Generation Cryo…more than just a teenagers journey

Much trailed from the US, the first episode of Generation Cryo showed on MTV in the UK last night.  I was an avid watcher, but sadly without any family members as Walter’s heavy cold took him to bed (no TV in the bedroom) and Zannah put seeing friends over a place next to me on the sofa.

Most of you reading this will know the basic story, which is of lesbian 17 year old Breeanna, daughter of two moms, meeting some of her 12 half-siblings, all of whom she has connected with via the Donor Sibling Registry.  Bree lives in Reno, Nevada and in this first episode she visits Jonah and Hilit, DI conceived teenage children of heterosexual couple Eric and Terri, in Atlanta, Georgia. But first she talks about her own situation, which is tricky to say the least.  Although we see her two moms together in various shots, Bree tells us that they separated long ago and don’t really talk to each other.  Bree often finds herself stuck in the middle.  Her bio-mom is supportive of Bree looking for her donor, her non-bio mom clearly feels threatened by the biological link and the potential (she feels) for Bree’s affections to be transferred to this man.  Feelings of this sort by non-bio mothers were clearly identified in the recent Relative Strangers research and it was interesting to see them so clearly played out here.

Eric and Terri were very welcoming to Bree and we see the half-sibs all getting on well and the whole family eating and joking together .  Physically there are strong similarities, although Jonah and Hilit unsurprisingly look more Jewish than Bree, and together they identify the pouty bottom lip that all three of them have.  The fly in the ointment comes when Bree asks Jonah if he would be willing to take a DNA test so that he can help her trace their joint donor.  Jonah and Hilit are both clear that they have no interest in meeting the donor, but Jonah is a sweet boy and wants to help Bree.  The problem is that as he is only 17, he has to get a parent to sign the consent form for the test.  Round the dinner table, with Bree’s face falling as emotions rise, Terri, rather unsupportively, accuses Eric of not even having wanted to tell the children about the use of a donor.  She wants Eric to sign the form because she is very interested in knowing more about and even meeting the donor, feeling that this will give her insights into her children.  Eric, however, on the verge of tears, explains that he had to get past the insecurity within himself about his inability to ‘do that fundamental manly thing’ in order to bring himself to be able ‘tell’ Jonah and Hilit.  In being asked to sign something that may bring the donor into the life of his family, he feels the picture that he has of who his family are is being attacked…and that in turn feels like an attack on him.

I could have hugged the man.  Allowing himself to be so vulnerable (on camera too) and articulating emotions so clearly is a rare feat for a guy and I suspect he was putting into words the fears that lurk in the hearts of many DI dads…or would do if they were faced with a similar situation.  But despite his anxieties Eric has a big heart and, recognising that his son is a kind and good-hearted person who only wants to help a friend, he signs the papers.

For me, Eric’s emotion and articulacy were the heart of the film but there were other interesting bits too…like where Bree talks about being lesbian with Jonah and Hilit’s friends and reveals that one of her moms accuses the other of ‘turning’ their daughter lesbian.  The chat about sexuality in this group is relaxed, easy and normal and made me understand how very far today’s young have come from when I was a teenager.  There is also some talk between the sibs of the differences between feelings for a friend and between this sibling group.  I didn’t make notes about this and wish I had but I’m sure there will be more on this topic over the next five weeks.  I’ve certainly got MY place on the sofa booked for 9pm for the next few Wednesday nights as Bree continues her journey.  Care to join me?


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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47 Responses to Generation Cryo…more than just a teenagers journey

  1. gsmwc02 says:

    Just wait Olivia the emotions of the series get more intense as it moves along. You will really enjoy it.

  2. I don’t want to give out any spoilers so I’m going to wait to bring up some things as the episodes progress (re the biomoms). And one of the fathers in Boston.

  3. marilynn says:

    Many of the people Olivia knows are telling me the show follows a script that normalizes the process and tries to make it no big deal or just another way of making a family. While it shows the struggle of the kids it does not really focus on the fact it was wrong for their father to have abandoned them.

    It seems to me that these shows need to bring up the actual content of their contracts so that everyone can see they are not just giving up their sperm they agree to give up their kids when they are born and they were paid for that so it needs to look like what it really is.

