or an intellectual level.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        Liz, I don’t know what kind of evidence you are looking for. I never said that non-biological love of any kind is less than. In fact I know that it is not. I could link to many many many writings on the subject of the importance of biological/genetic parents and familial ties. But it seems so obvious to me that I’m perplexed, again, why this is even being debated. You can do your own homework. Bio/genetic mothers/fathers/family matter.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        “I never said that non-biological love of any kind is less than. In fact I know that it is not. ”

        It may not be said but it is implied often that biological parents are superior to non biological parents. Biological connections are put on such a high level and importance that the non biological bond is dismissed. Biological connections are important but they are not superior to non biological bonds. They are just different.

      • Liz says:

        Oh no – I don’t mean I want evidence. Why would I want “evidence.” People feel what they feel. How would one show evidence about feelings? If someone tells me they want to be loved by an individual, I tend to believe them.

        I believe that some people feel intense trauma and distress about the lack of love from those individuals who share their DNA, but remain strangers, and live apart from their social relationship.

        What differentiates certain people? Why does individual x want and need to be loved by those who share DNA, but Zach Wahls does not?

        In terms of research, I’ve been quite curious about this situation, and after extensive research, I noticed the correlated factors of which I summarized for this post. I wrote about the correlations I noticed between particular circumstances, and potential catalysts for the trauma and distress.

        Of the people who post about distress, I have not yet discovered a single individual who did not experience at least one of these correlated factors.

        (Just an aside – but not everyone has the same definition of what love is. I like to make sure I am on the same page, language-wise. For me, love is an action that encompasses intense mutual obligations, and it is a two-way street for adults. If I love, that means I am willing to pay for someone’s burial, to quit work and care for a individual in their time of need and sickness, to move someone into the house, long-term, if they need a place to stay.)

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        This is a life process and a journey – it evolves. There are many kinds of love. I’m speaking of unconditional, primal, tribal, blood is thicker than water, knowing, belonging…kind of love…which tends to develop and evolve from there.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        “This is a life process and a journey – it evolves. There are many kinds of love. I’m speaking of unconditional, primal, tribal, blood is thicker than water, knowing, belonging…kind of love…which tends to develop and evolve from there.”

        But this type of love you are speaking of can also come from non biological bonds and not just in marriage. It’s not strictly only something that can be had from biological connections. In some cases it exists in non biological relationships even if we don’t see it because our biases towards biological relationships cloud us recognizing it.

      • Liz says:

        I was talking to a researcher the other day who mentioned that people tend to norm themselves.

        Someone who desires X, cannot understand someone who desires Y, not X.

        “But it seems so obvious to me that I’m perplexed, again, why this is even being debated.”

        It’s being debated because the general public doesn’t understand this desire.

      • marilynn says:

        That’s Tess

    • gsmwc02 says:

      “What is perverse is the mindset that biological fathers/family doesn’t matter. ”

      In Olivia’s defense I don’t think she has ever said or implied that biological families don’t matter. All she is saying is that the expectation of a biological father who was a sperm donor having a loving parental relationship with their offspring is unrealistic. A donor does not donate for that type of relationship that the DC is not getting from their parents.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        I’m trying to make this as simple as possible so it can be understood. All I asked is why is it hard to understand the desire to love and be loved by ones own genetic mother and father. I did not insinuate or imply that this some hows means that no other non-biological relationships matter. We all can love and be loved by many people.

        • oliviasview says:

          I’m do absolutely understand that you are not seeking to diminish the importance of non-bio relationships but I still cannot understand why you would want a relationship with someone,who by their very act of donating, made it clear that they didn’t want to be a parent to you. Maybe we can celebrate mutual respect whilst remaining in mutual incomprehension.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        “All I asked is why is it hard to understand the desire to love and be loved by ones own genetic mother and father. ”

        I understand that but Olivia or anyone else disagreeing with you on your concept does not imply in any way that they don’t see the value in biological connections. That was my point.

      • marilynn says:

        We don’t do this with bio fathers in the rest of the population – we hold them accountable for their offspring whether they like it or not. Allowing their fathers an exemption from responsibility results in their children’s unfair treatment. If they were made to take responsibility for their offspring the way all other men are made to then maybe they’d be a little bit more selective about whom they have children with and how many they have and they would not wind uo with 15 or 100 kids that don’t matter to them enough that they’d abandon them.

        Look its not about the fact they want to abandon them its the fact they do it.and we allow it that is most offensive.

    • marilynn says:

      I’m replying to Olivia above you where she says about men who abandon their kids but are not sperm donors ” But at no point were they intending to provide a child for others.”

