My parents have never kept it a secret that I am a donor conceived child. As a kid, I used to read a book about myself. It was designed as a bedtime story and a children’s book that told the story of how I came to be. My parents read the book aloud as far back as I can remember and it was one of my usual nighttime stories.
In the book, my parents described the nice man who helped my parents have me. That way, he has never been secretive but part of a positive story of being a very wanted child.
hat the book, was read aloud over and over again, has meant that it was a gradual process of understanding what being donor conceived meant. The older I got, the more nuances were understood, and more questions asked. Therefore, there has never been a time were I was sat down and told about my conception. It has always been a natural part of our family and everyday life for as long as I can remember. I have been incredibly happy about the choices my parents made, and it has had a great impact on my perception of being a donor child. To me the most important things and the advise I always give is therefore; that Honesty & Love is Key
Of course I have thought about whether I might look like my donor. That, I think, everyone has. That being said, I have never needed to know more about him. There has been a curiosity, but not a need. At the time my parents chose to use a sperm donor, there was no possibility to choose – Only anonymous donors were an option. I have not yet been interested in finding him, or finding out if I have donor related half-siblings. I was quite old when I first gave it a thought that it was actually an option. My two younger sisters are both my parents’ biological children do to ICSI, but they are my family and I have not needed for more than what i already have.
I am sometimes asked if I do not want to know his motive for donating. But this is not at all important to me, it is however important to me that he knows that I am grateful. That he is in no doubt about my eternal gratitude that he signed up to become a donor and I hope he knows how much it has meant to me and my family. I think of him with happiness, and in that sense he has a place in my life.
I speak very openly about my conception. Both because I think it makes things easier, but also because I have experienced a need from others. Often people do not understand what it means to be a “donor child”. As a child, I experienced that other children did not understand – especially I look like the rest of the family, which means that from outside you wouldn’t be able to tell . Also I had a mother and a father – just like everyone else. Even though it was something I told people it has never been something I was teased about. However, I have found that people did not believe me, probably because I did not find it very problematic as they would have expected.
I remember 1.grade we had to draw up a family tree and explain about our family. By then, I had already known the story of how I came to be, for many years, so I shared this with my teacher. I told her that it was not very easy for me to draw my family tree, because I did not know my donor and his family. My teacher then thought it was making up stories and called home to my parents to tell them that I was lying. They then told her that I was actually right.
These days there are many different family constellations, and I has become more and more normal with diversity. This changes is for the better and think that it will provide a better understanding and inclusiveness towards the many different ways to be a family today.
I am not sad about my donor conception and I am grateful towards my donor – this is what I share with the world. My experience. However, exposing your story also has consequences, and although the vast majority have a positive response, I also sometimes get a vicious comment along the way. Some think it’s a shame for me to be donor conceived, while others are very prejudiced. The comments that has affected me the most, are negative comments from other donor conceived, who think it wrong of me to share my positive story. This due to the fact that they have a completely different experience of donor conception. They feel like my narrative speak against the change in legislation or general understanding they want to advocate. I am sorry about their frustration, but at the same time believe it very important that both perspectives are available.
There is an incredible number of difficult decisions associated with the wish for a child. Especially when a donor is needed. Because of this, I started this blog; Donorchild by Emma Grønbæk.
Here I write about my experiences as a donor conceived child, thoughts and comments, all with the purpose of sharing my knowledge and experiences. It is my hope that this can contribute to a greater knowledge in general and not least to contribute with a small amount of peace and support to people struggling with fertility and donor conception.