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donor eggs

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#1 sophia_cop

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 10:20 PM

For those of you who have used or are planning to use donor eggs, do you plan on being honest with your child about how they were conceived?

 

This has been the biggest internal struggle I've been having about the thought of using donor eggs. While part of me would want to keep this a secret from my family, friends, and child and just pretend it I was able to magically conceive on my own, another part me feels obligated to disclose this information to my child at some point in his/her life. 

 

I worry about how I would be able to handle keeping such a thing a secret for our entire lives. I worry about how my child would react if they were to find out on their own if I kept it a secret (e.g. I've read an article about people finding out the truth of their parentage only after submitting their DNA for ancestry testing online).

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 

Is anyone willing to share their own thoughts about this, whether you have personal experience or not? I'm sorry if this is a controversial & sensitive topic. I'm genuinely interested in hearing what other people think. Since I feel so conflicted..


  • CdnHockeyGal, Baby girl and SunshineTTC like this

Me-37 (DOR), DH-33 (no issues)
Low AMH, normal FSH
Blocked tubes
Stenotic Cervix

High NK cell activity (diagnosed Apr. 2018)

June 2016 IUI #1- BFN
Aug 2016 IUI #2- BFN

Dec 2016 IVF#1: 4 eggs retrieved, 3 fertilized, 1 made to day 5 AB blastocyst-FET=BFN

July 2017 IVF #2: 3 eggs retrieved, 2 fertilized, both made to day 5 (AB, BC) blastocyst- FET=BFN

Jan 2018 IVF #3 (new RE): 6 eggs retrieved, 3 mature, 1 fertilized, day 3 fresh transfer (5-cell, grade 2)=BFN

Mar 2018 IVF #4 (new RE): 10 eggs retrieved, 9 mature, 8 fertilized, 4 made to day 5 & biopsied for PGS **awaiting results**

May 2018: IVF #5: 2nd IVF planned for embryo banking

 


#2 Tess

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 01:33 AM

For those of you who have used or are planning to use donor eggs, do you plan on being honest with your child about how they were conceived?

 

This has been the biggest internal struggle I've been having about the thought of using donor eggs. While part of me would want to keep this a secret from my family, friends, and child and just pretend it I was able to magically conceive on my own, another part me feels obligated to disclose this information to my child at some point in his/her life. 

 

I worry about how I would be able to handle keeping such a thing a secret for our entire lives. I worry about how my child would react if they were to find out on their own if I kept it a secret (e.g. I've read an article about people finding out the truth of their parentage only after submitting their DNA for ancestry testing online).

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 

Is anyone willing to share their own thoughts about this, whether you have personal experience or not? I'm sorry if this is a controversial & sensitive topic. I'm genuinely interested in hearing what other people think. Since I feel so conflicted..

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 
We used anonymous eggs, so there's no way my child will be able to know.  I'm sure my child will feel close to me, and I'm sure yours will also feel close to you.  I mean, she/he will be your baby and your child.  This becomes obvious after birth when your baby/toddler won't let you go to the bathroom alone without crying.  There's no reason your child wouldn't feel close to you unless you didn't feel close to him/her for some other reason.  

 

We're going to tell our child, and we plan to start when very young.  We don't plan for it to be a big deal.  Just "Mommy and Daddy wanted a baby so badly, and a nice lady gave them a seed, and from that seed we grew you!"  

 

I did a lot of research on this, including reading some peer reviewed articles from a woman doing research at Cambridge.  My conclusion is that the kids follow the lead of the parents.  If the parents treat it like not-a-big deal, the kids see it that way.  For donor eggs, especially, the kids feel like their mom is their mom. 

 

You will be the biological mother, just not genetic progenitor.  The kids know that.  Kids understand the idea of birth and a baby growing in mommy's tummy very young.  Your kid will "get" that he/she grew in you and you're the mom.  It takes longer to fully understand genetics.  For me, I figure if they know from a young age, then there's no identity shock.  What tends to bother people is when they feel like their parents lied to them.   

 

Warning:  There are a group of people on the internet who write very dire stories about how they've been injured by donor conception.  Many of them originated out of a group that worked against the legalization of gay marriage.  There's an agenda there, and if you give me the name of the author of the article, I can probably tell you something about the author.  (It's a small group.)  Many of the adults writing this stuff had something happen to them as kids, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

yeah, and there's this weird thing going on with some of these people.  they're against anonymous donor sperm, so they're trying to make it seem like it's "easy" to find matches on the internet.  I've seen it also with Wendy Kramer, of donor sibling registry.  (Kramer has her own issues, btw.)  DNA matching is not as easy as they're making it out to be.   Even in Kramer's group, a small minority of members has been able to find sibling matches, and that's for sperm (not eggs.) . Sperm donors tend to give to a LOT more people -- like 20-30 kids being born is not uncommon.  That does not happen with donor eggs for obvious reasons.

 

ANyways, I'm rambling.  PM me if you want to chat more about it.  Just don't let those nutty people on the internet get to you.  it's easier to make this into a bigger issue then it is.   I can refer you to people in articles who are casual about it and just like, yeah my mom's my mom.  

 

Or Zach Wahls, who has given interviews on Reddit where he has said he's not interested in finding out more info about his genetic paternal line.  He was raised by two mothers.  

 

Zach: 


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#3 writegal416

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 04:14 PM

We're using donated embryos plus a surrogate and we will be honest with our child/children.  We're also signing up for our clinic's sibling registry so they'd get a chance to know their sibling(s).  My parents, my DH's parents, his sister and some of my cousins know about our journey, but I'm not sure...we're not sure...what to tell my (very Catholic) soon-to-be 92 year old grandmother!  


  • CdnHockeyGal and Baby girl like this

____________________________________

 

Advised Not to Get Pregnant: Circa 1994 or 1995 (I was FIFTEEN!!!)