      So sperm donors provide their children for other’s to raise? Yup that’s right. That IS what they do. It’s in their consent forms but generally you and other’s on your loath to admit they give up their children to others to raise. I really love that you wrote this. Why? Because it validates their loss. The loss of their father and pain of being abandoned at birth and of course the sting of having their loss of a father and paternal family absolutely ignored by the government, when it is not ignored for the rest of the population. Their rights, their families are just collateral damage – loss leaders in an effort to make step parenthood feel more like real parenthood by getting the father or mother completely out of the way. Shameful.

  10. My parent's donor is my father says:

    Again, I didn’t say parent, I said love. That takes emotional intelligence to understand. But then again, you are someone who used a ‘donor’ which I find incomprehensible. I say this in a mutually respectful way of course.

    • oliviasview says:

      Hang on, that doesn’t sound very respectful to me. I am happy to be pulled up on using the term ‘parent’ when you didn’t mean that and I understand that you find my using a donor incomprehensible (although our children don’t) but accusing me of not being emotionally intelligent is actually pretty hurtful…but perhaps that’s what you intended. I hope not.

      • Liz says:

        Respect is an action.

        Just as love is an action.

        These things are never simply declarations.

      • Liz says:

        To be clear: one cannot simply assert that one is stating something with respect. One needs to act with respect.

        (In case this needs clarifying: It’s not nice or polite to accuse someone of not possessing emotional intelligence. )

    • gsmwc02 says:

      What do you define as emotional intelligence? I’m asking to better understand the context of your comments.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        I’m done here.

      • Liz says:

        “I’m done here.”

        A dialogue is clearly not going to work without mutual respect. It’s not appropriate to belittle Olivia’s intelligence and express contempt for her.

        “All I asked is why is it hard to understand the desire to love and be loved by ones own genetic mother and father.”

        I assumed you asked the question in good faith. I thought you were genuinely curious.

        I don’t want to waste my time on a fake question. I wish you had warned me you were simply expressing your frustration and contempt, as I took you seriously.

        If your question was simply an expression of frustration, you should simply state your frustration and walk away. Or, perhaps you could consider the option of walking away from the conversation without expressing your contempt.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        Liz, this is a lions den. I don’t find it to be a safe place. It’s no surprise to me that ‘donor’ conceived who express loss and discontent with the method of their conception do not contact the DCN. The very nature of this statement “I still cannot understand why you would want a relationship with someone,who by their very act of donating, made it clear that they didn’t want to be a parent to you.” shows lack of understanding and emotional intelligence. This would be equivalent of me stating “you are socially infertile, you don’t don’t have a right to child, just deal with it”. Although these things might be true to a degree, it is not an emotionally intelligent statement to make to someone who obviously could be hurt by this kind of statement. You have no idea how badly that stings personally. I don’t expect anyone to coddle me however. I am an adult, but this discussion is beginning to disintegrate into further insults and becoming unproductive. So I think it’s best that I bow out at this point.

        • oliviasview says:

          I am truly sorry MPDF that you are finding this blog thread an unsafe place. Personal attacks and insults are not a grown-up way of being in touch and do not facilitate true communication. My apologies for anything I have said that you feel was personally offensive. It was absolutely not intended that way. Like Liz, I simply cannot understand the way you feel. I empathise with the pain you obviously have and respect those feelings, but I do not think not being able to understand them is insulting.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        Wait, all I did was ask you to clarify what you meant by emotional intelligence because I’ve never heard of that term used. It wasn’t meant to put you down.

      • Liz says:

        I disagree on the analogy. The equivalent would be someone saying, “I don’t want children. I don’t understand your feelings of deep loss, but I empathize with the fact that you feel a loss, and and I respect these feelings of loss.”

        Or, a better equivalent might be my friend, telling me after a friend committed suicide in January, “This was hard, but it’s not healthy for you to dwell on his loss in a way that is disabling to you and disrupting your life. Drama is addictive, and talking to his family, and indulging your grief to this extent is not healthy.”

        This was a real conversation, and it helped me immensely. My friend cares about my emotional health.

        If you want to be upset with someone for this discussion, you should be upset with me. It was my post that started this comment thread. And, I too, do not understand the feeling. I empathize with it, I respect the feelings of loss as a fact, but I do not understand the feelings themselves.

        I was talking with my friend about this today. You seem to want us to be able to not simply respect your feelings, and accept the fact that you have these feelings. You also want us to have the capacity to understand _why_ you feel the way you do. That is the struggle for me. The why of it, and the feelings themselves.

        It’s ok for someone to simply _not_ understand another person’s feelings or reactions. My friend feels like he’s going to throw up when he drinks orange juice. I don’t understand it at all. But I accept it, and if I’m serving a dish with oranges, I don’t expect him to eat it. But I still do NOT understand the feeling. He doesn’t expect me to understand, so everybody goes home happy.

