sugar
sugar

May 30th, 2012, 11:28 pm #31

Hi Sugar,

I've struggled with some of the same concerns...not whether to tell the child or not because I think for us we would tell but more how the child will feel and react some day. There are some posts over on the pved website (parents via egg donation) on this topic that I thought were helpful so you might want to check it out. I was very worried about this after reading some posts on a website by adults who were conceived using donor sperm. I think most of them had issues when they found out at an older age so it seems important that the child find out when they are young. I don't think the child would hate you. I went to see a counselor who specializes in this and she thinks it is best to tell. Good luck with your cycle!
It certainly is difficult when DH's opinions and mine are opposite. I will check out that site, thanks again.
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sugar
sugar

May 30th, 2012, 11:35 pm #32

Some of us have very strong opinions about this topic and it comes up often on this board and the pink board http://www.network54.com/Forum/247611/. Please take each response as an opinion (not gospel) and just as each of us has to make decisions about what is best for our family and children, each of us is entitled to make our own decision about what and how we share information with our children about their conception and their origins.

Since the decision about telling your child does not need to made today, I suggest you look at each response and ponder it, and then ponder it again and again, since you will have plenty of time to make a final decision. And you may decide one thing and then change your mind after your child is here. The tell camp makes some good arguments, but then again, each family has to to what they feel is right and often there are compelling reasons NOT to tell a child of their DE origins.

My DH feels the same way as yours does... and initially I felt as you do. OUr son is now 4 1/2 and we have not said anything to him about DE, and I'm not sure I want to. I feel quite differently now that he is here and is a real person and not just a fantasy. So, I am still unsure of what and how I will tell him, it doesn't feel right to me to tell him now, yet I feel he has the right to know, it's VERY confusing.

So, there it is, just my opinion.
You are so right that the decision does not need to be made now yet somehow I am so concerned about DH & I being polarized that it just adds to the anxiety of this process in general. It is true each person has to do what is right for themselves and their family and sometimes what the right thing to do in a situation is not so clear. This is a sticky topic and in all probability if I actually have a child there is no telling how I might feel then. Every opinion and perspective here matters, there is no single right or wrong choice - it is just a matter, I suppose, of what is best for a given circumstance. Thank you for responding.
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sugar
sugar

May 30th, 2012, 11:37 pm #33

Hi,
I write that you don't have to make up your mind now because after you have your babe you may change your mind. I know I wax and wane between the two - but mostly no tell.
Just be aware that a decision to not make a decision is still a decision (as my mother used to say 'when in doubt do nothing').
best, THK
From your Mother. Thank you THK.
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sugar
sugar

May 30th, 2012, 11:43 pm #34

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 can only imagine how stressful it was for you TSB when you discovered the error with blood type yet how sweet it is that, as your DH said, "she found her real parents". I am so touched by that.
Dee it is so helpful to take in each poster's opinion. Thank you both for posting.
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Joined: February 8th, 2012, 10:14 pm

May 30th, 2012, 11:49 pm #35

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
First of all - how are you? Thank you for the link, I am eager to check it out. It is a very complicated topic indeed, funny my DH is a scientist as well and I am surprised by his resistance to telling. I do hope sharing these posts with him will open his perspective some to consider the other side. Hope you are feeling well! Thank you for sharing your perspective.
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Joined: February 8th, 2012, 10:14 pm

May 30th, 2012, 11:51 pm #36

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.
Dixiechix, it is true if I am fortunate to have a child there is no telling how I might feel then. I do trust that we will eventually sort this out but it will take a lot of time, discussion and patience with each other's perspective.
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Joined: February 8th, 2012, 10:14 pm

May 30th, 2012, 11:57 pm #37

I used to agonize over this topic. Now that my baby is here I don't really think about it much at all. The reality of having the baby actually here is much different than thinking about the possibility of a baby or even being pregnant with the baby.

So I can tell you what all the "professionals" have told me.

My RE who is a man thought it was perfectly ok not to tell the child. I could tell that was his preference. He said the child doesn't need to know, there is no medical reason, just adds complications to their life, you bring the baby home and love it as your own, period. End of story.

My OB said I had years to decide and not to worry about it while I was pregnant. I could tell she thought either was fine with her tell/ no tell, just wait until the child is here and then decide later. She is a progressive smart woman and I like her a lot and respect her opinion.

The therapist at the fertility clinic was adamant the child must know know and is his/her right to know. She said she has seen bad things come out of not telling the child because they find out eventually anyways. She says they always figure it out somehow. If you are in a family situation or culture where it is not acceptable to use DE then she said in that case you should not tell the child.

Another therapist I saw who was a nurse but not a fertility specialist clearly did not think we should tell the child. She thought it was messy and would only harm the child. She didn't see how it would help the child to know this information at all.