    • gsmwc02 says:

      I think you need to actually watch the show to form your own opinions in order to comment knowing what you are talking about.

    • It doesn’t present the donors as abandoning kids because they aren’t fathers abandoning kids. They’re donors making it possible for other men to become fathers. I think it’s great that this show is part of normalizing donation because that would be most helpful to the children that result. They are not simply some alternative creation, abandoned, or sold. They are purposely made to become members of families getting all the rights and benefits that the families they are born into can provide. This is a way for people to become parents just like adoption, traditional means, etc.

      I would encourage you to watch the show because not all of the children are happy go lucky with being donor conceived. I particularly think you should pay attention to one of the Boston families. Surprisingly, you and I might have some agreement on them.

      • marilynn says:

        Lorraine, Greg – it’s true I should watch the show

      • marilynn says:

        Lorraine you said “It doesn’t present the donors as abandoning kids because they aren’t fathers abandoning kids. ”

        A donor with offspring is a father or mother in the biological sense of the word and their relatives are the paternal of maternal relatives of their offspring. This you would not argue to be the truth. Your assertion would be that they are not parents socially or legally. People who are not raised by their biological parents were either relinquished or abandoned by them. A gamete donor’s written consent forms are very clear that when and if their offspring are born they agree to abandon any and all parental rights and responsibilities to them. Many agreements go further in requiring the donor to promise to relinquish any and all parental rights and obligations to their offspring in a court approved adoption if the gamete donation agreement is ever found to be illegal and unenforceable. Gamete donors are not promising never to contact their sperm or their eggs again, they are promising never to contact their children again. The bulk of the terms of their agreements are carried out after the birth of their offspring, not before. What’s most interesting is these clauses that include a promise to give their children up for adoption in court if the contract is ever deemed to be illegal because it acknowledges that the people who will be raising the donor’s offspring are skipping or short cutting the adoption process typically required of people seeking parental custody of another person’s offspring and they are doing that by simply writing their names down on the original birth record to avoid the time, expense of adoption not to mention the fact that it exposes the adoptive nature of the relationship as well as the identity of the biological parent who is not raising his or her child. There is no difference in how these individuals are created or conceived; their bio parents are simply colluding with people who wish to raise their offspring through an intermediary in advance of their child’s birth to conceal their identities and thereby avoid formal adoption proceedings. It’s horribly unfair to exclude these minors from due process intended to protect minors. It’s quite unfair to present this situation as them being differently created so that they have different rights than other people at birth. It’s not fair to them. I only want to see people treated fairly. There is no reason why the people raising them could not just go through the normal process instead of concealing the truth on the record and then trying to make up for that fact by telling the truth in private or not telling the truth at all sadly.

        • Lorraine Nowlin says:

          Marilyn, I purposely didn’t read your entire reply because it’s pointless to do so at this point. I firmly believe based on experience and observation that giving birth to a child with your own eggs or providing sperm means absolutely nothing and raising a child means absolutely everything. Sperm donors are not fathers and egg donors are not mothers. That is a view that I will be passing on to my two sperm donor conceived daughters that I birthed via my own eggs. It is how almost everyone around us feels. I feel it is the best and most accurate view that anyone can have.

          It’s no point to keep wasting your time with me about it. You feel it’s an injustice that donors aren’t viewed as parents, I feel it’s absurd TO FEEL that they are more than just donors. I’m not losing sleep over your views (neither will my children, LOL) and you and others that agree with you shouldn’t lose sleep because I don’t agree with you. Shall we get back to the topic of Generation Cryo?

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        We, the ‘donor conceived’ are no different than anyone else. We all come from 1 man (genetic father) and 1 woman (genetic mother) and all those mothers and fathers whose lives theirs traveled through. Everything else is purely social engineering (ie. ‘donor’).

        • oliviasview says:

          ‘We, the ‘donor conceived’ are no different than anyone else. We all come from 1 man (genetic father) and 1 woman (genetic mother) and all those mothers and fathers whose lives theirs traveled through’.
          Not disputed MPDIMF. What I dispute is that genetic connection is the same as being a parent. Marilynn appears to think that donors should assume parental responsibilities. You can see my response to that in my post made earlier today.