        I can empathize with the fact he doesn’t like oranges. I cannot understand his feelings of revulsion. I think I know the cause of his feelings, but I can not feel it myself, because I like oranges.

        You expect us to understand the feeling, and that is expecting too much. Boundaries.


        If you are uncomfortable, you should bow out. I do think you owe Olivia an apology for the insults.

        Aside from the comment about emotional intelligence, you implied that she wasn’t a good parent for choosing to use DC.

        There are two people who have the right to judge Olivia on her value as a parent, and you are not one of them.

  11. Liz says:

    “That takes emotional intelligence to understand.”

    I would not assume Olivia does not possess emotional intelligence.

    Perhaps the confusion arises because it is not quite clear to others of what you are speaking.

    What is one’s definition of love? It is unclear, to me, what one means, when they say assert that they want to be loved by a stranger.

    Not everyone has the same definition of what love is. Love is empathetic relations. But, for me, love is also an action that encompasses intense mutual obligations, and it is a two-way street for adults.

    These are some of the mutual obligation I include in my definition of love. If I love, that means I am happy to pay for someone’s burial and plan a funeral, to quit work and care for a individual in their time of need and sickness, to move someone into the house, long-term, if they need a place to stay. I will take in their children in a time of need. I will make changes in my life experience and plan for that person.

    Because of my belief about what love is, it would be an absolute lie for me to say that I love a stranger. (This is my own situation — I do not speak for others.) It is not possible, in my definition of love, for me to love someone until I am familiar with that person. I never break promises. I have never asserted that I love someone unless and until I am ready to undertake these sorts of obligations.

    I have attended many weddings where people who later divorced profess to love another individual, and yet, it was something less then love. Likewise, I’ve seen many families in which people professed to “love” one another, and it was something less then love.

    Now, this is simply my definition of love, and I do not expect all others to have the same definition.

    My point, is that people clearly hold different definitions of love. It may be helpful to establish a definition, or else this conversation may be confusing.

    • Liz says:

      “There are many kinds of love.”

      I don’t see many kinds of love, although I see many kinds of affection. I think people at different ages have different expressive capacities in terms of love (an infant loves differently then an adult.)

      “I’m speaking of unconditional, primal, tribal, blood is thicker than water, knowing, belonging…kind of love…which tends to develop and evolve from there.”

      I think empathetic feeling is a critical part of love. I don’t know what knowing, primal, belonging, ect means for you. I get the impression you’re not talking of a blood debt.

      • marilynn says:

        Tess said “I think empathetic feeling is a critical part of love.” True which is why this process is so sad people have no empathy for destroying these peoples families and for treating people like propery

      • Liz says:

        Major life decisions are not altered by strangers flinging insults on the internets.

        This thread began with a discussion about parenting. We had a substantive discussion about the conditions that went into healthy families.

        At this point, there are emotionally charged insults being flung. And, I suspect, a lot of projected anger and venting about one’s own families.

        It’s easier to direct that anger at strangers then wrestle with one’s feelings about one’s own family.

        It’s not productive or constructive.

  12. Liz says:

    Sorry about the multiple posts on the definition of love. That discussion got dislocated, and I assumed it was a real question.

  13. gsmwc02 says:

    Looking back on MPDIMF’s argument that some DC could have the desire to not only know their biological father but to be loved by him as well, I get that this exists and that it hurts them when it doesn’t happen. People in general desire things that they don’t have and build them up in their heads and it eats up some people emotionally. It makes perfect sense to me that a DC person would be hurt by not being able to have something that we who are not DC might take for granted.

    I know for infertile couples the inability to have a biological child that has a genetic connection to both parents hurts us and eats at us. It’s something that those who can were able to have children can never understand. They may take for granted what they have that others are unable to have. Before you comment Marilynn please note I’m not trying to compare the two but in this forum it was an example that I felt the audience would best be able to identify with that would help them understand what MPDIMF was getting at.

    • marilynn says:

      I am commenting but I appreciate your preface. I won’t comment on which pain is greater either. I just want to offer some clarity on some of the points you made.

      You just noted that it is logical to you that donor offspring are upset by not being able to have something that those of us who are not donor offspring have. Thank you for validating that the rest of the population has a right to something that they are inexplicably denied. That was respectful of you. I’d like to go deep on what it is you and I have that they don’t. Let’s look. Is it a biological parents that we have but they don’t? No. They have those too, so it can’t be that. Is it love from our bio parents that we all have a right to? No because we don’t have a legal right to be loved and certainly we are not all getting loved by our bio parents law or no law, so it can’t be love of a bio parent that we have and they don’t get to have. Same would go for their admiration, respect, pride that sort of thing would follow that same line of logic that love did – we have no legal right to that stuff nor are all of us non-donor-offspring types receiving that from our bio parents.