Married: August 2010

Started Adoption Process:  January 2013

Started Researching Surrogacy: August 2016

Found Embryos: November 2016

Matched with Surrogate: April 2017, all adoption put on hold (never matched with a child)

Surrogate's First Transfer: July 2017 (one FET) - BFP, but m/c or chemical (unsure, since second beta rose more than 60%, but third beta dropped)

Surrogate's  Second Transfer: October 2017 (one FET) - BFN

Surrogate's Third Transfer: December 2017 (double transfer) - BFN

 

Moving on to donor eggs...

 

New donor embryos available!!! Trying with them

 

Surrogate's Fourth Transfer:  February 2018 - was to be a double transfer, but one did not survive thawing, so single transfer; First beta - 685!!!!!; Beta #2 - 1594!!!  eusa_dance.gif yahoo.gif

First ultrasound (at 7 weeks, 2 days): Heart rate of 154 bpm, measuring slightly behind (just under 7 weeks)

Second ultrasound (9 weeks, 1 day):  Heart rate of 170 bpm, measuring small (again) at a little under 9 weeks.  Basically, it is growing at a good pace, just small - UPDATE:  heart rate is 175 bpm according to an email from the clinic! 

Harmony tests show that we are low risk and we're Team babyboy.gif


#4 north

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 08:23 PM

For those of you who have used or are planning to use donor eggs, do you plan on being honest with your child about how they were conceived?

 

This has been the biggest internal struggle I've been having about the thought of using donor eggs. While part of me would want to keep this a secret from my family, friends, and child and just pretend it I was able to magically conceive on my own, another part me feels obligated to disclose this information to my child at some point in his/her life. 

 

I worry about how I would be able to handle keeping such a thing a secret for our entire lives. I worry about how my child would react if they were to find out on their own if I kept it a secret (e.g. I've read an article about people finding out the truth of their parentage only after submitting their DNA for ancestry testing online).

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 

Is anyone willing to share their own thoughts about this, whether you have personal experience or not? I'm sorry if this is a controversial & sensitive topic. I'm genuinely interested in hearing what other people think. Since I feel so conflicted..

 

Hi Sophia,

A really good place to start is by googling "ivf.ca" and anything related to your concerns/thoughts/questions. There are many conversations you can find and it may help you to work through a few things first in your mind. It's really important to connect with others, I agree, with your questions but I do urge all people bringing concerns or questions here to do your own research first.

north


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#5 sophia_cop

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 08:26 PM

 

For those of you who have used or are planning to use donor eggs, do you plan on being honest with your child about how they were conceived?

 

This has been the biggest internal struggle I've been having about the thought of using donor eggs. While part of me would want to keep this a secret from my family, friends, and child and just pretend it I was able to magically conceive on my own, another part me feels obligated to disclose this information to my child at some point in his/her life. 

 

I worry about how I would be able to handle keeping such a thing a secret for our entire lives. I worry about how my child would react if they were to find out on their own if I kept it a secret (e.g. I've read an article about people finding out the truth of their parentage only after submitting their DNA for ancestry testing online).

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 

Is anyone willing to share their own thoughts about this, whether you have personal experience or not? I'm sorry if this is a controversial & sensitive topic. I'm genuinely interested in hearing what other people think. Since I feel so conflicted..

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 
We used anonymous eggs, so there's no way my child will be able to know.  I'm sure my child will feel close to me, and I'm sure yours will also feel close to you.  I mean, she/he will be your baby and your child.  This becomes obvious after birth when your baby/toddler won't let you go to the bathroom alone without crying.  There's no reason your child wouldn't feel close to you unless you didn't feel close to him/her for some other reason.  

 

We're going to tell our child, and we plan to start when very young.  We don't plan for it to be a big deal.  Just "Mommy and Daddy wanted a baby so badly, and a nice lady gave them a seed, and from that seed we grew you!"  

 

I did a lot of research on this, including reading some peer reviewed articles from a woman doing research at Cambridge.  My conclusion is that the kids follow the lead of the parents.  If the parents treat it like not-a-big deal, the kids see it that way.  For donor eggs, especially, the kids feel like their mom is their mom. 

 

You will be the biological mother, just not genetic progenitor.  The kids know that.  Kids understand the idea of birth and a baby growing in mommy's tummy very young.  Your kid will "get" that he/she grew in you and you're the mom.  It takes longer to fully understand genetics.  For me, I figure if they know from a young age, then there's no identity shock.  What tends to bother people is when they feel like their parents lied to them.   

 

Warning:  There are a group of people on the internet who write very dire stories about how they've been injured by donor conception.  Many of them originated out of a group that worked against the legalization of gay marriage.  There's an agenda there, and if you give me the name of the author of the article, I can probably tell you something about the author.  (It's a small group.)  Many of the adults writing this stuff had something happen to them as kids, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

yeah, and there's this weird thing going on with some of these people.  they're against anonymous donor sperm, so they're trying to make it seem like it's "easy" to find matches on the internet.  I've seen it also with Wendy Kramer, of donor sibling registry.  (Kramer has her own issues, btw.)  DNA matching is not as easy as they're making it out to be.   Even in Kramer's group, a small minority of members has been able to find sibling matches, and that's for sperm (not eggs.) . Sperm donors tend to give to a LOT more people -- like 20-30 kids being born is not uncommon.  That does not happen with donor eggs for obvious reasons.

 

ANyways, I'm rambling.  PM me if you want to chat more about it.  Just don't let those nutty people on the internet get to you.  it's easier to make this into a bigger issue then it is.   I can refer you to people in articles who are casual about it and just like, yeah my mom's my mom.  

 

Or Zach Wahls, who has given interviews on Reddit where he has said he's not interested in finding out more info about his genetic paternal line.  He was raised by two mothers.  

 

Zach: 

 

 

 

We're using donated embryos plus a surrogate and we will be honest with our child/children.  We're also signing up for our clinic's sibling registry so they'd get a chance to know their sibling(s).  My parents, my DH's parents, his sister and some of my cousins know about our journey, but I'm not sure...we're not sure...what to tell my (very Catholic) soon-to-be 92 year old grandmother!  

