Donor Sibling Registry--STRESS


#1

Hello, all.

I am considering using DE as that is most likely my only way of conceiving at this point. I was reasonably certain that’s what I wanted to do until I just looked at the Donor Sibling Registry. After looking through there I’m stressed out! They offer so many testimonials about donor-conceived children who wanted to meet their donors, continuously referred to the donor parents as the biological parents, and the stories that “being loved and wanted just wasn’t enough for me” really have me second-guessing. There was even a woman who said she’s so glad she didn’t have donor-inseminated children when her husband became infertile.

I really like the idea of being able to carry a pregnancy and thought that would make me the biological mother, even without the genetic connection. So many of the stories on the DSR website made it sound as though the children yearn to find their donors and tended to refer to them as family. I don’t want to bring a child into the world who is going to hate me or feel as though he/she was short-changed. While I don’t have a problem disclosing the child’s origins to him/her, referring to the donor as family is a problem for me. I’m not sure if this means I would not be a good candidate for DE.

Anybody familiar with the website? Any thoughts?


#2

Just remember that for every person on the board trying to find their donors and saying those things, there are probably 20 who have never even looked for the website! What you are seeing is the worst case scenario, and I would argue is not the norm at all.

My egg donor wished to be 100% anonymous. I plan to respect her wishes and would hope my children would as well. My sperm donor had an option of disclosure when our children turn 18, though we didn’t sign the contracts for this. We consider the donors to be “cell donors,” not parents/family/etc. and plan to stress that point if needed.

Many people feel lost in life for many reasons and find themselves looking for someone or something. Sites like DSR are places to turn and gain support for donors and the genetic offspring.

For us, using donors has been a dream come true! Best wishes!


#3

I agree with what Lucy said. They aren’t family, they aren’t parents & they are nothing more than cell donors just like if you donated a kidney or blood. They’ve chosen to give another family the chance at life, just like organ donors.

But I understand what you are saying as well. I’ve looked at the DSR site and honestly, I haven’t even told my DH it exists. He would not deal well with the thought.
The reason I have looked at it is the bank we used said that they only allow 10 live births per donor and obviously not everyone reports back. So I’ve checked our donor number to see if anyone has put anything up there. Also because we have stored vials that we aren’t going to use some people post looking for vials. But again, I’ve done this without telling my DH. He took the need for DS very hard and the decision to even go through with it, let alone tell our children their beginnings was his to make and took him a long time. His biggest fear was that some day a man would knock on our door asking for his children and attempting to take them away. :frowning: Something legally not possible but still a fear in his head.

So now that we have a son and identical twin girls on the way, both by the same sperm donor, our hope is that it is all in how they are raised. We said all along that we would tell our kids how they came to be and how much we wanted them and love them and everything. And we said all along that it was going to be that alone that would help them through any difficult time they ever have with being from DI. But like Lucy said, people need things for many different reasons. And to add to that people tend to share the bad more than the good. So I agree with her also that for every one discouraging story you read there are 20+++ that are positive great happy ending stories about DI. And also keep in mind that DSR was started by a single mom who wanted to connect her son (I believe) with his sperm donater. So not that is a wrong reason to do it but her reasons and her background in even starting the site are completely different than someone who has both parents through out life.

biologigal and genetic are tough words in the life of DI but
Family, Love & Respect are something that never change.


#4

[quote=lucyddr]Just remember that for every person on the board trying to find their donors and saying those things, there are probably 20 who have never even looked for the website! What you are seeing is the worst case scenario, and I would argue is not the norm at all.

My egg donor wished to be 100% anonymous. I plan to respect her wishes and would hope my children would as well. My sperm donor had an option of disclosure when our children turn 18, though we didn’t sign the contracts for this. We consider the donors to be “cell donors,” not parents/family/etc. and plan to stress that point if needed.

Many people feel lost in life for many reasons and find themselves looking for someone or something. Sites like DSR are places to turn and gain support for donors and the genetic offspring.

For us, using donors has been a dream come true! Best wishes![/quote]

Thank you! I think you’re right about it being the “worst case scenario.” I feel the same way as you do about the donors being “cell donors” and know that if it weren’t for me and my body growing that one cell into millions of cells, there would be no baby or child. For a few hours I will be 100% on board with the donor idea, then I read these things and start to question myself. Hopefully this is normal and I will work through these issues in time.