      So what exactly is it that you think we have a right to that they don’t have a right to? You said you understand why that would upset them which validates their anger on a whole other level than simply telling the truth early and often right Greg? I mean no matter what it is that you meant when you said we have something that they don’t get to have you have entered into a realm of understanding that telling the truth won’t fix the fact that we get something they don’t. I’ll return to that but I’d like to move next to the issue of why it is that you think we get to have this as of yet, still undefined thing, but they don’t. I mean as a group they don’t get to have this thing which is interesting to me because few things apply equally to everyone like that. You see what happened when I asked if it was love or a cozy relationship we all have with our bio parents – it turned out we don’t all have that. So whatever it is that is making them upset its something that every cotton picken one of us has that every cotton picken one of them does not have a right to. It’s there it’s very real. I’ll give you a hint its law/laws cause they have that sort of universal blanket application to all members in society. Lots of laws actually various legal rights and whatnot with regard to their expectations of bio parents and other things. The law protects you and me and our relationships with our bio families in ways that are not extended to them or their relatives. I

      You went on to say you understand how people will pine away more for something they can’t have much like infertile people do pine away for the bio child they can’t have. But unlike wanting to date someone who does not like you back, for your population and mine it does not matter whether your parents want you back, the law obligates them to take care of us – there is a debt there that does not exist with any other interpersonal relationship. Parents don’t get the luxury of spurning the advances of their children. We don’t tell children to suck it up and forget about being fed and clothed by their bio parents – unless their bio parents were contracted to abandon kids so other people could raise them. Those people have to have fewer rights in order to be handled like merchandise. If they got to have the same rights as we do the industrialization of commercialized orphanhood would come to a grinding halt. Treat them as full blooded human beings and an industry collapses and many people won’t get to raise a baby.

      You said you understand why they would be upset not getting to have what the rest of us have. Why don’t they deserve to have what the rest of us have Greg? Why are you and I deserving of all those legal protections? We are not entitled to more love or deep relationships or genetic bonding that is all a crap shoot. We are not more entitled to have bio parents than them – they have just as many bio parents as you and me. Please think hard about this new found empathy for their differential treatment you stated and ponder why society couldn’t just change the law so they had the same legal rights we do. Wouldn’t that be fair? Nobody would be hurt by treating them fairly. Truly fair treatment is fair and hurts nobody. It would just remove unfair and oppressive advantage some currently have as a result of differential treatment. Right now you have people who had a right to be cared for by THEIR bio parents but who have no reciprocal obligation to care for their own offspring which creates an imbalance. They received more than they are putting into the system and their offspring are paying the price for it. There are many ramifications from this and when donor offspring go to articulate this their often told they have misplaced anger and that it’s not this but that they are angry about.

      If you can see that not having something we have would be upsetting how can you justify the laws that keep them from having what we have when they could so easily be equalized?

  14. AnonymousME says:

    I haven’t read the whole thread in detail but I just want to back up MPDIMF in everything he/she says. I am a DC person and yes, that was also coupled with late and reluctant disclosure and sexual abuse (from my social father) and neglect (from my bio mother). But the irony is that these things are more common in DC families. So we’re denied the basic human right of being brought up by our bio parents (a scenario which all research shows brings the best outcomes for children) PLUS we have the added traumas of the very outcomes that DC makes more likely THEN we’re told that we’re just basically silly to feel deprived of a parent and we’re only upset because of the additional traumas (which were caused by the DC itself).

    I’m not saying that all parents in DC families are abusive — obviously. Nor do all DC offspring feel as I do. But to imply that my feelings are perplexing or strange or just a bit unhinged is deeply offensive.

    • oliviasview says:

      Hello AnonymousME: I am so very sorry that you had such an appalling childhood at the hands of both your parents. I’m not quite sure where you get the evidence from that abuse is more common in DC families. And children do better when brought up by two parents who are in a loving relationship and can give a warm and secure upbringing to their children. Genetic connection has nothing to do with this.
      I don’t think anyone would think you were ‘silly’ to feel deprived of a parent. You feel what you feel and having suffered as you did it is not surprising (but I suspect you would not want that connection to be made).
      There is no implication that either your or MPDIMP’s feelings are strange or unhinged in any way. Simply that some of us cannot understand wanting to be loved by someone who helped create a child for others and did not intend a relationship of any sort with a child/person. This was particularly true in the past era when donors were inevitably unidentifiable and donor banks made no effort to help donors understand the long-term implications of what they were doing. This has now changed, in the UK at least. I’m happy to own that the lack of understanding may be a lack of imagination on my part (can’t speak for others here) but it is no way implies a lack of respect or is intended to deny feelings or be offensive.