 

I appreciate hearing your perspectives, especially since I feel so alone with this turmoil (other than my DH) since we haven't disclosed to anyone else about our plans so I have no other people to discuss with.  Part of me wishes I could be more open about this topic with people around me, but the use of DE is something so unheard of in my circle of family and friends. By being more open with them, I feel that disclosing to my child would be much easier, since it would be out there and accepted. But because we're not ready (nor do we know if ever) to tell our extended family/friends, what do we tell our child?

 

Another concern I had arose after I contacted a local agency who said they have women who have donated "multiple times". Do they impose a limit on how many times a donor can donate in a specific area? Part of me struggles with the idea of knowing there are half-siblings of my child living near us. Does this mean I am not ready to accept the use of donor eggs?

 

This was one article I had read:  www.elle.com/life-love/sex-relationships/news/a29904/whose-life-is-it-anyway/

 

I struggle because I feel like we're leaning towards not disclosing to our child and family at this point, but am concerned about the repercussions of this down the road for my child. 

 

What a highly complex issue this is, sometimes I can't even wrap my head around it. Thank you for your feedback and support.


  • Baby girl likes this

Me-37 (DOR), DH-33 (no issues)
Low AMH, normal FSH
Blocked tubes
Stenotic Cervix

High NK cell activity (diagnosed Apr. 2018)

June 2016 IUI #1- BFN
Aug 2016 IUI #2- BFN

Dec 2016 IVF#1: 4 eggs retrieved, 3 fertilized, 1 made to day 5 AB blastocyst-FET=BFN

July 2017 IVF #2: 3 eggs retrieved, 2 fertilized, both made to day 5 (AB, BC) blastocyst- FET=BFN

Jan 2018 IVF #3 (new RE): 6 eggs retrieved, 3 mature, 1 fertilized, day 3 fresh transfer (5-cell, grade 2)=BFN

Mar 2018 IVF #4 (new RE): 10 eggs retrieved, 9 mature, 8 fertilized, 4 made to day 5 & biopsied for PGS **awaiting results**

May 2018: IVF #5: 2nd IVF planned for embryo banking

 


#6 nervus optimist

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 10:13 PM

I have a son who came to us through donor embryos, and a daughter that was a surprise unassisted pregnancy, and our son has always been very aware of how he came into the world, and how that is different from how his sister came into the world, in a very age appropriate way. His sister will be as well when she starts to understand words ;) I think this is important because it is his story, and he will need to know one day for medical reasons and it is his right to know, and be proud of who he is. We have shared only with immediate family, as it is his story to choose who he would like to share it with beyond that. As others have said, things are only a big deal to kids if we make it a big deal. We make it a statement of fact. They are often told that both are miracles, that we didn't think we would be able to have any kids no matter how hard we tried, and miraculously through different means, we now have 2 amazing children. He knows babies grow in a uterus, from an embryo, and that an embryo is made by combining an egg and a sperm. That his sister's embryo was made in my body, and that his embryo the doctor had stored in a freezer from another special egg and sperm that were waiting for just the right family. The book what makes a baby by cory silverberg is an amazing introduction to how babies are made leaving sex out of the equation, and being inclusive of all possible scenarios of baby making, giving you an opportunity to add the details of your child's story in age appropriate ways.  https://www.amazon.c...asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Wishing you much luck in your cycle

:flowers:


  • Baby girl likes this

I am 38, DH - 39
Genetic - IVF&PGD to prevent Genetic Disorder
IVF #1 - Nov/08 - MC @ 6 weeks, no embryos frozen
IVF #2 - Aug/09 - bfn
IUI #1 - Feb/10 - ectopic
PRIDE - Apr/10
Homestudy - July/10
Given the gift of donor embryos - Jan/12
Donor FET Jun/12 - 9 weeks - no heartbeat... MC
Donor FET Oct/12 - we're PG biggrin.png

===> Beautiful baby boy born 2013 babyboy.gif

Donor FET Oct/16 - chemical

April 2017 - surprise PG

===> Beautiful baby girl born 2017 babygirl.gif


#7 quandry

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 11:20 PM

We used an anonymous donor from the Czech Republic. We will not be sharing with our family or our child of how they were conceived other than it was through ivf. Even basic blood tests will not reveal it because our child has the same blood type as we do.

Dhs family is very religious and would not welcome our child if they knew. He is already not as doted upon as my inlaws other grandchildren because they dislike me. It would create an even greater rift in the family if they knew I had been unable to conceive, or they would play favorites with the other grandkids even more than they already do.

So we made the difficult decision not to share. And while some people here would disagree, I think people always need to do what is right for them...
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See about me page.

 

 


#8 silverbrumby

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 11:52 PM

I have twins born through an open embryo donation. We are blessed to know our donor family and have built a relationship with them over the years. My twins have known their story for as long as they have been old enough to understand it. It is a story we tell often and now they are old enough they actually are proud to share it with their friends too. I have been extremely open about it with them and with everyone around us. It's something we celebrate and we talk about how grateful we are to our donors for giving their "baby seeds" to me to grow so I could have a family and my twins could be born. 

 

Studies around third party reproduction as well as many years of study around adoption have shown that hiding a child's true origins can be extremely damaging to them psychologically. It is lying to them about something that is core to their identity. It not only shatters their own self-identity but it shatters their trust if/when they learn the truth. And let's be honest, in this world where you can swab your cheek and get a full genetic profile, your kids WILL find out one way or another at some point.

 

My kids know that my eggs did not make them but that doesn't make them any less my children and they have never thought of me as less their mother because of it. Also, epigenetics is a very real influencer on how your baby develops in your womb and every single cell of your baby that grows after they're implanted as embryos has been created from your body as a mother. 

 

Just be honest and celebrate their story. There's no shame in needing an egg donor to have a family and neither you nor your children should ever feel it is something that needs to be hidden.