          • My parent's donor is my father says:

            Of course ‘donors’ ‘donate’ with the assumption of negating parental responsibilities. But their are a genetic parent, obviously not a social parent.

            • My parent's donor is my father says:

              “they are” not “their are”

              • My parent's donor is my father says:

                And of course, psychologically, socially and spiritually, culturally and legally there is enormous potential for problems not only for the intentionally disconnected offspring, but for the social, genetic parent(s), extended genetic/social families, our cultural ‘secular sacred’ bigger picture and of course for our legal systems which are fully unequipped to deal with all the complexities this practice brings with it.

          • Liz says:

            I wish, if commenters believe that donors should be recognized as legal parents, they would simply state their opinions in a straightforward manner, and connect the comment back to the post topic, which is Generation Cryo.

            It would be nice if a post about Generation Cryo could be about Generation Cryo. It would be interesting hear what people had to say about the various episodes.

            MTV US has several bonus clips, including the teenagers talking about donor conception, and the father’s reactions to finding out information about the donor. These clips may not yet be accessible in other countries, but sometimes the country-specific MTV website will allow access.

            In case it’s of interest, here’s the facebook page on Generation Cryo.

            #GenerationCryo and several of the kids (Jesse, Bree, Hilit, Jonah) are on twitter. They commented on the show as it aired in the USA.)
            If you have a lot of things about which you want to discuss — you might consider starting your own blog about donor conception. That would reduce the dislocation of post topic that is presently occurring here. And readers who want to chat about your topic, can head over to your blog.

            • marilynn says:

              I was commenting about the fact that people I talk to all the time whose fathers were gamete donors felt the show followed a script that normalizes systematic abandonment, making it seem as if being abandoned by a parent under contract is just another way for people to obtain a child to raise. Olivia wrote back that its possible not all offspring feel abandoned by parents who are donors. As far as I’ve been told the show highlights struggles that donor offspring have without ever discussing why it was OK to do that to them in the first place.

              Why is it OK that they are put in a position where their father’s names were not entered on their birth records? Why were their fathers not accountable for them the same as other people’s fathers? Clearly it results in a situation so unequal that it’s worthy of a television show to chronicle the search for their father and his family when ironically his name is written down in a file somewhere associated with the names of the women he impregnated. There need not be a search at all. They should just have his name written on their birth record the normal way and there should be no need for a TV show.
              Why is this group of people subjected to different rules?

      • My parent's donor is my father says:

        Lorraine, I think you are an SMBC, right? Forgive me if I’m wrong about that. But if so, I thought you might be interested in this new submission to Anonymous Us by a son of an SMBC (by ‘donor’):

        Turned out Ok, but..
        When I was a kid, me, my mom and my sis were one closely knit team. I loved my mom more than anything in the world. However, I felt amiss somehow. I felt that I couldn’t really gel with many other guys my age. Sure, I had my group of awesome guy friends but even among them, I felt that they were emotionally stronger and more mature than me. I remember being very attached to my group of guy friends and it is from them I learnt a lot of things. I got in a lot of trouble in school with them and my mom hated them but I really felt something when I was with them. Also, I remember being very close to my grandpa when I was younger but we became distant as we moved to another part of the country. As I grew up, seeing fathers playing with their kids made me very sad. I rarely talked about it with my mom and the few times we did, I brushed it off as not being really important. I don’t know why I did that as me and my mom talk about everything.

        Now, I’m 28 and looking back, I can say with some surety that having no father or real male role model affected me deeply. I personally think that it is a very brave step to take, being a single mother by choice but I just can’t understand why anyone would choose a closed identity donor. That is just cruel. I don’t blame my mom for choosing a closed identity donor as the times were different back then but I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t hurt. Not knowing who your father is, the man who is quite literally half of you, whether he is dead or alive, trying not to think of him during your teenage years because it wasted a lot of your time. Feeling angry at your mom yet not wanting to blame her. Looking back, I guess I had a huge identity crisis as a teenager. Reading the comments and stories on this site bring back memories of those teenage years.

        All that said, I turned out OK (or so I’d like to think). I’m a sensitive guy who loves his mother and has a loving wife. I also understand that a lot of guys and girls would not have given a second thought to all this but again, this is my experience.

