From time to time I have been asked about my thoughts on having a family my own. Asked if I’ve thought about it, in the context of being donor conceived. And of course, this is something I’ve been thinking about from time to time. In this post I will share some of my thoughts.
My mother is a clinical geneticist. This means that she knows a great deal about heretage and diseases. I have often talked to her about her work and I know that it is not always an advantage to know too much about your genetics. It can cause both grief and worry, which in some cases were unnecessary.
As a donor child, I only know about 50% of my biology. However, the remaining 50% have been tested for more diseases than most of the rest of population. I think it statistically gives me slightly better odds.
You can get tests to map your genome and thereby get more information. I don’t want to know more about my genetics at the moment, especially not before I potentilly have children. I am convinced that it would cause an incredible amount of scruples and concerns. As things are now, I don’t really worry much about my biology, and that’s how I could like to keep it.
However, I also think about whether children could potentially change my thoughts and feelings about my donor. That this big event of life and change could give me other needs.
Could I thus have a longing to know more?
Would I want to see if the kids could have special features both of mind and appearance that were similar to donors?
At this time, I cannot argue why this should happen. After all, I’ve always known that he was there and that I might share similarities with him. But I only think of it as something exciting and a little bit special in the good way. This is exactly what makes me to be me – and im thankful for that.
Of course, I would hope that I can continue to be satisfied and have this view of on my anonymous donor. Nor can I at the time see why it should change if I had children myself. However, the thought has struck me!
In that case, my whole approach to being donor conceived might change.
… A donor child’s thoughts on starting a family …
See also the Child’s book where it is possible to make a book yourself as the reminder parents made for your own child – Click here
Recently i was invited to be Guest Author with Dr Larisa. I wrote I bit about my experience as donor conceived. The post is called; “How I felt growing up as a donor child”.
The webside has informations on everything regarding fertility, health and pregnancy and is definitely worth a read.
Cryos symposium interview – Watch it now
It has been some time since I have posted now. This is due to my time being spend on a lot of different projects. Projects which I am very excited to reveal, and hopefully soon!
Why is it important?
I have asked myself on this matter a few times. Why is it important for me to spread my knowledge and put focus on donor conceived children?
This is my first blog post, where I share negative emotions associated with being a donor child. The post is about how I have sometimes felt lonely.
I was the world’s most wanted child. My parents struggled for 6 years to have me, and I was a little miracle. The last egg, which had been frozen several months and just had to be “cleaned up”, as my mother says. They had lost hope and were almost through approval for adoption. But then I came along. Therefore, I received special attention and affection from my parents when i was a baby.
Then after 22 months the twins came into the world. Not only they were there two of them, but they are also my father’s biological children. This was due to the, at that time, new ICSI method.
I was very jealous that i now had to share the attention!
My parents have never treated us different. To both of them, we are all equally their children. We were very old before the idea that we were half siblings, struck us for the first time. Probably because it never felt like anything other than family.
Do you disagree or not? In this blogpost, I would like to bring attention to making room for different attitudes and perspectives with respect for each other. I think it’s important that you can express yourself and your opinions. That people then disagree and argue something else is, of course, totally acceptable.
Since I started to share my story i have experienced a lot of really positive feedback. It means an awful lot when people write me and share their thoughts and concerns. Please continue!
However, there are also many who disagree with some of the things I think and argue. It is again fully understandable and perfectly fine that they have another opinion.
My problem is when people think it is wrong that I am happy to be a donor child of an anonymous sperm donor. Trying to convince me that it’s wrong to feel that way. And that there are many who do not feel like me and therefore i should not go out and tell that i am satisfied with my situation.
In the video you get a little insight on my experience of life as a donor child.
I also give my advice to present or future parents of donor conceived children.
A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks and therefore i haven’t had the time to write this outline before now!
On 3. of May I attended The Cryos Symposium 2019.
This was the first time I had to speak to a big crowd like that. That it was also in English and something very personal did not make it less nerve-wracking..
But what an amazing experience! After the first minute or so the nerves disappeared and I could just tell my story.
I was given the opportunity to talk to a lot of incredible people. People who have worked in the fertility industry for many years, but who rarely see the outcome of their work as adults.
It led to a lot of exciting talk and acquaintances.
A few days before the symposium, I was contacted by a danish journalist who wanted to know what I was going to talk about at the symposium.
On Friday, BT published the article about me being a donor child.
The entire article can be read – HERE
Unfortunately it is in danish, sorry.
I also wrote a post for the Cryos blog – Read it Here!
In light of the tragic events the recent days, I remind myself to be thankful for me and my family.
Family is something that has always been there. You can easily forget to appreciate it until you lose it or can’t start one yourself.
Is blood in fact thicker than water?
I am interested in the concept of family. What is a family and who is part of it? What does it take to call it a family and does biology define a family?
Today there are traditional nuclear families, solo mothers, 2 moms or dads, rainbow families, families where children are adopted, families with foster children and many more..