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#9 writegal416

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:23 AM

I have twins born through an open embryo donation. We are blessed to know our donor family and have built a relationship with them over the years. My twins have known their story for as long as they have been old enough to understand it. It is a story we tell often and now they are old enough they actually are proud to share it with their friends too. I have been extremely open about it with them and with everyone around us. It's something we celebrate and we talk about how grateful we are to our donors for giving their "baby seeds" to me to grow so I could have a family and my twins could be born. 

 

Studies around third party reproduction as well as many years of study around adoption have shown that hiding a child's true origins can be extremely damaging to them psychologically. It is lying to them about something that is core to their identity. It not only shatters their own self-identity but it shatters their trust if/when they learn the truth. And let's be honest, in this world where you can swab your cheek and get a full genetic profile, your kids WILL find out one way or another at some point.

 

My kids know that my eggs did not make them but that doesn't make them any less my children and they have never thought of me as less their mother because of it. Also, epigenetics is a very real influencer on how your baby develops in your womb and every single cell of your baby that grows after they're implanted as embryos has been created from your body as a mother. 

 

Just be honest and celebrate their story. There's no shame in needing an egg donor to have a family and neither you nor your children should ever feel it is something that needs to be hidden.

 

I completely agree.  I know a guy who didn't find out he was adopted until his 20s and he freaked out.  And this wasn't in the 50s or 60s.  This was in the 21st CENTURY!  He's from the same ethnic heritage as myself, but grew up in Asia.  And there, many parents still hide the adoption/non-genetic relationship from their kids.   


  • Baby girl likes this

____________________________________

 

Advised Not to Get Pregnant: Circa 1994 or 1995 (I was FIFTEEN!!!)

Married: August 2010

Started Adoption Process:  January 2013

Started Researching Surrogacy: August 2016

Found Embryos: November 2016

Matched with Surrogate: April 2017, all adoption put on hold (never matched with a child)

Surrogate's First Transfer: July 2017 (one FET) - BFP, but m/c or chemical (unsure, since second beta rose more than 60%, but third beta dropped)

Surrogate's  Second Transfer: October 2017 (one FET) - BFN

Surrogate's Third Transfer: December 2017 (double transfer) - BFN

 

Moving on to donor eggs...

 

New donor embryos available!!! Trying with them

 

Surrogate's Fourth Transfer:  February 2018 - was to be a double transfer, but one did not survive thawing, so single transfer; First beta - 685!!!!!; Beta #2 - 1594!!!  eusa_dance.gif yahoo.gif

First ultrasound (at 7 weeks, 2 days): Heart rate of 154 bpm, measuring slightly behind (just under 7 weeks)

Second ultrasound (9 weeks, 1 day):  Heart rate of 170 bpm, measuring small (again) at a little under 9 weeks.  Basically, it is growing at a good pace, just small - UPDATE:  heart rate is 175 bpm according to an email from the clinic! 

Harmony tests show that we are low risk and we're Team babyboy.gif


#10 Tess

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:43 AM

 

 

For those of you who have used or are planning to use donor eggs, do you plan on being honest with your child about how they were conceived?

 

This has been the biggest internal struggle I've been having about the thought of using donor eggs. While part of me would want to keep this a secret from my family, friends, and child and just pretend it I was able to magically conceive on my own, another part me feels obligated to disclose this information to my child at some point in his/her life. 

 

I worry about how I would be able to handle keeping such a thing a secret for our entire lives. I worry about how my child would react if they were to find out on their own if I kept it a secret (e.g. I've read an article about people finding out the truth of their parentage only after submitting their DNA for ancestry testing online).

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 

Is anyone willing to share their own thoughts about this, whether you have personal experience or not? I'm sorry if this is a controversial & sensitive topic. I'm genuinely interested in hearing what other people think. Since I feel so conflicted..

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 
We used anonymous eggs, so there's no way my child will be able to know.  I'm sure my child will feel close to me, and I'm sure yours will also feel close to you.  I mean, she/he will be your baby and your child.  This becomes obvious after birth when your baby/toddler won't let you go to the bathroom alone without crying.  There's no reason your child wouldn't feel close to you unless you didn't feel close to him/her for some other reason.  

 

We're going to tell our child, and we plan to start when very young.  We don't plan for it to be a big deal.  Just "Mommy and Daddy wanted a baby so badly, and a nice lady gave them a seed, and from that seed we grew you!"  

 

I did a lot of research on this, including reading some peer reviewed articles from a woman doing research at Cambridge.  My conclusion is that the kids follow the lead of the parents.  If the parents treat it like not-a-big deal, the kids see it that way.  For donor eggs, especially, the kids feel like their mom is their mom. 

 

You will be the biological mother, just not genetic progenitor.  The kids know that.  Kids understand the idea of birth and a baby growing in mommy's tummy very young.  Your kid will "get" that he/she grew in you and you're the mom.  It takes longer to fully understand genetics.  For me, I figure if they know from a young age, then there's no identity shock.  What tends to bother people is when they feel like their parents lied to them.   

 

Warning:  There are a group of people on the internet who write very dire stories about how they've been injured by donor conception.  Many of them originated out of a group that worked against the legalization of gay marriage.  There's an agenda there, and if you give me the name of the author of the article, I can probably tell you something about the author.  (It's a small group.)  Many of the adults writing this stuff had something happen to them as kids, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

yeah, and there's this weird thing going on with some of these people.  they're against anonymous donor sperm, so they're trying to make it seem like it's "easy" to find matches on the internet.  I've seen it also with Wendy Kramer, of donor sibling registry.  (Kramer has her own issues, btw.)  DNA matching is not as easy as they're making it out to be.   Even in Kramer's group, a small minority of members has been able to find sibling matches, and that's for sperm (not eggs.) . Sperm donors tend to give to a LOT more people -- like 20-30 kids being born is not uncommon.  That does not happen with donor eggs for obvious reasons.