        Date submitted: April 13, 2014

        • Lorraine Nowlin says:

          MPDIMF, I probably listened to all of the anonymous us podcasts. Followed blogs of donor conceived adults before becoming pregnant. My personal history as a child of divorce, child of a single mother for most of my life, and mother remarried, life is what we make it. We don’t always have the life we want but we live anyway. My girls might have a father, they might not. Either way, I am confident that they will turn out well in spite of what they don’t have.

          • marilynn says:

            I’m sure they’ll turn out well I actually have no doubt that you love them and provide them with what they need to grow healthy and strong. But your daughters should be treated by law the same as any other child deserving of care and support from both their bio parents regardless of their intentions to be or not be parents, no different than any other kid who has the right to their bio parents care and support whether they want to be parents or not is not an issue for any other minor. See when we have offspring our wants needs and desires are supposed to legally take a back seat to the needs of the dependent people we created. That is the basis for millions of paternity suits and support orders and visitation arrangements to men and women who never planned on being parents but they are and their kids have rights. Donor offspring don’t have the same rights as other people. That is not fair to them that their bio parents don’t have to play by the rules because it short changes them.
            Lorraine, you were short changed. You did just fine obviously but it’s not like your father did what you had every right to expect him to do. He failed you. That is sad. You did just fine that is great. There is respect though in the fact that the law was on your side even if nobody was ever able to make him step up and care for you. Donor offspring don’t have that respect, it’s like they don’t deserve to be cared for by both bio parents. Why? Why do we have laws that emulate a tragic circumstance where a parent abandons their kid and then not even give the kid the courtesy of being his kin, a right to inherit, a right to be the legal sibling of his other children, the little things they have no right to add up. It’s not fair to pretend like having an absent parent is just part of how they were conceived. It’s just a social arrangement where everyone agreed he could be absent. The kids are just kids, not conceived different or unequal in anyway. That’s all. I think your kids should have the same rights as other kids. They’ll turn out fine regardless, its just not fair they have to go with fewer rights is all.

            • marilynn says:

              There are mothers of donor offspring that come to realize their kids are short changed and take action to try and change the law. There are mom’s that realize there are things they did not think about or know about when they did it and they are doing positive stuff to try to change things.

              • Liz says:

                That’s great parents are doing all sorts of things that they think will help their kids.

                Some of the parents on this show connected through DSR because they thought it would help their kids. I think the second episode showed in the UK. Jesse’s family pulled out a picture book of a get together when he was in Jr. High school.

                If you’re in the USA you can stream the show over the internet for free on demand. You don’t need to purchase MTV or wait for it to show in the US. It’s not a long show and easy to watch at lunch. You have to watch a couple of commercials, but that’s it.


        • marilynn says:

          Right but be careful – it’s not just any male roll model the kid is missing its their own father and why the hell was he allowed to just opt out and not be there for his kid?

          • Liz says:

            The topic is Generation Cryo. Please focus.

            Comments should make an attempt to discuss the topic of the thread.

            • marilynn says:

              Just replying to another comment. Can’t the show be the impetus for conversation? Especially when donor offspring are commenting too?

              • Liz says:

                The show is really interesting. Why can’t this thread, which is about Generation Cryo, be reserved for talking about this show?

                These tangential threads are derailing the conversation, and not connecting back to the show in any way.

                If there was even a small attempt to connect it back to the show, it would keep the conversation marginally on-topic.

                I can think of several ways you could connect it to the show. For example, there is a single mother on the show with twins from Ojai, California. If you, or another commenter, wanted to discuss single mothers — why not discuss her family, and keep the thread on topic? You could speculate about all the issues you wished to discuss in relation to that family.

                Or, there is a young man who goes to lunch with Bree and Jesse who was raised by a single mother. That’s a second situation you could discuss.

                This would do three things: (1) It keeps the thread on topic, (2) It keeps the thread from getting unduly personal and (3) It allows you to talk about all the issues you would like to discuss.

  4. oliviasview says:

    Maybe the kids don’t have a sense of abandonment. Could that possibly be Marilynn?

