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!
I have spoken several times in my speeches about my donor as “a nice man” and I will now explain. I don’t know if it’s something you’ve noticed at all, or have been wondering.
In any case, it is quite deliberately, as it is exactly how I think of him.
When I had just been born, my parents made a children’s book for me. It was a book that was about their struggle to get ME. A book explaining why and how I had come to the world in this way. It was a happy book that we often read as bedtime story throughout my childhood, and in this particular book was the first time I heard about “him” my donor.
The book says, “a man whom Mom and Dad do not know would gladly help, and he gave sperm enough to come on Mother’s eggs. And soon Mom was pregnant. “
This small phrase should prove to be of great importance. For me he has always been the kind man who helped us when we really needed help.
And Now there is probably someone who sits and thinks “Well He has got money for it! It’s not unselfish at all. He probably did it just for the money “To yo
u I will say; Yes, but what does it change? I
think it is wonderful and very appropriate that he has been compensated for the time he spent on donor his semen.
It is not something that just takes 2 minutes, there is a long process of approvals and screening.
To give something as precious as his own semen, to a stranger couple whose greatest desire was to have a child. It is in my eyes charity.
For me He has done us a giant service, and one I will be eternally grateful for. I will never be able to repay this generosity he has shown, for I do not want to meet him. I hope in my quiet mind that he can feel my gratitude and that the world is smiling at him on his way.
So to all you sperm donors, anonymous as open, it’s a huge gift in the donor and in deserves THANKS! Whatever The motivation was, it is a selflect act and an expression of great charity.
Well but back to my children’s book I would say that I think just that this one little phrase has made that this is what I think and feel about my donor. I thi
nk the rhetoric around the donor can have a huge impact on the child relationship with him in the future. I am in any case convinced that my gratitude is reflected in the positive rhetoric that has always been about him in my family.
I hope more donor children have and in the future will get it like me. I hope the post does not enter any of the toes-it will never be my intention. I just share my thoughts and experiences in the hope that they can be of benefit to others.
Several have written to me about there their own children and worries for when they have to start school. They think a lot about how it will affect their children that they are donor children. They worry despite knowing they have done everything possible to prepare the child in the best way.
This is why I want to tell you something about my school years.
First of all, I want to tell all the worrying parents that i have never been teased about being a donor conceived child. In fact, it has meant incredibly little to the other children. Despite the fact that it meant a lot to me in these years. It meant something in this period, as a lot is going on with children’s consciousness and understanding in the school years.
I want to tell you about my first experience of being donor child and a little bit different.
Family tree of a donor child
When I was about 2 grade we had to draw a family tree. My mother knows a lot about genetics and family trees, witch meant that it was something I had heard about at home. I knew that mine was different and difficult to draw, because “The nice man” (This is what we named the donor) was in the picture too.
As the proud little girl i was, told my teacher and the rest of the class about my complicated family tree. My mother has told me that I have always felt it was my duty to enlighten people that I was a donor child. And also what it would mean to be a donor child. I suppose you can say that continue doing that with this blog.
But my teacher was not so excited about my story. She called my parents to tell them that I was making up stories in school. She thought i was just trying to get attention. My parents explained her that it was i fact the truth. That I actually had another biological father that we didn’t know and that i was something we talked a lot about at home.
It was, of course a different time and people knew less about donor children than they do today. I think this was the case with my teacher. I think she was very surprised at how much I knew. But also that I was proud to be a donor child and that i went around telling openly about it, even as a little girl.
The other children in the class
For the other children in the class, it meant absolutely nothing. I don’t think they even understood what I was talking about. What it meant that my parents had to get help fro another man to produce me? In their eyes was a child just like them and no different.
They certainly didn’t mention anything, but I still felt special in the good way.
It was more likely an unpleasant experience for my teacher than it was for me. I don’t think that it was something I thought about afterwards. But she had learned something new and I had enlightened her or at least that was how i felt.
A common feature of donor children who know about donor conception from childhood is, that they a greater knowledge about family relationships and parentage than ordinary children. This is because it is something families of donor children have to talk about at home to understand how things work.