 

ANyways, I'm rambling.  PM me if you want to chat more about it.  Just don't let those nutty people on the internet get to you.  it's easier to make this into a bigger issue then it is.   I can refer you to people in articles who are casual about it and just like, yeah my mom's my mom.  

 

Or Zach Wahls, who has given interviews on Reddit where he has said he's not interested in finding out more info about his genetic paternal line.  He was raised by two mothers.  

 

Zach: 

 

 

 

We're using donated embryos plus a surrogate and we will be honest with our child/children.  We're also signing up for our clinic's sibling registry so they'd get a chance to know their sibling(s).  My parents, my DH's parents, his sister and some of my cousins know about our journey, but I'm not sure...we're not sure...what to tell my (very Catholic) soon-to-be 92 year old grandmother!  

 

I appreciate hearing your perspectives, especially since I feel so alone with this turmoil (other than my DH) since we haven't disclosed to anyone else about our plans so I have no other people to discuss with.  Part of me wishes I could be more open about this topic with people around me, but the use of DE is something so unheard of in my circle of family and friends. By being more open with them, I feel that disclosing to my child would be much easier, since it would be out there and accepted. But because we're not ready (nor do we know if ever) to tell our extended family/friends, what do we tell our child?

 

Another concern I had arose after I contacted a local agency who said they have women who have donated "multiple times". Do they impose a limit on how many times a donor can donate in a specific area? Part of me struggles with the idea of knowing there are half-siblings of my child living near us. Does this mean I am not ready to accept the use of donor eggs?

 

This was one article I had read:  www.elle.com/life-love/sex-relationships/news/a29904/whose-life-is-it-anyway/

 

I struggle because I feel like we're leaning towards not disclosing to our child and family at this point, but am concerned about the repercussions of this down the road for my child. 

 

What a highly complex issue this is, sometimes I can't even wrap my head around it. Thank you for your feedback and support.

 

 

 

Professor Susan Golombok (Cambridge) is doing a long-term research project on the effect of donor conception on children.  You can google her if you want more info, but the short summary is that children are fine, but mothers who tell are less stressed then mothers who don't tell. 

 

We don't know why that is -- it could be they are stressed about keeping a secret, or it could be they have a more stressful family situation, which is why they felt they could not tell in the first place.

 

Another advantage to telling is that the child, if they find out, do not feel there is something shameful about their existence.  Secrets can suggest shame.  Another thing to watch for is that it can be very upsetting for the kids if they find out during a stressful time, like during a divorce or an argument, or from another relative.  I don't want my child to feel that donor conception was a necessary secret or shameful, nor did I want them to be vulnerable to a possible identity shock, and I also did not want my child to feel responsible for keeping a secret from relatives.

 

But, I completely understand that some people have families that they are worried might disinherit the children if they tell.  I am lucky to feel comfortable with my family that we could tell, and I was confident they would not treat our child any differently. 

 

If I was in a situation where I felt I could not tell, I would keep it a secret from everyone except my partner.  (You don't want your child to have identity shock from someone else telling your child.)  If you do decide to tell your child, when they're older, it might be best to have a therapist help prep for the situation.  I've also heard it's best to tell before or after teenage years, which is something to be aware of if you change your mind about telling.  Apparently the teenage years are the hardest to hear about it, because of the intense identity formation the kids are doing at that time.  

 

My POV was that I entered the situation with optimism, and expected family to be accepting.  Mostly I find that friends either don't want to talk about it, or, some literally forgot that it was a DE cycle, even after I told them.  

 

Whatever you decide, it's best for kids to have confident, comfortable parents.  You might want to go to a therapist so you can work towards a level of comfort with your decision, and develop a plan of how to handle it in the future.


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#11 nervus optimist

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:39 PM

One thing that I've found helpful is for my child to meet other kids who are brought into the world through similar means. We have friends with kids through sperm donor, IVF adoption and embryo donation. Each story is different but he knows that there are so many different stories out there that he is not the only who came into the world this way.

 

:flowers:


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I am 38, DH - 39
Genetic - IVF&PGD to prevent Genetic Disorder
IVF #1 - Nov/08 - MC @ 6 weeks, no embryos frozen
IVF #2 - Aug/09 - bfn
IUI #1 - Feb/10 - ectopic
PRIDE - Apr/10
Homestudy - July/10
Given the gift of donor embryos - Jan/12
Donor FET Jun/12 - 9 weeks - no heartbeat... MC
Donor FET Oct/12 - we're PG biggrin.png

===> Beautiful baby boy born 2013 babyboy.gif

Donor FET Oct/16 - chemical

April 2017 - surprise PG

===> Beautiful baby girl born 2017 babygirl.gif


#12 WinterfellGirl

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:57 PM

Sophia_cop - I completely understand where you're coming from. After three unsuccessful IVF cycles with my own eggs, it's taken me two years to accept that egg donor is my best option. Telling my child would be a no brainer. They should know where they came from. My issue is what to tell other people. I would probably tell family since most of my relatives know about my journey. But would I tell my co-workers, friends, etc? What happens if people notice my baby/toddler/child/teen looks nothing like me? That's my biggest obstacle. The outside world. I too want a baby that will magically look just like me. If only it was that easy.

 

I'm researching egg donor programs in Greece but since it's anonymous by law, it's a leap of faith to choose someone you haven't seen in photos. What if I don't like the way the baby looks? If he/she looks nothing like me. Sounds superficial I know. It's hard giving up that aspect of having a baby that other couples take for granted; knowing how your child will look based on your looks. I worry that I won't connect to a baby if I can't see my face in theirs. Like somehow my identity is tied in with who my baby looks like.

 

The other concern is what if the child wants to know its bio mom, or meet its half siblings? What if its half siblings are in the same city and they accidentally meet and like each other, and want to date? This probably won't be an issue using a donor from another country. But with shared cost egg donor options, two couples could end up with half siblings from the same egg donor, and the kids could live cities or countries apart.

