The donor conceived and adopted need our help.
I am asked every single day to look at someone’s DNA & compare it to another’s in order to determine how close that relationship is, and how likely it is a particular match would lead them to a certain relative. Sometimes its a parent who placed a child for adoption who wants to know where they are, what they’ve become. Sometimes its the child who wants to find their parents and they must rely on Genetic Genealogy since the adoption records are sealed in most states. And I help them for free. Other people do too. I learned from the best of them, CeCe Moore & others at DNA Detectives but I particularly learn a lot from my cousin who is a molecular geneticist and, while he does not often get involved in a “case” of missing lineage, he teaches me and I couldn’t do squat without him being such a
sucker for supporter of my cause.
We also have the donor conceived who need to know their lineage/heritage. I do not want to be political on this site, but the fact that I help these people find their biological families probably gives me away as to how I feel about anonymous donor conception. Ok I will say it. I think its cruel and unethical to do this anonymously. It’s a miracle, yes, but at a really high price. This needs to be done openly. Not only for the sake of the offspring, but also the sake of the donor. This child will find their donor. One cannot expect to live with this type of secret, it will knock them upside the head when they least expect it & they’ll be bandaged awhile.
The offspring of the donors come in droves to DNA Detectives to find guidance because they have a burning NEED to find their donor/bio family. This burning need consumes them. They spend lots of money & emotional energy trying to get past the barriers. They’re often told that their feelings were decided for them when the donor agreed to ANONYMOUSLY donate, because the sperm belonged to the man whose body it came from, that HE had the right to choose how it was gonna go. With modern technology, that donor is never going to enjoy guaranteed anonymity. DNA tests are $99 and they are being sold & submitted by the truck loads. It fairly fast turnaround to get your data & then it’s only a matter of time, the results will eventually lead the offspring right to the donors door.
So, because I know how it feels to not know who your parent is, I found myself inclined to help these people find what they are looking for in order to feel whole. Ideally, the “reunion” between donor and offspring would be smooth. It’s more often NOT the case. Yet, before I had even thought about how I feel about donor conception in general, I found myself unable to refuse to help. My mind was made up for me that I was going to be involved in upsetting an unsuspecting mans life by leading his son or daughter straight to him. Yes this does bug me a little, but I do not own that problem. I own the solution. It’s fair to point out that the solution presents more problems, and to that I get to say, “He started it! When he donated that sperm!” I am actually not involved in what happens beyond identifying, so the drama is not mine, thankfully, because drama is exhausting. I am around to support the offspring when things don’t turn out like they’d hoped. It is devastating when the parent won’t talk.
So, since it’s obvious whose side I am on, what is the solution to the infertile or same sex couples problem?
I think that anonymous donation was a very bad idea. If we are going to play God & if it’s going to be done, it should be done by a donor who is fully aware that this child will have an aching, all consuming desire to find him/her. The donor needs to commit to being forthcoming with information for that person.
In the 70s when donor conception really became a thing, who knew that the offspring were going to experience this force driven urge to find their creator? Everyone. They deny it, as if no one ever suspected this. I would point out the failure to consider that humans have been searching for who or what ever is responsible for our creation ever since we became aware that we were created. We will stop at nothing to find our master creator. It should have been foreseen that this would happen. Like most modern day progression, no one wants to think about the consequences of what we’re doing, they just want to do it & they don’t like straw men being introduced into the conversation. Straw men are important if you want to be proactive. They enable you to make a plan for handling the foreseen issue, rather than what we are doing now which hiding, hoping the offspring will just stop asking questions. They say if we tangle ourselves up with concerns about being proactive, then progression would never happen. They’re right. That is why we are here right now, working this out together as a reactive behavior, after lives have been turned upside down & humans have suffered emotionally. As far as this issue goes, I found myself right smack in the middle of the controversy.
I take every opportunity to advocate for the donor conceived. There just aren’t all that many opportunities.