    • Liz says:

      Damaged or unhealthy family relationships can produce some of the most conflicted, unfortunate, difficult, and traumatic situations.

      Unhealthy parents cause great trauma to their children.

      • Liz says:

        The combination of late disclosure, sexual abuse, and emotional distress of a child are quite horrifying to contemplate.

        My original comment asked: from where does the trauma and emotional distress derive?

        What is the source of the traumatic injury to the child?

        At least one traumatic element, and in many cases, multiple traumatic circumstances, are correlated.

        This was the hypothesis of my original post, quoted in the comment thread.

      • marilynn says:

        Donor offspring need to include a core statement about discrimination and unequal treatment that cannot be blamed on angst over poor parenting or typical teen age drama or abuse or anything else. The only complaint they cannot come back and come up with an excuse as the real source of complaint is concrete factual legal discriminatory behavior related to the exemptions from parental responsibility their bio parents received in exchange for providing their offspring to needy childless people who want to raise kids but can’t have their own because they have no partner or because their partner cant reproduce with them.

        By prefacing the other complaints by saying the exemption from parental responsibility that donors are given results in the violation of their equal rights and freedom. This differential treatment is inherently discriminatory and cannot be argued away as a complaint tied to abuse or poor child rearing.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        You are so right Liz. You could take a lot of your principles and apply them to anyone.

        This person would be hurting whether they were DC or not because of the abuse that took place (Marilynn would argue otherwise).

    • Mary says:

      I will never be a proponent of donor conception. It is not because I had a miserable upbringing – I did not. It is also not because I was told at the age of forty, by a family friend and after both of my parents were deceased (which was horrible). I never suspected anything like donor insemination and was completely shocked when I got the news. However, I intuitively knew that there was something amiss in my family and I don’t think it was only the “secret.” Even today, in 2014, when I mention my conception people squirm and act uncomfortable. I don’t feel “grateful” when I think about the donor. I only feel sad that someone would do that without giving a second thought to the life they were creating. We can all agree that there are bad parents, in donor conceived families as well as traditional families. However, making a decision to use a donor intentionally denies that child the right to an emotional tie to their biological parent and extended family. Why is it so difficult to grasp that that would be difficult for the donor conceived? The mother of a donor child longs for the biological connection. Why is it so crazy to think that the child wouldn’t long for it as well? I don’t understand the plight of infertility. I can only imagine that it is devastating. I also don’t understand how someone can intentionally deny a child something/anything in the process of satisfying their own desire for a family. I realize that donor insemination is not going away. I agree that honesty is a better way to go. I also believe that identifiable donors are a better option. But, that doesn’t solve all of the issues.

      I recently had a first cousin match on a DNA site. While looking through the family tree of this cousin, my heart breaks. Not because I didn’t feel wanted or loved, but because these people share my DNA and I will never know them nor them me. I have a name now, of my donor father, but it is of little consolation.

      • gsmwc02 says:

        Best wishes on your journey.

      • Liz says:

        I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

        People who see genetic connection as the most important things in family formation should not adopt or conceive via DC. They may pass this value onto their child, and the promotion of this value in the household could make the child feel insufficient, second-class, or devalued.

        I can’t imagine finding out at the age of 40 that I had been lied to for years. I am sorry you felt there was something amiss growing up. That sounds uncomfortable and difficult for a child to deal with.

        Research on adoption shows that late reveal and keeping secrets potentially causes trauma in children. I suspect late reveal has the potential to traumatize one’s sense of identity, and threaten one’s sense of trust in the family in which one was raised.

        “Why is it so difficult to grasp that that would be difficult for the donor conceived?”

        Because there are many adults who don’t find it difficult. And there are many people who don’t care about genetic connection.

        “The mother of a donor child longs for the biological connection.”

        Olivia does not care. For many parents it’s not about biology. People tend to “norm” their own experience and values. But people are quite diverse.

        People who care about genetics cannot imagine anyone who doesn’t care. I suspect some people literally cannot grasp the concept.

        Einstein probably wondered why everybody wasn’t a physics genius. But everyone is not interested in physics. Some people dislike physics. People really are quite different.

      • AnonymousME says:

        Beautifully put.

