thesameboat
thesameboat

May 30th, 2012, 4:51 am #11

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
For a variety of reasons. DE is illegal where I live and NO ONE here tells. No one.

I am a US citizen and live abroad. Our government has stupidly decided not to give citizenship to DE kids born abroad unless the DONOR is American. So many people are strange about IVF at all at the moment, because embryos are not always all used.

I just figure it's my business. I am my child's mother. Her only one. No one in my family knows.

Someday, I will have to tell her. I never wrote about this here before, but there was a mix-up at the clinic where we conceived her. Our NUMBER 1 priority was blood type. On the paperwork we received, the donor's blood type was the same as mine. DD's isn't. It isn't possible for my DH and me to have a genetic child with her blood type. So we have to tell. (We have confirmed with the clinic that she came from our donor. The donor's blood type on all other paperwork there is her actual blood type. We have no idea why this donor was ever even suggested to us. But we're glad we have THIS child. When my husband found out, he smiled down at our daughter and said, 'It's even more of a miracle that she found us, her real parents.')

At the moment, she knows I traveled around the world to find a doctor who could help me. She knows her dad and I used to cry a lot, hoping for her to come and grow in my belly. And that when she finally did, we were happy.

Good luck with your decision.
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diaphanta
diaphanta

May 30th, 2012, 1:11 pm #12

I can sort of understand not wanting to tell folks outside of your family (cuz it's none of their business), but I cannot imagine keeping your child's own truth from him or her. And, just like when children are adopted, the telling should start way before they can even understand it, so it's not presented as a "big deal". Until the 60's, it was recommended that parents not tell adopted children that they were adopted, but for the past 40 years or so, the recommendations is the exact opposite. I think donor kids fall into this same exact circumstance.

My background is complicated, but I'll share that until I was a young teen, I thought I knew who my biological father was. But then I was told the truth. Because my family waited so long to tell me, I was horrified. Not at the truth, but that for all of those years so many people knew "my story" and I didn't. It really took a toll on me - I felt like people didn't trust me with my own truth. I felt betrayed that such an important secret was kept from me. For me, the actual news was minimal compared to the betrayal and secret keeping.

My own opinion here - I think it's crazy to think that a child won't figure it out. No matter how hard we try to find donors that look like us, the risk is really high that your child will find out one day, somehow. A forgotten piece of paper, something not working as it should on a school project on genetics, a kid figuring out your age at his or her conception, a medical need requiring blood testing, a well meaning friend, neighbor, etc, etc, etc. To me, keeping it a secret means you are ashamed of it. What's to be ashamed of - wanting and loving a child so much that you go to the ends of the earth to make it happen? That's a beautiful love story to share with your beloved child, not a shameful secret.

I am sorry that your heartfelt response to the original post in which you quote your own painful experience has received such dismissive responses. Especially as you state sensitively 'In my opinion' witin the body of your reply.

As Bethlyn states below, this is a very hot topic on the board, probably the hottest. FWIW, and this is also aimed at the original poster, most of the moms in favour of telling the child generally think that the child's right to know their origins is immutable - applicable in any circumstance, an inalienable right, if you like, whatever their parents may think, and however unsure they may be about telling. Moms who are firmly 'no tell' to the child generally think it is up to each parent to decide for themselves whether to tell their child. The first group of 'tell' moms are likely not going to be satisfied with that position as it does not recognise children's inalienable rights! So there is incredible tension between the two positions and most of the time the arguments are abated by some firm refereeing.

I sometimes think the arguments are a bit like the arguments about slavery - one group disagrees with slavery as being morally wrong, another group think it is up to individuals to decide for themselves whether or not they want to own slaves, the first group are not going to agree with the 'let people believe in what they want as they know what is best for them' argument as they believe slavery in essence is profoundly wrong and will affect others to their detriment, so there will never be a logical end to the tension.

And then there are a group who are like to THK, still thinking it through...