Therefore, it is also an advantage that the adults who work with these child on a daily basis, know just a little bit about their background. This would be to understand these children better.
I think both me and my teacher could have benefited from that.
I hope this little tale can bring a bit of calm to some parents out there!
Briefly about me
As an introduction to this blog, I would like to tell you a little about myself. My name is Emma, I’m 22 years old. I was born and raised in Aarhus with my mom and dad, and two younger sisters who are twins. I’m currently studying to becoming a nurse, and I’m halfway done. And oh, by the way, I’m a donor child. It is something that I’ve always known. My parents told me openly about it ever since I little. My mom says that I’ve always had the right to know. Maybe she’s right. In any case, this is exactly what I want to tell you in this blog.
Why do I make this blog?
It began about a year ago when a friend of mine asked me about my experience of being a donor child. She and her girlfriend planned to use of a sperm donor, but they felt they were faced with so many unanswered questions.
That started a lot of thoughts in my head. That maybe others could benefit from hearing from a donor child. And hearing what it has meant in my life. Therefore, I have chosen to tell about my upbringing and how it has affected me throughout my young adult life.
In general, I think that in our society, there is a lack of knowledge and positive stories about donor children. The media produced a one-sided picture of what sperm donations in fertility treatment mean. But perhaps it’s not all that black and white.
I don’t tell my story as “the right one”. I’m just another perspective into how it is to be a donor child.
What am I working on?
I am currently writing a book, about my experiences and knowledges as a donor child, in collaboration with Anne who is a journalist. In the book, we have invited experts from different fields to participate. The book will therefore be a mixture of my personal experiences and stories, but also good advice from researches, doctors and psychologists. I hope my book can help future parents who needs assistance from a donor, but also to help donor children and donors. I would like to share a more positive view on the life of a donor child, and I’m ready to share own experiences.
In this occasion, I have been asked to speak at the Cryos Symposium in May. At the Symposium there will be people attending from all over Europe. They all have something to do with the fertility industry. I have to give a presentation on who I am, what we have done in my family and what it has meant to me that my donor was anonymous. Other than that, I’m going to sit in a discussion panel with some of the other participants at the symposium.
Both projects are both incredibly exciting but also very nerve wrecking. I just hope that I can make a difference.
That a brief telling about who I am and why I’m doing this blog. I sincerely hope that you will find it interesting and keep reading in the future.
Hugs Emma Grønbæk
I am completely overwhelmed by all the positive response I have received the past few days! You guys have been incredibly positive about my blog. You’ve actually been much better than expected. I was expecting more criticism because of the very sensitive subject I am writing about. But I have been greeted only by joy, interest and gratitude.
I have received messages and comments from both parents and donor children. Primarily from people in Denmark but also other countries like Norway and Poland. My impression is that it is nice to get an insight into my thoughts and gain a more positive perspective on life as a donor child.
I just want to say a thousand thanks for your support, and the way you have welcomed my blog.
It makes so much sense to share with you guys. I have been wondering if it had any interest to blog about this subject and if people would benefit from it. I’ve been confirmed.
I have been asked to write about my life in primary school, as some of the parents who commentet, have donor children of their own who are close to school age. I will write about when and what part of my life in the school years it made a difference to me. The post will be up in the near future.
To all of you who have experiences, thoughts or generally have questions about being a donor child. You are more than welcome to write to me, either on Facebook, in a comment or on my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I promise to answer and possibly make a new post about this if i think others can benefit from it as well.
In conclusion, I would like to say thank you again and have a nice evening to everyone out there. I am delighted that people will help spread the happier storys of donor children.
My parents were young when began trying to have children. I took 6 years of fertility treatment, until they finally were expecting a child. It happened with help from a sperm donor. The Doctor who helped them become pregnant, then advised them not to tell the truth about my way into life. That was the advice given to the parents of donor children back in the ‘ 90s. Fortunately we’ve become wiser over time and this it not advised today. And to my luck it was an advise my parents had no intention of following.
