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Enabling children to identify their sperm-donor father

By Myrmecia - 9 April 2008 20

There was an eye-catching ad for sperm donors on page 16 of the Sunday Canberra Times.

I was a sperm donor back in 1982, donating through a clinic in Woden which has since closed.

I’d like to let families who received my sperm, and the individuals who inherited my genes, know that I am available for them to contact me if they wish.

I am not searching for these people, but I just want to give them the option as I understand some children born through donor sperm want to know something about both their biological parents. This may be a more pressing wish as they approach marriage (etc) and parenthood themselves. For the same reason, a couple who are both from sperm donations might like to find out of they are half-siblings.

They may like to know, for example, that I’m leading a healthy retirement, that my sons in their late 20s are also healthy and well-adjusted.

Is there anything I can do to give my biological offspring the opportunity to locate me?

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Enabling children to identify their sperm-donor father
GnT 4:58 pm 13 Apr 08

Please enlighten me, and the rest of the readers who don’t get it. That would be called a discussion.

Mælinar 2:08 pm 11 Apr 08

Since you don’t get it, I won’t bother.

GnT 1:51 pm 11 Apr 08

He’s already said he’s not seeking a relationship, just offering to be available if the kids want one. The owners of the house would be able to find you through the SES if they wanted to meet and thank you.

And to JD114, I think (and hope) the days of pretending non-biological parents really are, or of stigma attached to IVF and adoption, are long gone.

Mælinar 2:38 pm 10 Apr 08

@Myrmecia – my comment People who seek and cherish these escapist ideologies (my biological dad is really a pilot, opposed to the man who has raised me is an abbatoir worker) have fulfillment issues they need to deal with. is also directed at you, even though with the example it has a child oriented focus.

I think you are only ‘in the market’ because you have been successful in your life. This is a historical point of view, because at the time you were a donor, you had no way of knowing whether or not you would be as you are now, or a dropkick heroin junkie whatever.

To distil my comment further; I think you have fulfillment issues that you need to deal with.

Allow me to put this another way. Like you, I occasionally do a public service through SES volunteering. Under the most extreme of situations, I’ve put a roof over somebody’s house after their last one blew off (on many occasions).

Its not up to me after I leave that site to go back and check on the roof – nor is it appropriate for me to go back and take a sticky beak at my work at a later date.

If I wanted to have a ‘relationship’ with that house, I should have gone and met the owners before the storm. Then it would be appropriate for me to go back and check on the roof, and to go back and have a sticky beak at my work at a later date.

OK probably a bad example, but I’m already hanging out desperately for Friday pm drinks and weekend, so cut me some slack. Follow the skeletal framework at least…

Myrmecia 2:03 pm 10 Apr 08

“Some donor children want to know, others don’t. Everyone is different. Sign up to the register and see what happens.”

Yes. Someone above seems to have misread my post. I’m not searching for my biological children. But I do know some children from IVF would like to know who their biological fathers are. I am not making a judgement about this desire if it exists. But I have no problems with enabling them to make contact if they wish. These kids didn’t ask to be born this way, now they know they were IVF kids; no need to rub their faces in it by declaring that “life’s tough”. Sometimes it needn’t be.

“Are your sons ready for this?”

I must admit I have not asked them, but I’d reckon they would be about as robust as JD114 – though not as ‘in yer face’. The anonymity of TRA enables all sorts of troubled, Walter Mitty characters to behave in ways they would not get away with outside this virtual world.

JD114 1:48 pm 10 Apr 08

Cameron… of course it is. D’oh. But processes to preclude such events require some lateral thinking… something beyond a goodly percentage of the community it seems.

Mr Evil 1:24 pm 10 Apr 08

Thumper, I think I stole it from somewhere else anyway: I don’t come up with stuff like that all on my own. 🙂

Thumper 1:12 pm 10 Apr 08

Mr Evil,

that is funny!

i’m stealing it.

Mr Evil 1:09 pm 10 Apr 08

I think there’s a market for a t-shirt that says “My Biological Father’s A Wanker”

Cameron 1:02 pm 10 Apr 08

You don’t think it’s a good idea for a child of a sperm donor to know if they’re accidentally marrying their half sibling? Or have some information about the genetic history of their family?

sepi 1:02 pm 10 Apr 08

Some donor children want to know, others don’t.

Everyone is different.

Sign up to the register and see what happens.

Are your sons ready for this?

JD114 1:00 pm 10 Apr 08

Maelinar… hear hear. Short-sighted politically expedient feel-good idiots are the only descriptions I can think of for the tossers who think that ‘liberating’ the chilluns and donors in this way can do anything but harm.

The whole effing point of the scheme was to have chilluns who believed their parents were their parents, and never needed to know otherwise. Can you imagine the irrepairable harm done to a goodly percentage of the chilluns when they’re told that their Dad ain’t their Dad really because of inadequacy (no matter what effing language it’s couched in).

As for the supposed ‘right to know’ what a load of tosser’s bollocks. Society is full of hidden information for the greater public good, and this fits perfectly into that category.

Tossers. (no pun intended)

Mælinar 9:15 am 10 Apr 08

Is there anything I can do to give my biological offspring the opportunity to locate me?

Have a relationship with the biological mother perhaps ?

While I commend your voluntary service to the public cause by assisting otherwise unable to have children partnerships to have children, your limit of exploitation stops there buster.

We can get all gooey and lovey dovey about the process, but this is the cold hard fact. If you wanted to have a relationship with that child, you should have had a relationship with the other parent.

People who seek and cherish these escapist ideologies (my biological dad is really a pilot, opposed to the man who has raised me is an abbatoir worker) have fulfillment issues they need to deal with.

Finding their biological parents goes against all sensible reasons why they went to sperm donation in the first place, for the donor, and for the receiver – a very difficult and painful road to tread, while it may seem a good idea at the time.

I considered seriously the topic of sperm donation when I was younger. I made the decision then, that I continue to stick with now, that I would prefer to have a relationship with my biological children, so I didn’t do it. This also covers the ethical choice a donor must make when donating sperm in the first place, that it is a donation for public improvement, not personal gain.

While it may seem the appropriate p.c. thing to do in the current world clime, I would recommend anybody thinking of doing this take a detailed look beyond the mumbo jimbo and have a serious think about the long term consequences of doing this.

StephanieKJ 1:26 am 10 Apr 08

I am a parent who has children from a sperm donor so first I’d like to say thank you. If you go to http://www.donoroffspringmatches.com there is a site where you can register for free as a former sperm donor. It is used for offspring, parents and donors to make matches. This site is new but growing fast. Bascially a Sperm/Egg Donor Registry.

As parents, I know I love to see donors sign up. It is a lot easier to find sibling matches but in a lot of cases, our children want to find their donor to see who they are, what they are about.

Please consider joining them. I found a sibling match there for my youngest and would love to find one of their donors too.

Stephanie

ml66uk 10:57 pm 09 Apr 08

This site is probably the best place to go:

http://www.donorsiblingregistry.com/

There is no-one yet listed for the ACT though.

There is also a voluntary register for Victoria here:
http://www.ita.org.au/www/257/1001127/displayarticle/1001231.html

I’m not aware of a register for the ACT.

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