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Thursday, 5 March 2009

open <~> closed

A short discussion on a T.V program about open/closed donors. Well not exactly about open closed, more about the Rabanut wanting to have a name list of babies conceived through donor sperm, and who the donor was. Opposing the Rabbi on the show was a lawyer that said it's enough to have a genetic such list, no need for names, in order to cover the Halachic** and medical problems. I would so not want my child to be on any list held by the Rabanut. More so from donors' perspective - they were guaranteed anonymity when donating (only closed donations here), so that would be cheating them.
The problem is that the donor situation here is bad, very bad (waiting to start working with a sperm bank could take up to 6 months) and the fear among SMCs' here is that any such discussion will deter potential donors [They also fear having open donations here, again in fear of deterring potential donors. Personally I would love it if there were 2 paths - open and closed, but that's not going to happen, not any time soon anyway].

But one point the Rabbi made was about the right for the child to know his father. Don't exactly understand why there's a difference, but an adoptive child can, at the age of 18, open his file and learn about his biological parents, while a child conceived through donor sperm can't (here!).
I would have loved donor to have some kind of identity (theoretically I could have ordered an open I.D donor from abroad, but I really can't afford it, so that's kind of out of the question). My wanting to know about the donor is so I can give that knowledge to my child. I am not thinking of child going up to the sperm donor after 18 years and saying 'hello dad' and them living happily ever after. No, my child is mine and mine alone, but I would like to be able to tell child who was the person who helped create her* to fill child in with as much detail as I can. You see, I love asking my parents about their heritage, and to deny this (well 50% of this) from my child.. But I am learning to live with it.

And now there was a message on our forum of these bereaved parents who are seeking someone to mother their deceased son's child. He was 24 when he passed and has left sperm and a desire to have kids after his death. It is not the first time that such a request appears, but up till now they all seemed somewhat creepy (more parents wishing to hang on to their child then their child genuinely wanting to become parents even if they don't survive). And somehow here.. I think it makes a difference that they say it was their son's will, or maybe I'm at a different place now from when I read about those previous requests, but I am seriously contemplating contacting them.
The advantage - my child will know who her father was, all the knowledge I am seeking about him will be there. Plus they say they don't want anything except fulfilling their son's will and the joy of helping someone become a mother. So I guess they won't be pushy and too much involved etc, but on the other hand (depends how things develop between us) they might be somewhat involved, and could be nice for child to have another set of grandparents.
The disadvantage - from the point of the child, is this wise? How might she feel with such a background history, having a father who has died before she was conceived? What implications could there be? Will it confuse her too much? Will it be more painful then just having an anonymous guy who helped create her? Maybe it's only me who wants to be able to fill child with information about donor while she might be happy as things are?

* Yes, I think I'll use the feminine pronoun here when speaking about child, since it might be confusing when using "him" for both donor and child :-).

** namely possible problems when child wants to get married as there are no civil weddings here, only religious.


battynurse said...

So many different things to think about here. In the US we do have the option of open donors but they are more expensive. That said, I did pick one on my last cycle. I liked the possibility of it. Not of another parent but a biological connection.
One perspective is that in the past adoption was closed and the child was unable to get any info. I have never gotten any info on my birth parents and feel that for the most part I'm pretty much ok. However you can also look at the perspective that for many now, open adoptions are working really well. I know I would consider a situation such as you mentioned as it provides another level of family that I really can't.

Dora said...

Hmmm, that's an interesting option. If I do manage to get pregnant with my donor embryos, I will also have a child after the father's death, since Angrcanrn's husband is deceased. But I figure she can fill in some blanks the same way she will with her own children, since they were too young when he dies to have any real memories. I do like the idea that she and her children will be extended family for us.

I think it couldn't hurt to contact them and talk. I think you'll know if the situation is right. We did!

Anonymous said...

I was all for open identity donors and used one for my first three cycles. Because of the cost I picked a non-open identity donor for cycles 4 and 5. This option for you does sound interesting. I would at least investigate it. It sure can't hurt and may give you some nice options. Good luck!

Pepper said...

I kind of like the idea of another set of grandparents, though I am skeptical that these grandparents will stick to their promises not to be pushy. I doubt many people actually set out intending to be pushy, but quite a few manage to get there anyway.

QueenYogi said...

Very interesting. I agree with your concerns, but definitely talk to them and draw up a contract if you decided to move forward with it.