I’m so glad using donors has been such a wonderful experience for you!! Thank you for your support and insight.


#5

[quote=stm2009]I agree with what Lucy said. They aren’t family, they aren’t parents & they are nothing more than cell donors just like if you donated a kidney or blood. They’ve chosen to give another family the chance at life, just like organ donors.

But I understand what you are saying as well. I’ve looked at the DSR site and honestly, I haven’t even told my DH it exists. He would not deal well with the thought.
The reason I have looked at it is the bank we used said that they only allow 10 live births per donor and obviously not everyone reports back. So I’ve checked our donor number to see if anyone has put anything up there. Also because we have stored vials that we aren’t going to use some people post looking for vials. But again, I’ve done this without telling my DH. He took the need for DS very hard and the decision to even go through with it, let alone tell our children their beginnings was his to make and took him a long time. His biggest fear was that some day a man would knock on our door asking for his children and attempting to take them away. :frowning: Something legally not possible but still a fear in his head.

So now that we have a son and identical twin girls on the way, both by the same sperm donor, our hope is that it is all in how they are raised. We said all along that we would tell our kids how they came to be and how much we wanted them and love them and everything. And we said all along that it was going to be that alone that would help them through any difficult time they ever have with being from DI. But like Lucy said, people need things for many different reasons. And to add to that people tend to share the bad more than the good. So I agree with her also that for every one discouraging story you read there are 20+++ that are positive great happy ending stories about DI. And also keep in mind that DSR was started by a single mom who wanted to connect her son (I believe) with his sperm donater. So not that is a wrong reason to do it but her reasons and her background in even starting the site are completely different than someone who has both parents through out life.

biologigal and genetic are tough words in the life of DI but
Family, Love & Respect are something that never change.[/quote]

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response! Like you, I really hope (and expect) that telling the children how much we wanted them and love them will more than compensate for anything else.

I can certainly understand your husband’s fear. Even though I don’t think it’s rational I started to think my children would try to find their donor and start calling her “Mom” and completely turn their backs on me.

That’s interesting information on the woman who started DSR. Intellectually, I know I should consider the source of a website and how that could influence the information found there (I am a history teacher after all, lol); however, I find my emotions getting in the way of logical reasoning these days!

Congratulations on your DS and the the twin girls on the way :clap:


#6

Mom2Josh - I echo Lucyddr’s comments wholeheartedly.

As an aside…when you get in the ‘thick’ of the DE process, you will have to have a counselling session with a psychologist and they will discuss a lot of these and other issues with you. I was 100% on board with doing DE prior to my counselling session, however, during the session my psych gave me a bunch of articles pertaining to 'how to talk to you child" (at different ages - should you wish to) as well as info and stats on how DE children feel about finding out/finding out at an early age vs later, etc.

I found these extremely informative and educational. Again, my decision was made already, but I found this information really helped to ‘flush out’ a lot of things that are floating in the back of your mind.

I’m sure if you google you’ll find these sorts of things, but then again…there is the risk with google…so forget that…if you’d like, I am happy to find them in my file and post the titles for you. You could then track down these specific articles. Additionally, I remember now that a few of them were sent to me via email by my psych. If you’d like them, just pm me.
Best wishes!!!


#7

[quote=Bersmom]Mom2Josh - I echo Lucyddr’s comments wholeheartedly.

As an aside…when you get in the ‘thick’ of the DE process, you will have to have a counselling session with a psychologist and they will discuss a lot of these and other issues with you. I was 100% on board with doing DE prior to my counselling session, however, during the session my psych gave me a bunch of articles pertaining to 'how to talk to you child" (at different ages - should you wish to) as well as info and stats on how DE children feel about finding out/finding out at an early age vs later, etc.

I found these extremely informative and educational. Again, my decision was made already, but I found this information really helped to ‘flush out’ a lot of things that are floating in the back of your mind.

