Being Donor Conceived – by an adult conceived via sperm donation

When prospective parents make a decision to go the egg donation route, many times they have difficulty deciding if they will disclose their conception story with their child and if so, when. There isn’t anyone I’ve spoken with who makes this decision lightly. Everyone wants to do what’s best for their child and they don’t want to hurt or confuse them. They hope that their child will understand that they wanted them with all their heart and made decisions out of love. I always suggest telling their story as soon as possible for many reasons – but most of all for the well being of the child.

I like sharing first person experiences and thought this account could shed some light on what it’s like to be conceived via donor gametes and to learn of your conception story as an adult vs. a child.  I’d like to thank our guest writer, I’ll call her “ST”,  for sharing her experience and how it affected her.


 

Being Donor Conceived – by a Donor Conceived Adult 

Donor Conceived Adult

Donor Conceived Adult

So I am writing this article with the intention of sharing my feelings on being conceived via donor, my hope is to give an understanding of what it’s like to be donor conceived as an adult. While there are multiple studies, statistics and data on donor conceived children, I’ll be sharing my experience.  I have written on this subject before, been published and have gained much knowledge and validation in my feelings. 

My story begins as an adult when my Father had cancer, and told me I was conceived via donor.  My Mother and he had apparently made a pact not to tell me.  Surprising?  Not really.  Hmm, that explains, my different choice in foods, different features than my family and why people would ask me if I was Jewish.  While I didn’t have this information, my heart somehow knew it.

I began to have lots of questions and every emotion imaginable.  I first went on a large search for the donor my parents chose.  Adults conceived via donor have trouble knowing just what to call the donor and you may hear various terms if reading other articles.  Anyhow my search became extensive and I had an identity crisis leading to depression.  I felt lied to. Some of the questions I had were things like:

What did the donor look like?  Did they know I exist? Did they care? What was their motivation in being a donor? Was I a simple exchange for money? What would my extended genetic family want me to know and what did they look like?  What was my cultural history? What traditions does the family I don’t know celebrate? Do I have siblings?  These were questions of the heart. 

Working in the medical field questions ran deeper, and became more practical, such as what is my genetic history?  Is there anything genetic I should be concerned about that can be passed down to my children I should be tested for?  What is my medical history? What should I do to be the healthiest I can not knowing my full medical history.  When I went to my next doctor’s appt, I had to redo my medical forms and where I had written both parents medical history, I now had to explain why I only had one.  Ouch. 

So basically my entire sense of who I thought I was was rocked. Now this is not to say that I think I don’t belong here or that I am not grateful to be here. My concern is that when people are considering donor conception they not only think about that little one as a baby but also as an adult with feelings, and a longing for a sense of identity and knowledge about themselves.  While with many donors, there is full disclosure and information given with even the opportunity for donor/child to meet and talk, in the US anonymity is still allowed, yet is illegal in seven major European countries. Why would it not make sense that one would want to know about their donor and history?  A few years ago I did some genetic testing and did in fact get some genetic information but the donor family I so long to know about is still a mystery to me and possibly many others. So this is some of my story, feelings and insight.  I hope it is helpful to some.

                                                           

At Heartfelt Egg Donation, LLC we believe you and your egg donor have the right to mutually decide what type of arrangement you will have now and in the future and we will draft your egg donation agreement based on your desires for future contact. We will also refer you to legal counsel to help you fully understand the current and future legalities of you donation agreement.