My parents were afraid that I would turn my back on them one day if i suddenly found out that my father, in a biological sense, was not my real father. Throughout the whole process, they had been honest with family and friends that they were struggling to have children. And now what would you tell them? The truth and hope that no one would ever talk about it. Or lie to all of them?
My parents saw only disadvantages and greater losses by keeping it secret. It meant that I grew up with the story of a nice man whom we do not know that helped us become a family.
We talked about it as far back as I can remember. I was told early in life how sperm from men would travel to the egg from the woman in order for it to become a child. My parents explained to me that another man had helped us by giving his sperm you put on my mothers egg. I have always thought of him as someone pleasant and unselfish who me and my family.
Honesty is key
I am so so happy that my parents were honest and told the truth from when I was quite small. It never became a shock to me, and my parents spared the torment such a secret can cause to a person and their family.
Many parents wait for the child to become older so that they better will understand every aspect of being a donor conceived child. Some are waiting for the right time, but when is the right time?
I say save yourselves for the torment and tell it from the beginning of the child’s life. Then they gradually understand more and more and it will never become at surprise or shock.
I was a happy little girl, with an unnatural great interest in fertilization. As 5 years old, I drew this drawing, which is now my logo.
I have to admit that I think it’s hard what and what not to write. But I’ve decided to write a little about taboo.
I’ve recently seen Rune Klans comedy show childless.
Even though it is comedy he brings up for a lot of the taboos associated with infertility and fertility treatment.
His focus is particularly on the taboos of men and reduced sperm quality, as is his experience.
Throughout the show he has a very teaching approach and you get a lot of knowledge about sperm, sperm quality and fertility treatment.
The show is defiantly worth watching and is very entertaining with funny jokes and magic, but not least incredibly touching and instructive.
After I came to think of the taboos I have experienced. I think there is a great deal of taboo connected to donor children. And I generally think there is an negative rhetoric and media coverage of the subject of donor children. I think this is unfortunate for all of the donor children around the world, including myself. Also it is incredibly unnecessary.
But why is it like this?
First of all, for many years there has been great secrets associated with donor children. Especially in familys were they have waited to tell the child the truth. Friends and family may have known and have been afraid to reveal the great secret. All this secretiveness has infected the therm donor child.
I have often experienced that people went completely silent and became very uncomfortable when I told them that I was a donor child. They knew neither what to say or do. People don’t know if they should think it’s a pity for me or whether it’s okay or what it is.
Which leads me to 2. reason, namely ignorance.
I often meet great ignorance about what it means to be a donor child, why it was necessary and how it is possible. If you have not had to get acquainted with the fertility industry or have a donor child in your life, the general knowledge is incredibly small. This i think, is again due to the secrecy. But I believe that it is also due to the media coverage.
In general, I am incredibly upset by and tired of the media coverage regarding donor children. The media always look for the story. This means that the children who have lived a normal life without a whole lot of deprivation are not an exciting story. But the troubled ones are.
This media coverage reflects in the opinions and attitudes of the general public. This is a big problem. These opinions are formed on a false basis when the media only show the donor children who are feeling betrayed.
I recently volunteered to participate in a danish TV show. After a little correspondence back and forth, they could not use me anyway. This was because my story was simply too positive and not the perspective they wanted to make upon donor conceived children.
I personally have never had a need to contact or know more about my donor or potential half-siblings. I have my own family. This was not what they wanted to hear.
I have now seen the show, where a girl represents donor children. I think it’s really good that she gets to tell about her perception of being a donor child. But yet again she fells like she misses him in her life ad have a strong wish to meet her donor.
I this one sided journalism provides the world with the wrong impression. I think it gives a misleading impression of the needs of donor children. We do not all have the same need to know the donor. Not every donor conceived child is sad about this fact.
I wish fore a change in the future. I wish that journalist well recognize their responsibility to varied journalism so we do now leave the world with constructed truths. I wish this for the future donor conceived children.
If you have any experiences, comments or opinions you would like to share, please enter the comments below the post 🙂
Rune Klan childless can be found on Tv2 Play: Https://play.tv2.dk/programmer/comedy/serier/rune-klan—barnloes/komik-og-Tryl-i-world class-part-2-167726/