      • marilynn says:

        Hey Mary
        Challenge yourself not to describe yourself as having been donor conceived. Try some sort of phrase like it sucks to have an estranged bio parent. I’ve been studying the other side’s arguments and as long as you guys are complaining about your conceptions they’ll come back with those frustrating dismissals of pain caused by actual differential treatment and outright objectification. Its an industrialized sanitized commercialized method of making it easy for people to abandon their parental obligations to the children they create. Screw what they did or did not do intentionally in creating you, talk about what they did not do in raising you – cause that is their job and that’s where they fell short. To the absent parent goes the lions share of responsibility and then onward to anyone who encouraged it, underwrote it or looked the other way and called it alternative family building. It is not genetic supremacy to expect your bio parents to be accountable for you. Is it genetic supremacy for the rest of the population that has a protected right to that very thing? No so why is wanting the same treatment as other people genetic supremacy in your guys case? It’s not they just don’t want you to whine and like to make you feel stupid and backward thinking even closed minded and pedantic. Screw them try not using the word donor or conceived for a day when your describing this it’s hard but watch how much clearer everything gets and it gets harder to put down what you are saying. Try to see if it lessens those things people say to make ya’ll seem like the angsty minority

  15. Mary says:

    You too, gsmwco2. I applaud you for trying to see all sides of this issue. Your soul-searching is admirable and I know your pain is a real as mine. If you decide to go the route of donor conception (or maybe already have), I implore you to be open an honest. I think my parents did the best that they could with the information they had at the time and I don’t blame them at all. My “anger” is not aimed at them, but at what I believe is a bad system. Things are changing and will continue to change. And, I hope us “pioneers” can help facilitate changes that will benefit future generations of dc children.

    • gsmwc02 says:

      Thanks Mary. We decided not to go the DI route. It’s something I would have been comfortable with and would have been open and honest with the child. It’s stories like yours that have opened my eyes that it would have been the only way to do things.

  16. AnonymousME says:

    “Beautifully put” was aimed at Mary btw.
    Comment nesting is still a bit confusing here, and I can’t comment directly on Olivia’s comments above. But I just have to voice my support for Marilynn, whose comments at first blush seem very extreme — but which, on reflection, are completely logical and rational and only seem extreme because we’ve been ‘normed’ to accept that it’s normal and ok for a man to abandon his children for money and call it an act of charity. *That* is what is bonkers, not Marilynn!

  17. AnonymousME says:

    I can’t really get over the irony of DC parents saying, “You can’t imagine the trauma of infertility” (ie being deprived of a biological link with a child) to people who have been deprived of a biological link with a parent — by their other parent!

    Not to mention the scornful dismissal of a desire for connection with one’s biological family combined with the PC assertion that ‘of course’ bio families are not necessarily better. If so, why bother having a bio child? Why not adopt a child??

    • Liz says:

      This thread is about the source of emotional distress and trauma of people conceived by DC.

      Zach Walh’s mother was not infertile. I have no idea why Zach Wahl’s mother bore a child rather then adopted.

      That was her decision, and not mine, nor your own, to make.

      I firmly believe it is not up to me, to tell another family, what to do in their private life.
      Boundaries are important in order to interact with people in a civil manner.

      There are many people who don’t care about genetic connection. You are free, of course, to disbelieve this statement.

      As I said before, people norm their own experience. It can be very difficult for people to understand that not everyone is the same.

    • Liz says:

      I hope you were able to escape and protect yourself from these disordered personalities.

      I hope there are no other minors around this person. I hope he is in jail, and cannot hurt more children.

      • Liz says:

        I feel like we need someone who knows how to work with trauma.

        I’m not equipped to deal with sexual trauma, identity trauma, and emotional neglect. This is beyond my expertise, and I don’t want to minimize the magnitude of it.

    • gsmwc02 says:

      I don’t think it’s fair or productive for either side to start comparing the grief that each of us faces. The best thing we can do is respect each other’s grief and admit we don’t understand the grief that the other side faces.

      • marilynn says:

        Greg Anonymous was not comparing grief, they were pointing out hypocrisy. They were not going down the “who’s pain is more painful’ rabbit hole. Not at all. The statement highlights an instance where individuals are talking out both sides of their mouths. It’s quite remarkable actually that they belittle complaints that this process cost them their identities and their families by suggesting that the real source of their angst stems from something entirely other than being abandoned by their bio father and sequestered from their paternal family by their bio mother who views them as personal property that she can simply assign them her husband to act as replacement father for the one she paid to go away. No doubt there is pain to infertility, but that has nothing to do with being a hypocrite.

        So what would be best is for them to be in pain and for it to be respected and taken seriously and empathetically by society AND them not to be hypocrites by destroying other people’s family and identities while musing about the emotional pain of never getting to have a bio kid themselves.

        I’ll add that those who mate with donors and their spouses did not loose a biological child nor are they being withheld from any. Donor offspring have actually lost a bio parent and bio relatives from active participation in their daily lives and it can be prevented by simply treating them same as other people legally.

    • marilynn says:

      I can’t really get over the irony of DC parents saying, “You can’t imagine the trauma of infertility” (ie being deprived of a biological link with a child) to people who have been deprived of a biological link with a parent — by their other parent!