Personally (as most people know) I agree with all the arguments stated by the original poster and anonymous for telling DE children their origins. I don't think society makes it easy, particularly if you are like Sameboat and DE is seen as a crime in the country you live in, or in some cultures or areas where DE is condemned morally, and I don't think there is one way to go about telling, that is up to each family to weigh for themselves - but I do think every child deserves to know the truth about their origins and to be allowed to develop their own understanding of the implications of DE. If they are not given the opportunity to do this, then in essence they are living what is in essense a lie and that feels wrong to me.

For more info, original poster, I suggest you google 'Donor Conception Network UK' to find out a bit more about the implications of telling - this is a group of which I am a member and which seeks to support parents who decide to tell their children about donor origins. Much of their research has been carried out on DS and DE and children and it is fascinating to read.

Good luck.
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BlessedThistle
BlessedThistle

May 30th, 2012, 1:13 pm #13

but, if you really think about it, accusing others who don't choose to do what you do of being 'ashamed' of something 'shameful' was a bit provocative. Don't you think?

There are perfectly good reasons for telling AND for not telling. YOU have decided what YOU want to do. That's wonderful. Claiming to know how others feel if they choose something different isn't.
but I am firmly in the tell camp and must admit the inflammatory language sailed right past me. blush
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Joined: November 27th, 2011, 4:22 pm

May 30th, 2012, 1:57 pm #14

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
You've already gotten some great advice here, the most important of which is that it's completely up to you and there's clearly no right answer. People often feel very strongly one way or the other and there are extremely sound arguments for both decisions...

That being said, I can explain from my perspective why we are firmly in the tell camp. As a scientist, I can't imagine that the truth would not eventually come out, regardless of how careful you are about blood type and outward appearance. There are just so many genetic diseases and conditions that I can't imagine you could make it through life without something at least triggering questions.. Maybe it would never happen, but I think I'd always live with that fear. I also believe this is something we'll have to make a part of our child's birth story from very early on, not because I think they'll need to necessarily understand all the details, but because I feel it's extremely important to be open and honest about it. I never want our child to think what we did is shameful or wrong or something to be kept secret.. I hope that someday it might even be something (s)he can be proud of.

As a side note, my clinic's counselors are also firmly in the tell camp and when I met with one of the ART therapists, she showed me several books on DE appropriate for young children. Some of them can be found here -http://booksfordonoroffspring.blogspot.com/ .

Good luck with your decision. No need to make an immediate decision, so let it sit for awhile. You may find that you go back and forth a bit before settling on a choice that resonates with your heart..
Leigh
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Dee
Dee

May 30th, 2012, 2:23 pm #15

For a variety of reasons. DE is illegal where I live and NO ONE here tells. No one.

I am a US citizen and live abroad. Our government has stupidly decided not to give citizenship to DE kids born abroad unless the DONOR is American. So many people are strange about IVF at all at the moment, because embryos are not always all used.

I just figure it's my business. I am my child's mother. Her only one. No one in my family knows.

Someday, I will have to tell her. I never wrote about this here before, but there was a mix-up at the clinic where we conceived her. Our NUMBER 1 priority was blood type. On the paperwork we received, the donor's blood type was the same as mine. DD's isn't. It isn't possible for my DH and me to have a genetic child with her blood type. So we have to tell. (We have confirmed with the clinic that she came from our donor. The donor's blood type on all other paperwork there is her actual blood type. We have no idea why this donor was ever even suggested to us. But we're glad we have THIS child. When my husband found out, he smiled down at our daughter and said, 'It's even more of a miracle that she found us, her real parents.')

At the moment, she knows I traveled around the world to find a doctor who could help me. She knows her dad and I used to cry a lot, hoping for her to come and grow in my belly. And that when she finally did, we were happy.

Good luck with your decision.
Sorry to hear about that. I can't imagine why the government would not give citizenship to DE children born abroad. If the mother is a citizen, then so is the child.

Donors are not parents, so the donor's citizenship should be totally irrelevant. And many people use anonymous donors, so there is no way to know their citizenship anyway.
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

May 30th, 2012, 2:40 pm #16

For a variety of reasons. DE is illegal where I live and NO ONE here tells. No one.