I’m sure if you google you’ll find these sorts of things, but then again…there is the risk with google…so forget that…if you’d like, I am happy to find them in my file and post the titles for you. You could then track down these specific articles. Additionally, I remember now that a few of them were sent to me via email by my psych. If you’d like them, just pm me.
Best wishes!!![/quote]

Thanks Bersmom! I think you’re right, I need to stop “googling!”


#8

I agree with what other posters have said. I too found that website and was horrified to see the negative outcomes. I also started second guessing the donor process.

However, after I had some time to reflect, I came to the following conclusions: 1 People who are happy and well adjusted are much less likely to be posting there. 2 Being a biological child doesn’t guarantee happiness and feelings of being wanted (despite a parent’s best efforts sometimes). 3 There is no wrong way to be a loving, supportive family and no wrong way to bring a much wanted child into the world. We plan to be honest with the child from the start, be the best parents we can be and hope for the best. That is really all that any parent can do, whether biological or not.

Best of luck to you with your decision!


#9

Bersmom- bringing up the counseling also made me think about something.

We were also required to see a counselor prior to moving forward with DS. Our RE gave us two names that they recommended and said you have to go to one. We went to both, just one session each. But it was good because one was much more feely/emotions type and the other was actually a RN so she was a lot more technical/clinical in how she approached things. They both gave us thigns to read, articles or books to look toward for help. But I’ll tell you for me and DH the single most helpful thing was being completely open and honest with each other about everything. Which we are normally but this case was even more important.
And the best example of that is the books we were told to read. I bought them all, and then some. And looking back I don’t know if it was good or bad or the bad that came of them brought on the good. But my husband would read them and there would be stories about wives thinking about the swimmer donors and husbands wondering about the egg donors, and the other spouse getting all upset that this was going on. There were stories of basically ruined marriages before the kids even came along. DH would get so scared and so upset that I was going to do those things or it was going ot happen to us. We finally put the books away because they were causing more damage than good. “Dr. Google” does the same thing along with anything you read/see/hear.
We are stronger now than ever and get stronger every day. Whether DI had anything to do with it, I’m sure it did. But I love my life, my husband, my son and the two little girls that I’m carrying now. And I wouldn’t change any of it :slight_smile:

So to make a long story short…I always advocate people for counseling prior to DI but more important I always say that the best thing any couple can do is to be completely open and honest about the subject with each other.


#10

I agree with STM 100%!

Interestingly enough, we were not required to see or talk to anyone before our donor egg/ donor sperm cycle. Our RE talked to us some, as did his nurse…but that was all.

Like STM, my husband and I talked about everything, including our feelings. At first, he wouldn’t tell his family that we were using donor sperm (but was quick to tell them we needed donor eggs). It became an issue for me and I basically refused to plan our FET until he told his parents. My reasoning was simple…if he threw me under the bus and yet couldn’t accept his own issues, then he wasn’t really emotionally ready for donor sperm embryos to be placed! It took about 6 weeks after the donor egg/his sperm embryos failed for him to tell his folks and us to move on. I think it was time very well waited!

Communication is key! We always kind of knew that, but it was taken to a whole new level when it came to using donors. I think taking time to make these decisions is also critical, as rushing into something generally results in unplanned issues.

As one friend told me during the process, “Step away from the computer!” Good advice that I’m now using as we navigate the NICU!


#11

Thanks again, everyone, for your responses. I really agree that using google can be more detrimental. I stayed away from it yesterday and had a great day! I have definitely been thinking over all the possible issues and talking with DH about them. I feel that DE is the best path for us. Guess I just have to stop reading all the negative things online and realize that along as DH and I have explored our thoughts, feelings, and planned adequately, I shouldn’t worry about the things that others say.


#12

I’m new to the forum, so first I wanted to say a quick hello. :slight_smile:

I just have to say that this thread has brought me so much comfort and solace. Although we’re firm in our decision to use DS and excited to move forward, we’re constantly second guessing along the way. Like you, Mom2Josh, I would go a couple of hours completely gung-ho with the idea and then I’d read something or have a negative thought and feel sick with worry that we were making a huge mistake. I feel like the decision to even use donor was so enormous and difficult, and then came the decision of anonymous vs open, then choosing the perfect donor, then figuring out how to tell our families, our children… This journey is full of life-altering decisions, which makes it impossible not to dwell on each and ever scenario! But I’ll tell you what, my husband and I have never been closer or stronger. This really strips you down and shows you what you’re made of.