      Stop being logical. They just pretend its not happening here. But I heard you. Excellent point you make and well written too. Watch how they won’t even reply to the content of what you said because you left no room for argument.

      • Liz says:

        Some people do not care about genetic connection. It’s not more complicated then that.

        Many people who are gay growing up not expecting to be genetically connected to their children. Many people who are straight do not care if their children are genetically connected.

        People are different. I understand this can be difficult to accept.

  18. My parent's donor is my father says:

    New story by a ‘donor’ conceived person – who has NO interest in meeting their mother’s sperm ‘donor’ – submitted to Anonymous Us:

    “I don’t want to meet him, sorry
    This may be strange to hear but I don’t want to meet my donor, I’ve traveled the interwebs looking for other donor offspring who are are oppose to this practice, and are demanding justice and change. My search has led me here.

    I have my reasons for never wanting to know my father. Anyone who willingly degrades women to sexual objectification in pornography, willingly disowns the children he doesn’t personally want, willingly impregnates multiple strangers, has these people raise his biological children, and never once in his life checks in to see if his kids are healthy, happy, alive, is not worth my time looking for. This person is the most atrocious and loathing human male on the planet, and the issue is that he thinks he has just done a service to humanity. We have enough men who abandon and disown their children, it’s called ‘deadbeat fatherhood’. Just because you were paid doesn’t mean you’re a hero. You’re still a monster.

    I’m not here to depreciate any donor offspring personal search for the dummy who abandon them. Origins are important to many people, and I completely understand that. This entry is just about me.

    If I stand alone here, so be it, but I want it abolished. There is absolutely nothing to gain from reproductive technologies, besides ‘happy customers’. But sometimes not even happiness to the customers is guaranteed, social parents can and have demanded refunds from the companies that manufactured their children because their children did not turn out how they paid for them to. The gamete banks depict posters of smiling children but more importantly they caption these words at the bottom of their posters: “have the family of your dreams!”. So what are these companies doing? They’re advertising children to couples. How on earth is this ethical? A donor can have well over two hundred offspring being raised by strangers around his area. He could easily date and have sex with his own daughter. More importantly these offspring could end up having sex with one another, without knowledge. This makes sperm donning a public health issue. Not only this, but as other victims of this unregulated practice have already expressed, our fathers and mothers are treated like breeding studs, their gametes are treated like ‘raw material’, our conception is manufactured in a laboratory, and our life was ultimately paid for with cash money. We are chattel, and the companies know this so they try their hardest to sugar code the truth, and promote their lies in media, so that people will not get concern. If you’re getting paid, you’re not donning, you’re selling. If you’re being selected from a cataloger, you’re not ‘helping a couple’, you’re advertising your DNA, like a breeding animal. And children should never be ‘wanted’. We should only want material objects. The love of a parent should never be measured on how much that parent spent buying the children themselves. That is completely disgusting and disturbing.

    The donor sibling registry is not anyone’s saving grace. It’s a terrible attempt to normalize this dehumanizing business. Why is it ok for you to purposely separate your children from their biological parents, then play the hero who ‘found’ the long lost siblings online, when you had partook in separating them from one another in the first place? Why is it ok to put your kids through the psychological torture of searching desperately for their missing families, of who they may never completely find because there could be many more siblings that aren’t on the sibling registry, just so you can get the family you want? Do you realize that there are many kids who couldn’t find their family on this website who are still I the search?

    I am more disgusted on how I was ‘made’ than never knowing the idiot who partook in this human trafficking. I never wish to know him, I don’t thank him for giving me life, I don’t appreciate how he help delude my social parents into thinking they both created me, so they can feel better about their infertility. I don’t appreciate him lying to them and telling them he gave them treatment for their infertility, when all he did was use them for the spread his descendants, while never having to take care of those descendants.

    If you think I should be praising these reproductive technologies for giving me life, you’re not in your right mind. With that understanding, I should be down at the feet of my mother’s rapist, if my mother had been rapped by my father, praising him for raping my mother, thus giving me life. It simply doesn’t work the way people think.

    Signed, a donor kid, not on the search

    Date submitted: April 04, 2014″

    • Liz says:

      People will project anger outwards, because it is very difficult to criticize one’s own family.

      Clearly, Zach Wahls story has nothing to do with this individual. Why? These two individuals were raised in completely difference families, in different regions of the world, under different circumstances.

      I read this story and think to myself:

      1) There is a lot of anger projected outward. This causes me to suspect something happened inside the home.

      2) There is no focus on the individuals who raised the child. This makes me think they are avoiding their family life because something damaging occurred within it.

      3) Grammar mistakes. (Could mean a number of things — it may be a reflection of age, language difference, learning disabilities, or educational/ class background.)