 

I would actually be all for couples of the same donor eggs being able to meet up and have their kids know each other. Some of these kids could end up being only children, so that connection to another could be a good thing.

 

Egg donor definitely has its complications. But in terms of transparency, I would want my child to know.  :)


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#13 Tess

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:00 PM

One thing that I've found helpful is for my child to meet other kids who are brought into the world through similar means. We have friends with kids through sperm donor, IVF adoption and embryo donation. Each story is different but he knows that there are so many different stories out there that he is not the only who came into the world this way.

 

flow.gif

 

This is a great idea. 

 

The Donor conception network in the UK has annual meetings.  They have gatherings for the kids of different ages, ranging from infant to teenagers. They also produce children's books and pamphlets information for adults about donor conception. It would be nice to start something like this in Canada.

 

https://www.dcnetwor...dults/questions


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#14 Tess

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:14 PM

My issue is what to tell other people. I would probably tell family since most of my relatives know about my journey. But would I tell my co-workers, friends, etc? What happens if people notice my baby/toddler/child/teen looks nothing like me? That's my biggest obstacle. The outside world. I too want a baby that will magically look just like me. If only it was that easy.

 

 

Winterfellgirl,

 

I've stopped talking about it to friends, co-workers, etc.  I got the sense I was making some people uncomfortable -- like I was sharing too much personal information.  It doesn't seem to matter to them one way or another.  

 

One good friend I told actually forgot.  I mean, she's a busy person with a young baby, but it was still bizarre.  She knew I went to Greece.  We were having a play date, and she said something about how my child inherited her hair colour from me.  I joked that it wasn't possible because DC.  She said, "Oh, I hope you don't expect me to remember that, because I'm not going to be able to."  (I was kind of taken-aback.  I told her not to worry, and that I forget also!  That's true -- it's not something I think about very much.) 

 

You know, that was a moment when I realized the difference pregnancy makes.  She'd seen me pregnant.  I can't imagine her saying that to someone who adopted a child. 

 

Genetics is so random.  Remember that your baby may also look like your DH.  

 

People have told me my baby looks like me, and I just nod and smile.  Co-workers or strangers on the street don't really want to have an intimate discussion about DC, nor are they interested in it.  


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#15 returnable

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:26 PM

Telling my child would be a no brainer. They should know where they came from. My issue is what to tell other people. I would probably tell family since most of my relatives know about my journey. But would I tell my co-workers, friends, etc? What happens if people notice my baby/toddler/child/teen looks nothing like me? That's my biggest obstacle. The outside world. I too want a baby that will magically look just like me. If only it was that easy.

 

 

I would definitely recommend counselling, and if you go through an IVF clinic here in Canada, I think they make that mandatory. One of the things our counsillor said is that people always want to have some way to connect with you so when they say your baby looks like this or that, they are just wanting to say SOMETHING. It does not come out of a negative place. The other point to ponder is that even people that have kids without donor gametes do not guarantee at all that their kids will look like them. And if someone does make a comment, say something vague like "yeah they must have inherited that from my great aunt". People aren't looking for the differences.

 

When I have been considering what it would be like to have a child from a donor egg, there is a part of me that knows in some ways it would be easier as I would not have expectations of the kid being like me and put that burden on them as many genetic parents do. I would be so much more open to the kid developing into their own person, which we should do even when they have our genes.

 

There was a book I read. I can't remember if it was in "The Art of Waiting" or "Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation, 2nd edition", but in there is a story about a family who ended up having kids including fully biological, fully donor and half and half. I think it was the biological and fully donor that most resembled each other.


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#16 WinterfellGirl

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 03:21 PM

 

Telling my child would be a no brainer. They should know where they came from. My issue is what to tell other people. I would probably tell family since most of my relatives know about my journey. But would I tell my co-workers, friends, etc? What happens if people notice my baby/toddler/child/teen looks nothing like me? That's my biggest obstacle. The outside world. I too want a baby that will magically look just like me. If only it was that easy.

 

 

I would definitely recommend counselling, and if you go through an IVF clinic here in Canada, I think they make that mandatory. One of the things our counsillor said is that people always want to have some way to connect with you so when they say your baby looks like this or that, they are just wanting to say SOMETHING. It does not come out of a negative place. The other point to ponder is that even people that have kids without donor gametes do not guarantee at all that their kids will look like them. And if someone does make a comment, say something vague like "yeah they must have inherited that from my great aunt". People aren't looking for the differences.

 

When I have been considering what it would be like to have a child from a donor egg, there is a part of me that knows in some ways it would be easier as I would not have expectations of the kid being like me and put that burden on them as many genetic parents do. I would be so much more open to the kid developing into their own person, which we should do even when they have your genes.

 

There was a book I read. I can't remember if it was in "The Art of Waiting" or "Having Your Baby Through Egg Donation, 2nd edition", but in there is a story about a family who ended up having kids including fully biological, fully donor or half and half. I think it was the biological and fully donor that most resembled each other.

 

Those are all good points. I will look up those books. I would be happy to talk to a counsellor if we go with a clinic in Canada. Not sure if Greek clinics offer it. 

 

It's funny, I went through my awkward teens and early twenties hating my frizzy hair and olive complexion. Fast forward a few years and now I love my brunette locks and Mediterranean looks! I just can't pass it on to my future child. Go figure. icon_lol.gif



#17 returnable

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 03:37 PM

Those are all good points. I will look up those books. I would be happy to talk to a counsellor if we go with a clinic in Canada. Not sure if Greek clinics offer it. 

 

 

 

 

 

It's funny, I went through my awkward teens and early twenties hating my frizzy hair and olive complexion. Fast forward a few years and now I love my brunette locks and Mediterranean looks! I just can't pass it on to my future child. Go figure. icon_lol.gif

 

 

I would say see one even if it is not offered by a Greek clinic. Here we still had to pay for it out of pocket. Go with one that specializes in IF and donors. If you want, PM me, and I can give your the contact info for the one that we used.