The infertility counselor I then continued to see throughout my pregnancy absolutely thought it was the child's right to know and it is best to tell the child early, as young as possible. She says all the studies done over the years shows this is best.

So, there are five professional opinions. They are all over the board.

I have noticed from reading posts it seems to me the men usually want to be no-tell and the women want to tell. I find that interesting. I was always in the tell camp. Wanted to meet the donor and establish connection with her so that she could meet the child and the child could meet her. My DH is completely opposite! He doesn't want to know anything about our donor. He doesn't want to talk about it. He said the only way he would use DE is if we did not ever tell the child. He doesn't see how it would benefit the child at all and could only cause harm. He is very concerned that some woman would show up at our door and be a burden or some weirdo. (I'm the opposite, I would welcome her no matter what she is like) Worse yet, he is worried she would reject our child and make our child feel bad.

Well now that our little baby is here I just think of him as mine If we decide to tell I would have to convince my husband that it is a good idea. I don't see him changing his mind. I do know who the donor is so I could contact her in the future and ask if she was open to meeting. I have no fear of my child meeting her. I consider her a distant relative. But as it is I think we will end up being no tell because my DH is against it.

The reality is though a simple test ordered over the internet would quickly tell my child that he and I do not share the same DNA. So in reality, he may find out in the end anyways. And I would like to tell him when I am still alive to give him all the details rather than him finding out as an adult on accident after I am dead I would want him to be able to contact the donor so he could meet her if he wanted to.

So, the best piece of advice I can give you is don't tell anyone right now you are doing DE. Because you can't un-tell. If you have already started telling people then you should probably start telling your child pretty early. I think if you tell a child early then they grow up with that information and it is just normal, part of their birth story. It would be shocking to find out this information later.
Raindrops thank you yet again for a lovely heartfelt response. I know I have written this before but I cannot tell you enough how incredibly helpful you have been to me just embarking on this journey with all of the mixed emotions. I totally agree that no matter what we decide in the end for now we both agree to tell no-one of our intentions.
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Joined: May 15th, 2009, 12:50 am

May 31st, 2012, 2:04 am #38

I used to agonize over this topic. Now that my baby is here I don't really think about it much at all. The reality of having the baby actually here is much different than thinking about the possibility of a baby or even being pregnant with the baby.

So I can tell you what all the "professionals" have told me.

My RE who is a man thought it was perfectly ok not to tell the child. I could tell that was his preference. He said the child doesn't need to know, there is no medical reason, just adds complications to their life, you bring the baby home and love it as your own, period. End of story.

My OB said I had years to decide and not to worry about it while I was pregnant. I could tell she thought either was fine with her tell/ no tell, just wait until the child is here and then decide later. She is a progressive smart woman and I like her a lot and respect her opinion.

The therapist at the fertility clinic was adamant the child must know know and is his/her right to know. She said she has seen bad things come out of not telling the child because they find out eventually anyways. She says they always figure it out somehow. If you are in a family situation or culture where it is not acceptable to use DE then she said in that case you should not tell the child.

Another therapist I saw who was a nurse but not a fertility specialist clearly did not think we should tell the child. She thought it was messy and would only harm the child. She didn't see how it would help the child to know this information at all.

The infertility counselor I then continued to see throughout my pregnancy absolutely thought it was the child's right to know and it is best to tell the child early, as young as possible. She says all the studies done over the years shows this is best.

So, there are five professional opinions. They are all over the board.

I have noticed from reading posts it seems to me the men usually want to be no-tell and the women want to tell. I find that interesting. I was always in the tell camp. Wanted to meet the donor and establish connection with her so that she could meet the child and the child could meet her. My DH is completely opposite! He doesn't want to know anything about our donor. He doesn't want to talk about it. He said the only way he would use DE is if we did not ever tell the child. He doesn't see how it would benefit the child at all and could only cause harm. He is very concerned that some woman would show up at our door and be a burden or some weirdo. (I'm the opposite, I would welcome her no matter what she is like) Worse yet, he is worried she would reject our child and make our child feel bad.

Well now that our little baby is here I just think of him as mine If we decide to tell I would have to convince my husband that it is a good idea. I don't see him changing his mind. I do know who the donor is so I could contact her in the future and ask if she was open to meeting. I have no fear of my child meeting her. I consider her a distant relative. But as it is I think we will end up being no tell because my DH is against it.

The reality is though a simple test ordered over the internet would quickly tell my child that he and I do not share the same DNA. So in reality, he may find out in the end anyways. And I would like to tell him when I am still alive to give him all the details rather than him finding out as an adult on accident after I am dead I would want him to be able to contact the donor so he could meet her if he wanted to.

