Hi all! I’m the mom of two “free sex babies” who are now preteens plus a baby girl born through anonymous embryo donation. I’m starting this thread to see who on the forums might be interested in the topic of parenting donor-conceived (DC) kids made through any means (known donors, anonymous, egg, sperm, whole embryos, etc.).
I joined a FB group for donor parents (PM me if you want the the name) and it’s… a lot. It has me feeling kind of guilty about accepting anonymous embryos. People there are very pro-early contact with any genetic family you can find, and many are even pro-DNA testing your infant. I’m not sure how I feel about that!
In the meantime, apparently there are FB groups for matching with donor siblings? So maybe I will look into that.
All the angst gave me a nightmare last night. I dreamed that the cuckoo all of a sudden was much older- like 8? But she was only supposed to be a toddler. And suuuuuper serious and talking like a grown up and seeming very distant, and I was so sad that I couldn’t just snuggle my baby anymore and feeling regretful about the whole donation process.
Anyway. That’s my angst. But I have a FB friend that I met at library school in 2010 who is a SMBC and she is also in the group! So it was nice to see a friendly face. I made an introductory post and comments on it got waaaaay out of hand in a drinking-from-a-firehouse way.
I don’t know the group in question, but it sounds like it’s along the lines of the hyperoptimizing, competitive bent that a lot of internet parenting groups have, especially if they are built around a niche topic with a general set of “best practices” that don’t take into account many/most people’s lived reality.
I’m pro-early contact in the sense that I started looking for donor siblings on both sides while I was still pregnant, and started a group for the sperm donor siblings when Larva was 3 weeks old. I’m also pro-early contact in that I don’t understand the purpose of joining the official sperm bank connection group and then not engaging in any contact at all (as some of the half-sibling families have done). I’m not pro-early contact in the sense that a family who can’t or prefers not to is causing inherent harm to their child.
I’m extremely anti-DNA testing a minor who can’t consent to their genetic profile being known in the fashion of the direct to consumer tests (but pro-DNA testing via clinicians being easier to access in cases of medical indication).
Honestly, I don’t worry about it much. There’s probably a lot of low hanging fruit she could be upset with me for when she is older. The things I’m upset with my parents for won’t be one of them. She can make her own choices based on what she does and doesn’t want for her family/children when the time comes.
I’m on mobile and afraid to try another quote for fear of losing everything, but: As far as groups to connect donor siblings, I’m not familiar with any outside of the specific clinic and bank I used, so I don’t know for sure, but I would suspect that either one focused on your clinic or the Donor Sibling Registry (not FB) would be most useful—the first for narrowing in on a smaller and more likely set of profiles and the second for being the most well-known donor/offspring and sibling matching entity for many years.
If you do join a donor sibling group, I highly suggest one run by an agency or third party. I know that the donor sibling FB group hosted by one of the moms to first kid’s donor imploded and the opportunity for future contact between families had become more complicated
Do you know anyone who’s used DSR successfully? I’m getting the vibe that it is unpopular in the DCP community but it also seems like the most established/robust?
Good tip @Elle! I joined a group for my clinic that seems to have pretty strong rules but it’s not very active unfortunately.
I think any fear that the cuckoo will become deeply enmeshed in DCP groups and start referring to me as her “custodial guardian” is on the same level of worry as, like, that either of my boys will go down a QAnon or red pill or incel or whatever crappy rabbit hole. Definitely not impossible, but I haven’t put her in a whole different category of risk based on how she was born.
I also think what threw me for such a loop is that I was more in a listening stage and many people excitedly jumped in with advice. With challenging topics, I’ve learned that I want to just sort of let the ideas wash over me for a while- things that I am not ready to fully grasp/buy into but that are really important to people, and I don’t want to start arguing against them. Fortunately, I am aware of this tendency in myself and didn’t let the wealth of responses put my back up!
For instance, right now I am in that place with the rights of the donor conceived, certain advanced trans issues*, and polyamory.
*Like, what it means to have a period. Maybe we need new language for this topic. But I digress.
Unpopular in what way? Like underutilized or somehow objectionable? They seemed to be ahead of their time in facilitating genetic connections (and the importance of doing so) and isn’t confined to any one social media platform like FB and all its splinter groups.
I happened to have more direct ways of connecting to donor siblings than DSR—sperm bank-facilitated connection website and clinic/donor program-specific FB group—but I dropped the profile information there anyway and found a match (that I already knew about).
That’s very unfortunate. I’m hopeful that with the group norms established thus far we can keep things cordial and focused on connection for the kids’ sakes, but I am ever aware that there are a lot of differences in family type and approach to donation that make for navigating something of a tightrope sometimes.
After the Twitter meltdown, most people have provided additional contact information so we aren’t social media platform-dependent, but it would also be useful in the sad event of the group’s demise.
We also went to FB because the sperm bank’s website is the clunkiest, least streamlined platform in the universe—all the disadvantages of a classic message board with none of the advantages.
Here’s a quote from a comment on my FB post from a DCP:
“the DSR is not one of those “six of one; half-dozen of another” issues. It’s a huge waste of money, and they’re fairly notorious for matching several sibling groups with the wrong donor. Probably the only thing worse than having an anonymous donor is forming a relationship with the wrong one.
The enmity runs so deep that DC adults have this hilarious tradition of taking photos outside of the large home Wendy owns in a ritzy part of Boulder. I’ll see if I can find mine, haha.”
Interesting, and that’s a bummer to learn. I suppose it’s less confusing if there is a specific ID or code used by a clinic. IDK about the egg donor, but my daughter’s sperm donor knew his ID number (provided in a voice sample).
Did the all caps one change their name recently? I poked around into a couple of other groups yesterday and from context it looks like they may be called something else now, but are still very…intense.