 

For us, if we do manage to be successful we want our child to be the first to know, so we would reveal to them early on. We would then let our parents know just so that the kid doesn't feel like it is a secret they have to keep. There are books and brochures out there on how to delve into these discussions at an age-appropriate level.



#18 GabyPechmann

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:37 PM

Just that:

 

She is my miracle and was born when I was 51. Luck and genetic odds, but has my eye color and hair and people always tell me tats he looks like me. I do not care, trust me, means nothing to me, except amuses me.

She has more of my traits and personality than my first child and she is 27 now. I love her and cherish her, but here is a little one who has no genetic connection and she is so me. Lol......I am feisty and stubborn and now dealing with a 2 year old who fights right back.

 Let me share and we love what we do:

From the moment she was born I told her the story of the 6 little eggs. And as time passed it became so wonderful.

 

:Once upon a time there were six little eggs, One did not like the process at all and just did not want to do it, so it gave up. Then there were 5. Egg 5 thought about pension, education, birthing and taxes and more, so it tried, but decided not to do it. Then there were 4, mom put two in and one tried and still thought it might not be a good idea......and then there was you!.......that one is you!!!

 

I innocently told her the story for months and one day she began to chuckle and now each night she hugs me and I get a big kiss.

 

She looks at ultrasounds with me and giggles, points to her body parts and embraces. No secrets here.

 

Mini me, is what she is and I never expected it to be like that. Would have just been fine and over the moon to have a little one who I can love.

 

Close friends know she was a donor egg and they even forget so often as she is so me.

Oh, I am so glad that I did what I did and she will embrace it and never worry.

 

Just my story, but thought I should share.

 

 


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#19 kayte1

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:48 PM

This is such an interesting and informative topic! Thank you everyone.

We are hoping to have our second child via double donor embryos. (Our first child was via OE IVF cycles.) My thinking has really evolved over every stage of our journey since moving on from my own eggs a year ago. We had a terrible donor cycle here in Canada, where I had picked the donor, knew what she and her own kids looked like, and in the agreement she was open to some potential future contact (for me, I wasn't hoping for that, but liked that the possibility was there for a potential child, even if it would be hard for me.) Well, the cycle was a big failure so then we moved on to a totally different and more affordable avenue.

In the Fall we went to the Czech Republic and did another donor egg cycle. In this case, the donors are anonymous and there would be no chance for a child to contact the donor. I guess I figured, had the cycle worked (early miscarriage unfortunately) that maybe I wouldn't tell, because my husband would provide the sperm, and if the donor looked like me and had the same blood type, it would all work out.

To be honest, I didn't do too much forward thinking, as it's too painful for me to assume a cycle will work, and I fear thinking ahead too much and then it not working or being taken away from me. I think I figured I'd look into it more if a healthy pregnancy was ensuing, and do what most medical/mental health professionals recommend.

I have done a lot of reading online since, especially since deciding to move to double donor embryos. I have heard from so many that it's very unlikely this secret can remain a secret and not do damage in our society of technological advances and problem-solving. Initially I assumed that blood type would have things covered - then I realized that a strand of hair or swab of a cheek can give someone the information they need. I also read about high schools doing DNA stuff in science class that parents don't even know about, where it was revealed that students weren't genetically related to their parents. I don't know, I just really started to worry about a child finding this out and the realization being so upsetting to them. There are enough shows on TV of people who were adopted not being settled until they locate their "birth parents", that it leads me to believe that even if a child understands who their parents are (those who loved them and raised them) and had a wonderful upbringing with them, there is still something missing that they want to seek out. And yes, I know that there are big differences in that scenario and the one I am embarking on.

I do worry about being open with a child, but when they are older, coming to terms with the fact that there is option to learn more about their donors or part-siblings, etc., would be a huge thing to wrap ones mind around and come to terms with. Especially once it was realized that one child was of our genetic material and the other, not, with no option to discover more. If there were other options at this point we could afford, we would go for them, but there are not, and so we are simply thankful for this opportunity to try and grow our family, should we be so lucky for it to work out.

I also believe that I wouldn't tell friends and family, or want to right away. I would want to tell the child, and I guess in time things the child said would come out, and I guess I'd be okay with it at that point.

It's all so complicated... but I sure appreciate being able to talk and think more about it here.


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#20 quandry

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:08 PM

Just a. It's about child looking like you - epigenetics is fascinating. Just by havin the child gestate within you, it affects what genes are turned on or even off.

My DE child gets told he looks like my uncle all the time. And now that we had another child (oe natural surprise), the two kids look remarkably alike. If I didn't know, I would have sworn that they somehow used my own eggs!
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#21 quandry

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:14 PM

And I just want to say regarding openness - it's not up to anyone else to tell you what is right for your family or not. I understand that our decision to keep it to ourselves may not be popular, but we know our family situation better than anyone else and made a hard choice to do what we needed to protect our child.

Plus, for many couples who used sperm donors for years before ivf became normalized, I guarantee many of them never had a convo of whether or not to tell and just stayed silent about it. But because it's a mothers genetic material we are talking about, it draws much more ire and opinion (imho). I grew this child. Nursed him. Nurtured him. I know who's baby he is and he's all mine except for one single cell.
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#22 Tess

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:55 PM

Tell or not tell - I think the most important thing is to be happy, secure, and confident with the child.  If we're uncomfortable, the child will sense it.  In the end, doing what is best for your family and the child makes the most sense.  What creates that feeling of happiness, security, and confidence?  

 

 

Winterfellgirl,

 

There are a lotta olive skinned people in Thessaloniki.  Light olive, medium olive, dark olive.  My donor was light olive with hazel eyes, which is what I am.  They can def. find a match for your mediterranean looks!  Of course, my baby ended up as pale as my husband, so -- it'll also depend on what your DH looks like.  :)

 

Kayte,

 

I'm so, so sorry your road has been so difficult lately.  Until a successful pregnancy happens, it's so hard to believe it's possible. 