So, the best piece of advice I can give you is don't tell anyone right now you are doing DE. Because you can't un-tell. If you have already started telling people then you should probably start telling your child pretty early. I think if you tell a child early then they grow up with that information and it is just normal, part of their birth story. It would be shocking to find out this information later.
I'm in the tell the child early so it is always part of his/her story camp. My mom has a cousin who was adopted and never learned about it until a teenager. It doesn't sound like she had a good experience learning this later in life.

I realize that this means he/she/they can and will blurt this out I appropriately to others. I'm hopeful that by the time that happens everyone in my family circle will be so in love with my child/children that hey can't possibly be judgmental. I would like this process of conceiving to be free from any stigma in society so I think staying closeted will only perpetuate stigma. This is an imperfect analogy (and one that I hope doesn't bring too much flack)-many people attribute the growing acceptance of gays and of gay marriage to people increasingly being "out". If you learn your boss, neighbor, teacher, friend, brother, etc is gay, it is easier to get accustomed to the concept.

Now for me, my mom and sister know I've used DE and my late father knew we were using DE too. My mom and dad were in the science-medical field and are accepting because of that. In fact several years into my ttc efforts my mom recommended DE to me to which I replied we already tried with a donor! We haven't told my in-laws because they are less progressive. But again, I'm sure my child/children will do so someday.

Funny thing is that my mom's family is religiously observant Catholics and my mom warned me not to tell my aunt (who is my godmother and whose mission it seems is to "save me" and make me Catholic again). This aunt also struggled with infertility and never had a child. She tried to adopt but it didn't work out. She blames her inability to adopt on abortion rights and a
perceived lack of babies to adopt. I think she and my uncle may not have been deemed fit to adopt. Lol. Anyway my mom just doesn't want to be lectured by her sister. It seems my aunt blames my mom for the fact that I'm not religious and often lectures her on not raising me "well". I don't want to put my mom through that unnecessarily... I'm just hoping that by the time my child/children blurt out something about mommy using another lady's egg, that 1) their great-aunt will be dead or 2) she will not longer care. If neither one or two comes true I will have no issue excluding their great aunt from my child/children's lives. They will have plenty of other family to love and support them.

All that said, I'm a little concerned about the fact being in a medical file and this being blurted out by a hospital staffer in front of visitors in the day or two after I've given birth. Only because I don't want to have to be the subject of gossip.
Last edited by CTSmithie on May 31st, 2012, 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ariadne
Ariadne

May 31st, 2012, 2:07 am #39

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'm firmly tell & have been from the beginning. Dh is in agreement.

But I post to say that at 4.5 & 2, we still haven't started telling the boys. It's not that our commitment to telling has wavered, but that we have concerns balancing telling with privacy.

Our immediate families (parents & siblings) & a few friends know, so it's not that no one else knows. It's that I didn't fully appreciate what blabbermouths small children are until I lived with one! The examples are boundless, but needless to say, anything new or different is subject to being blabbed. I was hospitalized a month ago for a sudden illness & he told anyone who would listen!

I have tried to tell our older son about what a miracle he is, etc., but he's not interested at all in his conception yet. He's also an "old soul" kid, so that has made me realize that I can't control how he will think or feel. Which is fine, but it makes me realize that he may be more contemplative & in different ways once he has the info. We are very close, but will he be hurt or have questions? Honestly? Maybe. I still think he has a right to know (just my opinion), but does it now seem trickier/less easy? Yes, it does. Which again is fine, but it confirms that kids aren't blank slates. (Just now, this child asked me where water comes from & how it gets into pipes & our refrigerator & into a cup. He often asks very specific, scientific questions, so I can picture how a DE discussion might go. Gulp.)

Anyway, I have no real answers yet, but our plan to tell has stalled a bit knowing that our older child doesn't yet have the skills & the understanding re. privacy. I don't want him to feel ashamed, as there is nothing shameful about DE, but I do not want him announcing details to his classmates, for his privacy & for ours. He wouldn't know any difference yet. So here we sit in limbo, still committed to telling but somewhat unsure of when & where.

At any rate, as others have said, you don't have to decide yet & it can be an issue that morphs with your life experience with your child.
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BlairN
BlairN

May 31st, 2012, 4:32 am #40

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 personally feel that it would destroy by child's life. Sometimes I feel like this really didn't happen this way because I can't imagine my baby not really coming from me. Then I think wait he did because I gave him life, so he is mine. I look at my baby and I couldn't feel anymore love for him. I am his mommy 100% and I can't imagine telling him otherwise. Am I not his mommy 100%? Can I say that?? Am I allowed? It gets really confusing even for me, let alone my child. No thank you.. I am so happy that Science made my dream come true, but honestly, I just want to move on and just enjoy this amazing little being that was brought to me. I really feel that he was the baby I was meant to have. If I am wrong about feeling like this, then I will have to account to my creator no one else.
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