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Monday, 8 March 2010


I think I should preface this post by mentioning how all sperm donations here are anonymous (one can purchase from abroad open ID donations [and why is it called "donation" is beyond me..], but that will cost about ten times more). Whenever the subject of having non-anonymous donations rises, there is some kind of panic that donors will cease to donate (made worse by the fact that even now there is a big shortage).

A very hot discussion on my SMC board. Someone came and announced this new web site* for searching and finding our kid's siblings and/or donors. As usual, this person [there is a history of this person on this board] did it in a provocative way, saying how it's the child's right to know, how the international child right treaty talks about the right of a child to know their genetic making. Later on in the discussion, she practically accused those who don't wish to seek their child's donor and/or half siblings of bad parenting, saying how a teenage child (and will say that while the vast majority of surfers in this board have young kids/babies, she does have a 14 year old) who is in the age of psychologically processing his identity, needs and wants answers to who he is, carrying on to say how if we are not true and open with our kids, blah blah blah. Now that is the part that really annoyed me. I intend on being completely open and honest with my kid about her other half, and whether or not I search for her donor or half siblings, doesn't make us any less of a family unit (as she also suggested) or with a less openness in communication. She also gave an example of this person who found out as and adult that he was adopted and how that crashed him. That is so not the case here, as our children know of their making, they know from almost day one that they are from a sperm donor. It is not something that will become known to them like thunder on a clear day.
She talks about how her kid has this strong desire to know who his "father" is. I strongly believe that this is a desire that came from her, that she didn't feel whole with the way she became a mother, feeling something is missing from the boy's life, and that the kid absorbed it. If there is one thing I am sorry for in my journey to motherhood, is that I am somewhat egoistic in wanting to be a mother and denying my kid of information on her other half. As someone who asks her parents lots of questions, I do feel kind of unfair that my daughter lacks half of the knowledge. But I do know that this is my issue, and not necessarily hers, but that if I will always be worried about such, then it will definitely become her issue too. If I am open to her and true to her about what I do know and how she came to the world, and not make a big fuss about what I/we don't know, then she should have all the means to grow happy and satisfied with who she is, not feeling like she is half a person because of what she doesn't know.

And of course then there is the question if I want or don't want to search for the donor/half siblings. And I really don't know. I know that a while back I was sure that once I had a child I would try and search for them, but now I honestly don't know. I don't think I would want to find the donor himself. I would probably love to know any additional details about him, but would not want to know him. I am (will be) the sole parent of my daughter, he is the donor (and thank you very much for this wonderful gift you are giving me) and no more. But siblings.. The two reasons why maybe I would want to find my daughter's half siblings are kind of selfish - first is genetically. If she (God forbid!) should need a transplant or the likes and I can't help, maybe her half siblings will be able to; second, as we are a small country and while donors are supposed to be only allowed a maximum amount of donations which is questionable if and how is being enforced, there is a chance (probably very slim, but still) that she'll fall in love with her half brother. Knowing who he is in advance should prevent such scenario.
I don't wish to find these half siblings for social reasons. I don't think it will make her life more whole having these brothers and sisters (half!) who are growing up in different households with no connection whatsoever with us. I believe there is much more to blood, it is the growing up together that makes us family. I sometimes look at my sisters, at how different we are from each other. We like and care for each other not because we have the same genes, but because we grew up in the same household, grew up together. And while I don't know if I will ever be able to give my daughter a sibling, I do know that I intend to raise her here amongst her cousins, so that she does have this family, this close tie with people who love her and care about her.

* Quite a problematic site, regardless of if you are for or against searching for half siblings. As opposed to the American site that works with donor codes which were given by the banks (and are not confidential), we don't have codes here. So this site asks for details on the donors, details that are supposed to be confidential. More so, as someone pointed out, you have to pay the American site in order to register, something that should prevent kids from entering the site. Not only is this site (the new one..) open to all, but she actually says kids should and will come to the site. I think that is completely wrong. That should be a parent's decision and not the kid's. Same as I, as the parent, will decide on the type of education and many other things in the child's life, I really don't think that children should be able to access such a site without a parent's guide (to say the least) or permission.


Paige said...

I agree, family is what you make of it NOT the blood ties. I have cousins that are pretty much as close as siblings and I'm sure you're little gal will be too. That lady should consider counseling.

battynurse said...

This is one of those things that people will always be arguing about. I myself tend to think it's best to be honest from the beginning about using a donor etc but as far as the children "needing" to know the other half of their genetics? Not so much. Jacking off into a cup doesn't make a father and finding the donor doesn't insure that this person will want to be or will be a good father. I also agree with you that her feelings with this are likely coloring the childs to some extent.

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Of course, this topic is often discussed in adoption circles. I'm not an adoptee, so I can't speak to how important genetics would be to me if I did not know them.

From parenting 2 adopted people, I can see how much genetics does mean. And, of course, how much family does mean.

We will never separate nature from nurture. We'll just do the best we can for ourselves and our loved ones.