Also, it’s really wonderful to hear all of your positive outcomes with your counselors. We were hugely disappointed with ours, but I think I’ll schedule another session with someone new. It was actually quite a strange experience as she had no information for us and spent the hour asking about our childhoods and other off topics. I don’t think she had much experience with donor recipient couples at all.

Mom2Josh, good luck with your decision and all the best to the other ladies here. It’s reassuring to read all of your wonderful outcomes with your families, so thank you.


#13

[QUOTE=Leesha]I’m new to the forum, so first I wanted to say a quick hello. :slight_smile:

I just have to say that this thread has brought me so much comfort and solace. Although we’re firm in our decision to use DS and excited to move forward, we’re constantly second guessing along the way. Like you, Mom2Josh, I would go a couple of hours completely gung-ho with the idea and then I’d read something or have a negative thought and feel sick with worry that we were making a huge mistake. I feel like the decision to even use donor was so enormous and difficult, and then came the decision of anonymous vs open, then choosing the perfect donor, then figuring out how to tell our families, our children… This journey is full of life-altering decisions, which makes it impossible not to dwell on each and ever scenario! But I’ll tell you what, my husband and I have never been closer or stronger. This really strips you down and shows you what you’re made of.

Also, it’s really wonderful to hear all of your positive outcomes with your counselors. We were hugely disappointed with ours, but I think I’ll schedule another session with someone new. It was actually quite a strange experience as she had no information for us and spent the hour asking about our childhoods and other off topics. I don’t think she had much experience with donor recipient couples at all.

Mom2Josh, good luck with your decision and all the best to the other ladies here. It’s reassuring to read all of your wonderful outcomes with your families, so thank you.[/QUOTE]

:welcome: Leesha!

You’re so right…they are life-altering decisions! In addition to these experiences bringing us closer to our husbands, it’s amazing to watch ourselves transform, isn’t it? I once thought I’d never be able to do IVF…then I thought, I’d never be able to handle a miscarriage…then I thought, I’d never be able to handle using donor gametes…and here I am!

This is a wonderful place for support, as you’ve pointed out. As difficult as the journey may be, it’s nice to know there are others going through the same things and experiencing the same emotions (a few times I thought they were going to lock me in a padded room and throw away the key until others told me they had the mood swings, too).

I wish you and your DH the best of luck on your journey and hope you will keep us posted!


#14

Thanks so much for the warm welcome, Mom2Josh! I never thought I could use donor and I never thought I could do IVF, so I totally agree with you about the transformation! And it’s funny, but I also thought I could never handle infertility period. I watched my best friend and my SIL struggle for years and also go through IVF. I remember being in awe of how strong they were and thinking, “I could never do it…” And like you said, now look at me! And I can darn sure relate to the padded room and key… :wink:

It stinks that we’re all here, but it’s nice to share the roller coaster with others making the same decisions and feeling the same crazy emotions. Thanks again, and best of luck to you and your DH as well! I’d love to hear how things are going for you, so be sure to also keep us posted!


#15

Interesting thread that prompted a few thoughts!

People seem to be bothered by the “negative outcomes.” I’m not sure that these are due to donor gametes or just plain the luck of life. There are many traditionally created families with negative outcomes. In each instance where there is a dysfunctional family/family member, I’m sure someone has thought is wrong, what caused this. They want an explanation. In some cases, children point to parents playing favorites, poor parenting, or other issues. In these instances, it easy to point to donor gamete as the reason why life isn’t measuring up to what you had hoped. These are also the people who are more likely to search out sites where they can vent their feelings.
I also view this probably a bit differently than many. While I did DE, I’m also adopted. People here seem concerned about the language some of the posters on the site use such as mom or family. I would ask …what other words should these individuals use? Prior to my on infertility, I never thought much about being adopted. Was I curious? Yes. Did I have a need for a “new” mother? No. Simply living provided me easy terms such as birth mom and adoptive family. Did I think about them much? No, it wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t read books about it. Because of lack of knowledge, I could easily have said the wrong thing to my mom and hurt her feelings. But I think that this naiveté actually means that the whole process worked. My mom and dad did the work and probably sweat buckets, but I didn’t need to. They kept their problem and didn’t make it mine. This meant that I could grow up thinking that I was as average (and as special) as the next kid. My parent’s infertility was their issue…not mine.