The list is long, but how is a family defined today?
A quick Google search provided the following
A family is a group of individuals who are mainly united through kinship – both biologically and through marriage.
For example, from a social anthropological point of view, the family has both biological and social functions:
-reproduction, the production of survivors and the continuation of the genus.
-Socialization, the family gives the children the basic Education and lecturing them on the norms of society.
In many ways, I think it is a very old-fashioned family view. Today i couldn’t say that the consisting of biology and kinship was what made family.
In fact, the word family comes from Latin and means household, which includes all those living under the same roof. Perhaps we should go back to this definiton. To me it sounds more realistic.
What makes a family in your opinion?
To me, family is more emotions than biology. I may not share biology with everyone in my family, but in my heart they are 110% my family. Biology plays no part her and I love them very much. I do not tell them often enough, but today I will remember to do so!
Do you remember telling your family that you love them? It is so important both to yourself and them. You never know what tomorrow brings and it can never be said too much.
Love From me – Emma
Also read the paper The Blank Spots where I write about genetics and to look like his family-click here
There is a lot of debate whether it should still be possible to make use of anonymous sperm donors in Denmark. In this post, I will share my thoughts and experiences. I am a child of an anonymous sperm donor, as there were no other options when i was conceived.
Anonymous = Bad
The general perception of the population is that anonymously equals something bad. We would like to know as much as possible about everything, and to many it is unthinkable choose not to know.
Statistics shows that couples consisting of a man and a woman are more likely to choose an anonymous sperm donor. Whereas solo mothers and lesbian couples are more inclined to choose open donors.
In a couple consisting of a man and a woman, I understand the choice of an anonymous donor. Especially from the man’s perspective. It is a big compromise when you give up your own biology to have a child. Possibly sharing the title as dad at the same time is perhaps too much.
The point of view
The most used argument against anonymous donors is, that it is not in the children best interest. Some believe that it is a human right to know your biological origins and to have the opportunity to contact them. I do know that this is a need for some donor conceived children. Nothing bad about this.
But why take away the possibility af anonymity fore those who do not?
I dont have the the same need. I think it is a big relief that he is and was anonymous. This meant fewer considurations about if i wanted to know and meet him or not. A lot more questions would have had to be dealt with, had he been open.
If you choose to use an open donor, it is very important to ensure that the child has realistic expectations. And also to be there for them if they get disappointed. That is my biggest fear.
The Argument that the child can choose themselve with an open donor is good, I agree. But I find it easy to forget how many thoughts and concerns it kan cause the next 18 years.
Honesty is more important than biology
My position is; Why change something that works? The results hasn’t been great in the countries that removed the possibility of anonymous donations.
Also I don’t think this is the most effective way improve the wellbeing of donor conceived children. If this is the aim I think honesty and openness is way more important. This i wrote about in the post; Tell your child. I find it more important to make sure that the child is not surprised by the news of their genesis. In that case, I think fewer would feel the need to know about their donor.
Then there is the question if anonymity is at all an opportunity with the development of DNA testing. Should We instead focus on taking better care of our donors?
Please tell me your thoughts and opinions in the comment below!
Read about my relationship to my donor –Click here
I have chosen to write this post about what I call the blank spots. The blank spots are for me the things that I can’t answer or know anything about, because of my status as a donor child. These are small things that has played a part in my life. The blank spots are situations I my life that i think only happens to donor children.
Who do I really look like?
It is no secret that I was very concerned about these thoughts when I was younger. I think everyone remembers that they have been compared with their parents. People have commented on who you look like and who you certainly don’t look like.
Naturally, this mean a lot to me.
A phrase like “God you look like your mother” also made me think about how my donor looked. What traits I had clearly from him and which were just mine.
Who looks like who is often smalltalk, but can have great significance. I know it meant something for me. I spent a lot of time thinking about how my donor looked. Whether I had his nose or eye color or height?
For me it was a wonder, not grief. We as a family has always talked openly about these things, so I just felt that I was a little cool with my mysterious traits.
Genetics – What do I have with me?
Genetic is one of the places where I think the donor can cause many unanswered questions. For a period I have worked in a genetic department, and I have always had both knowledge and interest in genetics in general.
As a donor child I have 50% genetics which is unknown.
We got very much aware of this Just a few years ago. Here we found out that I was lactose intolerant. It is an inheritance you must have from both the mother and father to become lactose intolerant.
And just as far as these hereditary qualities are concerned, I have been confronted on several occasions with the lack of knowledge of the donors genetics.
At the doctors I’m often asked for diseases of family in different occasions. Again here the blank spots made me unavailable to give the full answer.
But is it so bad?
I could not find any other than these 2 points in my life where I really felt that I was a donor child meant that I lacked answers. Therefore, I can only conclude that it hasn’t been a major loss for me so far.
Who knows maybe it can change it. But right now I live in happy ignorance and find myself well with it in my life right now.
I am very happy to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please write in the comment box below the post!