      My guess: the individual was not raised in a comfortable, stable situation.

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        Augh, we continue to talk past each other.

      • Liz says:

        But you weren’t commenting.

        You were simply posting someone else’s story.

        Literary criticism might help here. You might be assuming that every person in the audience will respond to the “text” of a “story” in the same way that you are responding.

        But every individual will have their own “reception experience.”

        How I read the story, is most likely, very different from how you read the story.

        And I would imagine everyone reading that story will have a slightly different response.

      • Liz says:

        I’m sorry I cannot see the world in the same way as you. I can see that is frustrating.

    • oliviasview says:

      The story posted by MPDIMF is possibly the saddest thing I have ever read. The writer sounds like she or he has suffered a lot and I can only think that strong emotions like these must come from very poor experiences within their family. I do hope a way is found to manage the pain.

      • Liz says:

        I am very sorry too. I find it personally stressful to read, as I have connected people who have been raped and molested with resources, and I don’t know if this individual has support.

  19. My parent's donor is my father says:

    I’m sorry that I cannot see the world in the same way as you too Liz. I think that it is clear that there is legitimate reasoned logic as to why this practice is seriously problematic not only on an individual basis but on a cultural and social basis. I don’t think arm chair psychoanalysis of *our* experiences disproves this fact. I could do that with Zach Wahls too but I won’t. Comparing every other perspective to Zach Wahls as if any other person who is against the practice, feels a loss from this practice, must be because they weren’t raised by parent’s like Zach Wahls is non-productive.

    • Liz says:

      Perhaps it is productive for me, as I explore the world and intellectually think about various subjects? Yet, that does not mean it is productive for you.

      People are different. And we are entitled to be different. We can have different perspectives and different life experiences. That’s ok for me. I hope it’s ok for you.

      • Liz says:

        I think identification and similarity may say something interesting.

        People don’t identify with every family out there. Certainly healthy families don’t identify with families in which there is dysfunction, sexual abuse being an extreme example discussed within the thread by a “AnonymousMe”.

        There are many, many different kinds of family. The donor aspect is not going to make all of these kinds of families identical. These families will retain drastic differences in personalities, parental abilities, the wider community, religious belief, economic status, relationship abilities, geographies, and education opportunities. There are even national boundary differences, cultural differences, and differences with physical disabilities within families. A child who is mentally or physically disabled will have a different experience.

        Basically, I think it’s a problem to conflate families when they are quite different.

        But if Zach Wahls family is quite similar to one’s own community, one might be more inclined to think — hey, I understand and relate to that family. That experience is relevant because I can see many similarities.

        But if Zach Wahls family is not similar to one’s own, if his family is not similar to one’s own, if his community is not similar to one’s own, if his personality is not similar to one’s own — his experience is obviously not relevant.

    • marilynn says:

      MPDIMF is my mentor.

  20. My parent's donor is my father says:

    Oh good, we agree about something, Zach Wahls opinion and family advocacy/structure is not relevant to the many problems involved with this practice.

  21. Lorraine Nowlin says:

    I was going to stay out of this but I thought of something else. While I stand by everything I’ve said here, does anyone really have to like the way they were conceived or the family style they were brought up in? I’m the product of an arranged marriage. It was an arranged marriage that created a hostile home environment filled with two parents that never really wanted to marry each other. I’m against arranged marriages and would never allow anyone to arrange one for me. I don’t feel it should be illegal, just archaic and unnecessary. My point is, I don’t feel that children have to brace all choices made for their lives or existence. It may not always be due to trauma.

    • Liz says:

      I think there are many variables that may cause long-lasting emotional distress. A hostile home would be one of them.

      Parents with clinical personality disorders cause great distress. We know people who are disordered make up a percentage of the general population.

      Anytime someone feels distress with their family, they may want to consider if a parent is clinically disordered. (Clinical narcissism, histrionic) Often times the disordered behaviour becomes normalized in the home. It’s difficult to see if one has not lived in a healthy home.

  22. My parent's donor is my father says:

    I personally advocate for holistic parenting. Of course that requires emotionally healthy biological parenting and social skills.

    • Liz says:

      What is holistic parenting?

      Can adopted and foster parents partake, or is it exclusionary to biological parents?

  23. oliviasview says:

    I went to see our grand-daughter for 24 hours and have returned to over 50 new comments on this blog which has strayed very far from the original topic, only to come back to it’s roots with comments about parenting. I think we have gone far enough my friends. There are differences here that are not going to be resolved by the point scoring of counter posting and trying to find a new wheeze to get round ‘the opposition’. It has been a fascinating ride, with some excellent discussion at some points, but enough is enough. I will be deleting any posts that come through to me from now on, it being 18.40 British summer time.

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