    • marilynn says:

      Very very true Olivia. They may not have a sense of abandonment. That does not change the text in the consent forms and agreements their biological parents signed though – where they do in fact agree to give up any parental rights or obligations to their offspring if and when any are born. They promise to give up their rights and obligations prior to the birth of their children but they actually do it after their kids are born. Like any other contract where a promise is made contingent upon the occurrence of an event – the party making the promise will either meet the terms of their agreement at the time of that occurrence or they won’t. If I promise to pay back investors if and when a movie makes a profit, and the movie makes a profit, I either do what I promised or I’ll be in breach of the agreement. If I sell you a ticket for a show to be put on next month I’m selling you more than the paper ticket, you expect to have a seat to see the band. The terms of my agreement require me to do something down the road for payment now. So no they are not giving up their children when they hand over their eggs or their sperm, they promise to do that after they are born and then when they are born, they’ll either make good on the terms of the agreement by abandoning (not relinquishing in court) their parental obligations), or they won’t and they wind up in court as we’ve seen happen many times in what they call ‘known donor’ agreements. The anonymous donation agreements through intermediaries make it hard for gamete donors to breach their agreements to abandon. It’s really easy to abandon their children at birth as promised when they have no idea whose giving birth to them. It’s quite efficient.

      It’s baffling that people raising donor offspring suggest that donors don’t abandon their parental responsibilities when that’s exactly what they sign up to do and it’s no secret if they did not agree to do that nobody would want their sperm or eggs. Imagine being on the receiving end of someone telling you that you were not abandoned by your biological parent when you know full well they signed a contract stating they’d do exactly that. Baring any serious cognitive disabilities you’d know the score and then depending upon your personality type you’d either call the people raising you on their BS or you’d smile and say you agreed completely to humor them and then roll your eyes as you walked away. I’d never suggest that everyone in that position is deeply wounded by being given up by their bio parent. I’m suggesting that they know full well they have not been treated fairly or equitably because they have not been correctly identified, their medical records are falsified and as a result they are denied a host of rights and benefits and it sucks. Some may think that’s dandy. I have not personally spoken with anyone that enjoys the differential treatment but I have known several people who say they like it except for the anonymity part because to say otherwise would hurt the feelings of people raising them.

      Take’s all kinds though. I admit that Olivia. Treating all people equal at birth would not harm those donor offspring who are happy and don’t feel abandoned though right? Their non-bio relationships would be just as strong either way. Which is why I feel comfortable campaigning for equal treatment because it really harms nobody in the process and would be much fairer than the current situation.

      • oliviasview says:

        It’s your constant use of the word ‘abandon’that sticks in my gullet Marilynn. According to the Oxford English dictionary, to abandon means -Cease to support or look after (someone); desert:
        her natural mother had abandoned her at an early age

        This implies that there was a relationship that was deserted, left behind…abandoned. That the person left behind would feel the affects of this because of the broken relationship. I would assert that this is true in many cases where children are given up for adoption but is not true in donor conception. It is one of the differences between the two situations. In donor conception children are born into the family into which they are raised and there is no abandonment. Yes, the donor agreed not to make claims on the child he or she had helped to create in the full knowledge that other people would be taking on the parental responsibilities. That is not abandonment. That is the nature of donor conception. That is the legality of it too.
        As you know, I do not discount the value of genetic knowledge and connection. Donors should be identifiable and offspring have the opportunity at 18 or before to have information about and meet, if they choose to do so, the person who contributed to their creation. But that person does not have, and never did have parental responsibilities. I will continue to campaign and fight for identifiable donors in all countries, for parents to be open with their children and for DC offspring to be able to make the connections that are important to them, but I will never agree that donors have abandoned their parental responsibilities and I will not take part in further debates about this. If you persist in using abusive language about parents by donor conception (treating children like puppies or playthings etc.) I will have no option but to disallow or erase those posts.

        • My parent's donor is my father says:

          PS: I do actually feel abandoned by my father. I know several other DCP’s who feel this way as well – regardless of the Oxford’s dictionary definition. Once we are here, and he is not…it applies.

          • My parent's donor is my father says:

            BECAUSE this was done by intention.