I will say that my brother, who was also adopted, had more tumulus teen years that I did, and he said some horrible things to my parent. Did you ever tell your parents that you hated them during those years? If so, you can imagine why he would yell at them and tell them that he wished he had never been adopted and that he would have had a better life if his “real” mom had kept him. Those words cut my mom to the bone and to this day my brother regrets them. My brother and my mother are now very close, and he is likely to be caring for her as she ages because I live 1000 miles away. Interestingly, my sister-in-law pushed my brother did find and meet his birth father last year. My mom was worried about it, but she supported him and his decision. Luckily, it went well. My brother got some answers, and he met both his birth father and his birth grandfather. The birth grandfather was a real nice man…the birth father much less so. Honestly, if this meeting had happened when my brother was 19, it would have been part of his teenage rebellion. The meeting age 44 was tying up loose ends.

I did pick a donor that would allow my daughter to contact her after age 18. I’m not into secrets as it gives them power.


#16

Thanks, kirstyloo, for your response.

I couldn’t agree with you more about the issues that also surround traditional families. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future DE child being upset at me over how I “shopped for” a donor and worried that the uniqueness of that situation might prove bothersome. Then I thought about all the “traditional” families in which children have been brought into the world through unplanned pregnancies. Some children do find out they were unplanned (right here!) and that can cause intense emotions, too! At least my child will know he/she was really wanted, loved, and that a great deal of thought went into the process.

Your DD is absolutely adorable!!


#17

[B] At least my child will know he/she was really wanted, loved, and that a great deal of thought went into the process. [/B]

Unplanned does [B]NOT [/B]mean a child was unwanted or is unloved BY ANY MEANS…my first DS was an “unplanned” pregnancy and he was the BEST darn thing that couldve happened to me. He was/is neither unloved or unwanted at all. Just a momententary lapse in judgement on both my DH & I’s part…:wink: Which im sure we have all done at some point in our lives.

Kristyloo- You always seem to post what I am thinking but cant find the right words to say. :slight_smile:


#18

[QUOTE=rd200][B] At least my child will know he/she was really wanted, loved, and that a great deal of thought went into the process. [/B]

Unplanned does [B]NOT [/B]mean a child was unwanted or is unloved BY ANY MEANS…my first DS was an “unplanned” pregnancy and he was the BEST darn thing that couldve happened to me. He was/is neither unloved or unwanted at all. Just a momententary lapse in judgement on both my DH & I’s part…:wink: Which im sure we have all done at some point in our lives.

Kristyloo- You always seem to post what I am thinking but cant find the right words to say. :)[/QUOTE]

I did not mean to offend you and as I pointed out I was unplanned, too. Just meant there are many things biological/genetic children could potentially point out regarding their own conception too.


#19

[quote=Mom2Josh]
I couldn’t agree with you more about the issues that also surround traditional families. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future DE child being upset at me over how I “shopped for” a donor and worried that the uniqueness of that situation might prove bothersome. [/quote]

Why would that bother a child? My explanation, if they ever care enough to ask, will be “I was trying to make sure you would be as healthy, smart and beautiful as possible–just like when I decided what to eat when I was pregnant, what to feed you when you were little, what school to put you in, what books to give you and so on. I was doing everything I could to help you have a good life.” When I look at donor profiles I feel kind of like a sci-fi fairy godmother, choosing gifts for my children. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.


#20

[QUOTE=Trixicat]Why would that bother a child? My explanation, if they ever care enough to ask, will be “I was trying to make sure you would be as healthy, smart and beautiful as possible–just like when I decided what to eat when I was pregnant, what to feed you when you were little, what school to put you in, what books to give you and so on. I was doing everything I could to help you have a good life.” When I look at donor profiles I feel kind of like a sci-fi fairy godmother, choosing gifts for my children. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Trixicat!! That is a very interesting perspective and a good point to make!