 

 

Gaby,

It sounds like you're having a wonderful time with your daughter!  I remember reading your posts, and they were very inspiring to me.


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#23 nervus optimist

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:30 PM

We don't share outside of our immediate family as we feel it is our son's story and his to decide who to tell. He has some features that look strikingly different than ours and people ask about it ALL the time. Where did he get....? We say it is his own and that's that. Be prepared for certain questions to come up a lot, and try on a few responses for size. In the end choose a response that you will use all the time, as your standard answer. One that is in line with your comfort level of sharing, and that you are equally saying in front of your child at any age, as you are in private. Because at the end of the day the grocery clerk will ask just to make conversation and how your child came into the world is none of their business. Having a standard answer that we use for everyone from friends to the pizza guy that is kind to the asker, and tells my son he is special in his own way, while still respecting his privacy makes life easier as even after over 4 years we still get asked a lot.

 

:flowers:


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I am 38, DH - 39
Genetic - IVF&PGD to prevent Genetic Disorder
IVF #1 - Nov/08 - MC @ 6 weeks, no embryos frozen
IVF #2 - Aug/09 - bfn
IUI #1 - Feb/10 - ectopic
PRIDE - Apr/10
Homestudy - July/10
Given the gift of donor embryos - Jan/12
Donor FET Jun/12 - 9 weeks - no heartbeat... MC
Donor FET Oct/12 - we're PG biggrin.png

===> Beautiful baby boy born 2013 babyboy.gif

Donor FET Oct/16 - chemical

April 2017 - surprise PG

===> Beautiful baby girl born 2017 babygirl.gif


#24 north

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:53 PM

For those of you who have used or are planning to use donor eggs, do you plan on being honest with your child about how they were conceived?

 

This has been the biggest internal struggle I've been having about the thought of using donor eggs. While part of me would want to keep this a secret from my family, friends, and child and just pretend it I was able to magically conceive on my own, another part me feels obligated to disclose this information to my child at some point in his/her life. 

 

I worry about how I would be able to handle keeping such a thing a secret for our entire lives. I worry about how my child would react if they were to find out on their own if I kept it a secret (e.g. I've read an article about people finding out the truth of their parentage only after submitting their DNA for ancestry testing online).

 

Conversely, if I were to be honest about it, I worry that my child will want to know more about his/her "biological mother", or won't feel close to me. 

 

Is anyone willing to share their own thoughts about this, whether you have personal experience or not? I'm sorry if this is a controversial & sensitive topic. I'm genuinely interested in hearing what other people think. Since I feel so conflicted..

Hi Sophia (and others),

 

I have a 2 year old boy conceived via DE and DS. heart.gif

I wanted to share a few thoughts and perspectives on this 2 years in.

 

(1) I think that going the donor route is a bit of a 'leap of faith' if you haven't done it before. I think I, understandably, felt a bit more vulnerable as a mom going into the experience. We have a semi-open arrangement with our egg donor which was a big part of why we chose her. I have needed the space to grow into the relationship with my son on my own terms. 2 years in now and he is so deeply bonded with his dad and I, and we with him, and I feel really good about who we chose as an egg donor. Our son is very bright and verbal at 2 years old age and I imagine we'll be meeting her sometime in the next few years given who he is. The literature says that it's better if kids don't remember being "told" but only that they always have a sense of knowing how they were created. I look forward to meeting with her one day with him but I needed to give myself space to grow into my relationship with him before I felt ready to entertain that. I just recently came to feel ready for that and it's because I sense emerging readiness in him and in me and in our bond. He still breastfeeds lots and is totally 'addicted to mom' and I can now feel that including her in his life story in some way will feel like love from mom. In other words, it won't take away from our bond but add to it. I imagine he will think of her as another adult 'friend,' like the guys we met on the plane last week or the people he waved to at the grocery store. A friend. 

(2) Privacy versus secrets: you can honor your needs and your potential child's need for privacy without needing to resort to secrets. Privacy is important and healthy. I believe that secrets can do harm. In my opinion, keeping a secret from a child about aspects of their identity (which then includes health information) can do harm to their relationship with you, with themselves, and potentially with a donor. Starting any relationship with a secret is a recipe for future problems, in my opinion. [That said, I know that some families (such an quandry's in laws) have made it that some parents have needed to take a balancing of various risks approach in terms of telling their child.]

(3) Donors donate genetics. Organ donors donate organs. A genetic donor does not donate parenthood. Give your child the info about their genetic donor so that they do not imbue that person with a kind of parenthood that was never donated and then get hurt by that if they go looking for it. YOU are the biological mother when you receive donor genetics.

(4) Separate out your, understandable, grief and possible shame about the loss of your genetics from your child's journey. Don't pass on that trauma. Get the support and care you need to heal those understandable hurts before going forward.

(5) Be open to the ways that having a donor conceived child may be nothing like what you imagine it is going to be like now. Be prepared to have your heart blown open in the best possible ways. Be proud. Be unapologetic. You are not a 2nd class reproductive citizen and your kid is not a 2nd class kid. Stand tall and your kid will too.

All my best. I'm completely and utterly in love with my son. If you go this route, get ready for some amazing stuff. :) When you get really hurt, your heart opens in a special way if you let it. There are some deep gifts in this path.

My son is exactly the little person I felt in my bones was coming into our life. He just took a different route to get here than I expected.

north


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#25 north

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:05 AM

Oh, and one more thing....

 

When you're first considering using a donor, the whole donor thing seems so big. It did to me at least. It's the piece that's in the foreground. 

Then, you have this little kiddo and you're looking at them and loving them and they belong to you and you to them and the donor aspect of things recedes into the background of the picture. You forget somehow. My family forgets. It's a sweet forgetting because it's the dance of the love and the bond that consumes you and burns away some of the rough edges that infertility left behind. You just see this sweet little innocent face looking up at you. This little person that YOU created. In your body. You chose the donor(s). This sweet little human would not exist without your will, your love, your previous failures. And they love you and you love them.

 

north







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