            • gsmwc02 says:

              But is it the child that is abandoned or is it the sperm or egg? When the donation occurs there is no child not is there a guarantee of a child being conceived. It’s not as if a man produces his sample and leaves it on a door step and runs away the way you picture children who are abandoned.

              • marilynn says:

                If you read the contractual language they agree never to assume responsibility for their offspring once they are born – prior to birth its just a promise, after they are born it’s abandonment, not relinquishment. The contracts don’t discuss the giving up of eggs Greg they discuss the giving up of children. Why won’t anyone admit they would not take the egg or sperm if they did not sign to give up the kid?

              • marilynn says:

                Greg he signs a contract promising not to take care of his children when and if any are born – don’t you understand that? He’s only promising to abandon prior to their birth but when they are born if he keeps his promise then he has abandoned his kids.

                Bill Graham sells concert tickets. You get a piece of paper that says he promises to put on a show. You would not pay for that piece of paper if he did not promise to put on a show with the band you want to see right? Would you? No. Has he put on the show when you buy the ticket? No. When he puts on the show he puts on the show.

            • marilynn says:

              So is relinquishment but its done in court for the protection of the minor involved and its not done to serve anyone’s need for a child. Surrogacy is relinquishment done for the benefit of someone trying to buy a child and its deplorable

          • marilynn says:

            Yes! This is logic. And it would not look good to donor offspring to censure me or you.

        • marilynn says:

          How can you say they never had parental responsibilities if they have to sign them away?

          • Liz says:

            I wish comments would make at least a token gesture to connect back to Generation Cryo.

            Here’s an attempt to bring the conversation back to the show. How about a close read of the text? In your interpretation of the first episode:

            Does Bree feel abandoned and did she want the donor to raise her instead of her non-biological legal parent, Sherry? Did Bree not want Sherry to be recognized as her legal parent? Would she have preferred that her donor be recognized as her legal parent, rather then Sherry?

            Do the twins, Jonah and Hilit, see the donor as their father? Do they feel abandoned by him? Would they have preferred the donor to be recognized by law as their legal parent?

            Compare and contrast how Jonah and Hilit view the donor, versus Bree’s interpretation and approach. What do we make of this difference? What could account for it?

            • oliviasview says:

              Hurrah for the academically analytic mind of Liz. Great questions. Participants on this thread, please confine further comments to issues raised here (this means you will have to watch the programmes if you want to take part Marilynn). Responses not referring back to Generation Cryo will be deleted from now on.

            • gsmwc02 says:

              You can compare and contrast all of the siblings at the end of the show based upon their situations and how they were parented. All very different. There’s one parent in particular who is a non bio parent that is my favorite at the end of the show that I’ll reveal once Olivia has seen all of the episodes.

        • marilynn says:

          I don’t know that you are being fair to me here. I use the word abandon because a donor with offspring is a bio parent who did not relinquish their parental responsibilities in court; they never assumed their parental responsibilities which is legally considered abandonment by a court of law. When a bio parent never assumes their parental responsibilities the court considers it to be abandonment after they try unsuccessfully to identify the bio parent then they terminate the unknown estranged parents right because they abandoned their kid and then the court says OK the kid can be adopted. Now this turns out to not be very fair to parents who don’t know they have kids like men at war or whatever come back to find out they had kids given up for adoption or they have kids who have the husbands of their ex girlfriends named on their kids birth records. But in any event a parent who does not relinquish in court is considered to have abandoned their responsibilities. What donors do is agree that they will abandon their responsibilities when and if their offspring are born. It’s just a promise prior to the birth of their offspring. They have not actually done any abandoning at that point for anything other than their sperm. It’s just once their offspring are born if they keep their promise to be absent then they abandon their parental responsibilities (not relinquish them) which gives an opportunity for others like a spouse or a woman who gives birth to be named on the original birth certificate which is a short cut to the normal adoptive process. It’s faster and they have the option of not disclosing the adoptive nature of the relationship. This is the same way it would be done if the parents of a child to be born agreed never to be recorded as the parents. They have a home birth and then let the people who want to adopt simply write their names as parents who gave birth at home to conceal the identity of the bio parents and short cut the adoption process. This was done in hospital births as well but the doctors or nuns facilitated the adoptions. The adoptive parents agree not to identify the bio parents ever and then the bio parents agree not to come forward and assume their responsibilities for their kid. There is no relinquishment but there is abandonment of their bio child but the bio parents and adoptive parents agree before the kid is born and as long as everyone keeps their word it will look as if the child was the bio child of the adoptive parents. I can see where its tidy and faster than adoption, but it’s not a method of conception. The child still has bio parents but one or both are absent yet not recorded.

