I belong to a couple of Facebook groups that welcome donor conceived adults, donors, parents and intending parents to post. Conversation on these boards can be bracing and challenging at times but recently there have come along some young DC adults who have found ways of saying exactly how they feel without alienating others and it’s like a breath of fresh air. Interestingly two of the most prominent posters are young women from Australia, a country that has a tradition of speaking plainly. Could it be that these young women have somehow caught the confidence of a country that has, at least in the State of Victoria, the most progressive legislation in the world, giving full rights to DC adults and providing support to all parties to donor conception?
Chloe, one of the women mentioned above, is a young DC adult with a difficult background. She struggled with mental health issues as a teenager and has only found peace now she has discovered her donor via a search company. Chloe puts her plea to parents and others to think about the language they use, in moderate tones. Read below and then watch her wonderful video.
- ‘Be grateful you are alive.’
It is unfair to make this comment because as many have said before, a human being not created cannot suffer-plus you do not go around telling people created through one night stands,rape or adoption, to be grateful, so please, it may be nice to refrain from using this.
2. ‘He is not your biological father, he is just your donor’
For me this is minimising the donors role to provide us with half of our DNA. Technically my donor is my biological father, and it’s important (especially for children) to understand correct and factual terminology.
3. ‘ I understand wanting a medical history, but any more than that, I just don’t get it’.
This comment lacks empathy for many DCA’s who want to seek out their donors. It is a natural response to want to know where you come from. If someone wants to search for their adoptive parents people seem very understanding, it is hurtful that people dont give us that same understanding and feel that we are ungrateful or selfish. This is already an isolating and lonely experience for some, it makes it worse to know so many people are openly against your decision to seek your origins.
4. ‘But you were created through love, and very wanted!‘
I think this one hurts me the most. This is a blatant assumption and does not consider the fact that many of us did not feel loved or wanted-just because you may want your child to feel this way, it doesnt mean dc adults have had that experience.
I would add to this last one by saying that even where a child has been genuinely wanted, loved and cared for, being put in a position where they are supposed to feel grateful for their existence because of being loved , shuts down the potential for that person to have their own feelings about their creation.
The next post from an older woman explains how it is perfectly possible to be living a full, happy life and still disagree with the way she was conceived. It is one of the most articulate pleas for early telling and the ending of anonymity I have come across.
I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and a DCA. I had a happy childhood, my parents love(d) me. I am a happy content person and have a good family that I love. I struggled for a while as a young adult but eventually became comfortable and confident with myself. I did not know I was DC until the age of 35 (over a year ago). While my parents could and should have told us long ago, since this has come to light, they have dealt with this in the most positive way possible.
I understand that my parents deeply desired to have children (tried for 10 years) and if they would not have used donor sperm they would not have conceived my brother or me. While I don’t agree with it, I am not angry or resentful of their choice and I do not fault them for it, it is an excruciating and horrible place to be in. I am not depressed or wish that I don’t exist.
I am at odds with my conception, and lack of genetic history and connection to my paternal side. I have very little connection with the people that share 50% of my DNA. This is and will always be a sense of loss for me, I deeply desire to be connected to the people that share my DNA.
You can be at odds with your conception and still love that you are alive. They are not mutually exclusive.
I’ve seen quite a few posts commenting on how angry DCPs are, while I know I don’t speak for everyone I do know that most of us are not angry, but we are passionate about a subject that is very personal to us. I don’t deny that sometimes that passion (especially in written form) can come across as harsh to some, especially those who are already in a vulnerable state.
Please don’t dismiss us as angry and broken, we are not. We are only trying to help others see that there are far reaching consequences to these choices, consequences that most people would not ever consider.
I cannot say strongly enough how important it is for parents, and particularly intending parents, to listen to people like these courageous women.