I am a US citizen and live abroad. Our government has stupidly decided not to give citizenship to DE kids born abroad unless the DONOR is American. So many people are strange about IVF at all at the moment, because embryos are not always all used.

I just figure it's my business. I am my child's mother. Her only one. No one in my family knows.

Someday, I will have to tell her. I never wrote about this here before, but there was a mix-up at the clinic where we conceived her. Our NUMBER 1 priority was blood type. On the paperwork we received, the donor's blood type was the same as mine. DD's isn't. It isn't possible for my DH and me to have a genetic child with her blood type. So we have to tell. (We have confirmed with the clinic that she came from our donor. The donor's blood type on all other paperwork there is her actual blood type. We have no idea why this donor was ever even suggested to us. But we're glad we have THIS child. When my husband found out, he smiled down at our daughter and said, 'It's even more of a miracle that she found us, her real parents.')

At the moment, she knows I traveled around the world to find a doctor who could help me. She knows her dad and I used to cry a lot, hoping for her to come and grow in my belly. And that when she finally did, we were happy.

Good luck with your decision.
I don't want to go into specifics, b/c it occurs to me that you probably need to be more private about this than most people, but judging from what my sister in the Foreign Service told me about the case of the Israeli woman that we discussed on the pink board, she should be able to get her child naturalized. But, yes, you would be in better shape just keeping it all on the QT.

I believe our country's policy is appalling and I actually hope to speak with my representative about it, but right now, I'm in normal working mom hell.

Take care and {{hugs}},

Maggie (in VA)
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

May 30th, 2012, 2:51 pm #17

I am sorry that your heartfelt response to the original post in which you quote your own painful experience has received such dismissive responses. Especially as you state sensitively 'In my opinion' witin the body of your reply.

As Bethlyn states below, this is a very hot topic on the board, probably the hottest. FWIW, and this is also aimed at the original poster, most of the moms in favour of telling the child generally think that the child's right to know their origins is immutable - applicable in any circumstance, an inalienable right, if you like, whatever their parents may think, and however unsure they may be about telling. Moms who are firmly 'no tell' to the child generally think it is up to each parent to decide for themselves whether to tell their child. The first group of 'tell' moms are likely not going to be satisfied with that position as it does not recognise children's inalienable rights! So there is incredible tension between the two positions and most of the time the arguments are abated by some firm refereeing.

I sometimes think the arguments are a bit like the arguments about slavery - one group disagrees with slavery as being morally wrong, another group think it is up to individuals to decide for themselves whether or not they want to own slaves, the first group are not going to agree with the 'let people believe in what they want as they know what is best for them' argument as they believe slavery in essence is profoundly wrong and will affect others to their detriment, so there will never be a logical end to the tension.

And then there are a group who are like to THK, still thinking it through...

Personally (as most people know) I agree with all the arguments stated by the original poster and anonymous for telling DE children their origins. I don't think society makes it easy, particularly if you are like Sameboat and DE is seen as a crime in the country you live in, or in some cultures or areas where DE is condemned morally, and I don't think there is one way to go about telling, that is up to each family to weigh for themselves - but I do think every child deserves to know the truth about their origins and to be allowed to develop their own understanding of the implications of DE. If they are not given the opportunity to do this, then in essence they are living what is in essense a lie and that feels wrong to me.

For more info, original poster, I suggest you google 'Donor Conception Network UK' to find out a bit more about the implications of telling - this is a group of which I am a member and which seeks to support parents who decide to tell their children about donor origins. Much of their research has been carried out on DS and DE and children and it is fascinating to read.

Good luck.
As I've said before, I intend to tell my kids (fewer choices due to age, decision to widen donor pool by not restricting blood type, etc.), but I do acknowledge that there are people with cultural and religious backgrounds that make it unwise for them to reveal their child's donor origin, and even Donor Conception Network agrees with that. The mechanics of telling are much, much more difficult, however, and with my children still toddlers, I'm still mapping my course and looking for resources.