          I know it’s presented as not being abandonment, but the consent forms discuss their children and their parental rights at length and the fact that they don’t relinquish but rather never assume responsibility is abandonment and in many donor agreements its phrased specifically as an abandonment of parental responsibilities Oliva. Also in many donor forms they go further and say the donor will relinquish if the donor agreement to abandon is ever found illegal. The fact that they never assume responsibility for their offspring is abandonment and of course their offspring will view it that way because it’s written into their consent agreements that way. It may not bother them though. You are right about that. But it is not like adopted people are subject to feeling rejected where donor offspring are not. How could that possibly be when both have absent bio parents? I’m not trying to be abusive or disrespectful. Just plain and logical and consistent with their legal agreements.

  5. Liz says:

    “Bree lives in Reno, Nevada and in this first episode she visits Jonah and Hilit, DI conceived teenage children of heterosexual couple Eric and Terri, in Atlanta, Georgia”

    I streamed the show through internet a couple of months ago, so my memory might be a little spotty. I thought the initial meeting with Bree meeting Jonah and Hilit’s family was lovely. I especially liked the prayer at Shabbat dinner, and how Bree was wrapped into the family with the blessing — with her hand on the father’s head and the mother’s hand on her head.

    Here’s a picture of the blessing:

    • oliviasview says:

      You are right Liz. It was a really lovely moment. And thank you for bringing the conversation back to the blog topic.

    • gsmwc02 says:

      There were many powerful moments in the series. I’m holding back on commenting fully as I don’t want to ruin it for Olivia and others who are either in the process of seeing it or haven’t.

      You’ll see that the dynamics of these families are very different (single mom’s, same sex parents and infertile dad’s) and how each DC is so different. A lot of how they are IMO is influenced by their family dynamic and how each set of parents supports them.

  6. Liz says:

    I also have to be careful not to reveal spoilers!

    I was touched by the Shabbat dinner blessing of all the children. I was also struck by Bree’s reaction to Eric’s comments. His discussion of his feelings of failure in terms of classic definitions of manliness was something Bree had never thought about before because it wasn’t applicable in her situation. She cracked me up when she said “you know, because, lesbians.”

    “Although we see her two moms together in various shots, Bree tells us that they separated long ago and don’t really talk to each other. Bree often finds herself stuck in the middle. Her bio-mom is supportive of Bree looking for her donor, her non-bio mom clearly feels threatened by the biological link and the potential (she feels) for Bree’s affections to be transferred to this man.”

    I had slightly different read on this interaction. I thought Sherry (the non-bio Mom) was worried about Bree feeling rejected. In this first episode Bree is quite worried about how Sherry will feel. When Sherry makes her laugh, that breaks the tension Bree was holding in at that dinner, about Sherry’s reaction.

    Sherry used laughter to defuse Bree’s tension. “Well, if he tries to replace me, I would have to kill him” and that makes Bree laugh. Sherry used humour to reveal the “big fear” — that she could be replaced. The joke also shows that Sherry does not feel that she could be replaced. Sherry clearly named the fear, and laughs at the possibility. The laughter defuses the fear Bree holds about upsetting her mom.

    In future episodes you’ll see more of Bree and Sherry’s relationship. I was impressed by Sherry’s talent at providing an emotional space that allowed Bree to feel safe, express her feelings, and peruse information about her siblings and the donor.

    Later in the season you’ll learn more about the breakup between the moms — when Bree was about 3 years old. (I think this information will be in a future episode. I can’t remember if Bree talks about the relationship breakup in an episode or in an extra clip on-line.) Anyways, it’s a very interesting show!

    • Lorraine Nowlin says:

      Bree’s nonbio mom didn’t strike me as feeling threatened, just concerned. At least I don’t recall an instance where she felt threatened.

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