Anonymous PP, I respect your experience and agree with most of your points, but when you write on such a sensitive topic, there is an extra premium on tact and posting anonymously can reinforce the impression that you're flinging a dialectic Molotov cocktail instead of trying to contribute to a civil discussion.

Take care,

Maggie (in VA)
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BlessedThistle
BlessedThistle

May 30th, 2012, 3:01 pm #18

For a variety of reasons. DE is illegal where I live and NO ONE here tells. No one.

I am a US citizen and live abroad. Our government has stupidly decided not to give citizenship to DE kids born abroad unless the DONOR is American. So many people are strange about IVF at all at the moment, because embryos are not always all used.

I just figure it's my business. I am my child's mother. Her only one. No one in my family knows.

Someday, I will have to tell her. I never wrote about this here before, but there was a mix-up at the clinic where we conceived her. Our NUMBER 1 priority was blood type. On the paperwork we received, the donor's blood type was the same as mine. DD's isn't. It isn't possible for my DH and me to have a genetic child with her blood type. So we have to tell. (We have confirmed with the clinic that she came from our donor. The donor's blood type on all other paperwork there is her actual blood type. We have no idea why this donor was ever even suggested to us. But we're glad we have THIS child. When my husband found out, he smiled down at our daughter and said, 'It's even more of a miracle that she found us, her real parents.')

At the moment, she knows I traveled around the world to find a doctor who could help me. She knows her dad and I used to cry a lot, hoping for her to come and grow in my belly. And that when she finally did, we were happy.

Good luck with your decision.
It really was no accident in the end.
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Joined: May 20th, 2008, 4:36 am

May 30th, 2012, 3:11 pm #19

Ladies you were an amazing help to me a month or so ago when I asked about seeing photos of the donor or not. I was pretty clear that I wanted to but my DH at the time definitely did not. Well I read him each and every one of your responses and he had a change of mind and has since seen photos of potential donors. And your responses further clarified my desire to want to see photos. So THANK YOU to you all!

Now the big philosophical dilemma between us is "to tell or not to tell" the potential child of their birth origins. I know I am getting way ahead of myself but it is a tense discussion that comes up often between us.

I am of the belief that the child from the outset should be fully aware of how they came to be. DH feels once the child understands their origins 1- the child will be angry and reject me and 2- the child will be gossiped about behind their back and/or other kids will tease them causing the child undo pain and suffering. The only thing we agree on is that we are absolutely no tell to friends and family. My feeling is to let the child decide if they want to share it at a certain point in time. So his fear is if the child starts talking/referring about it (say age 3ish) then the cat is out of the bag and now the child is exposed and totally vulnerable and later will hate me. To some degree I do wonder if my DH's fears have some validity? FYI we do live in a small town with lots of narrow minded and judgmental people; just being a woman over 40 and PG will cause tons of fodder.
I am torn on this decision. Before we had our child, I was 100% tell to our child. Now that he is here, I go back and forth between tell or no tell. I do lean more towards telling b/c I don't think it is something to ever be ashamed of. We are so fortunate to have this technology. Once that child arrives, it can really change the way you think. It just so happens that our donor has the same blood type as mine, so that would not be an issue. What I do regret is who I did tell that DS was donor conceived. I have no regrets that our family knows, I have no regrets that our friends do not know (with the exception of my best friend). I do regret telling my OB and our Pediatrician. So, I think it is great that you are no tell to everyone until you decide what you tell your child. On the other hand, the people that are tell to everyone, it appears that it is a non-issue and no one ever brings it up.

Bottom line, I know it is important for you and your DH to sort this out before conception, but like others have said, once your child is here you both may do a 360 turn around.

Good luck on your journey.
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Joined: September 1st, 2005, 4:59 pm

May 30th, 2012, 3:57 pm #20

Absolutely! nt
that I was responding to BT's comment not the original Anonymous poster. I think that the second Anonymous poster made an inflammatory comment without putting his/her name to it or explaining why s/he felt that way. I totally agree with the first Anonymous post.

Just the usual problems with having anonymous posts....

MaggieM
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