Posted by: DD | September 8, 2006

no. 267 – Donor

As many of you know, before we ever considered DUI, we let our thoughts drift into the adoption option, especially since a couple of months ago DUI was not even allowed on the table.

I have researched domestic, international and foster-adoption and have tried to weigh out what pros and cons I could mentally list out. The one major hurdle I faced again and again was the aspect of open-adoption compared to closed. I mentally cringed each time I imagined the birth/first mother’s (sorry, but I don’t know which one of those terms is the most appropriate anymore) wish to be part of the child’s life long after the baby had come home with us. Not because I didn’t want to share, but because I imagined the bio-parent would change their mind and take back the child, even though I know that happens rarely. I would irrationally compare how I felt losing my baby at 15 weeks with losing a baby who was healthy, had spent time in our arms and our lives, and taken back on that sliver-slim chance. If you think I obsess about my miscarriage, picture me after something like that and make sure to include the room with padded walls.

Slowly I was realizing that the gripping fear had more to do with my insecurities and ignorance. In not being afraid to admit that, I was taking my own kind of baby steps.

But when we acknowledged DUI as a potential option, I regressed into that insecure girl, laying in a fetal position in the corner of my padded room, banging my head ineffectively on the floor. Remember when I had asked for reading suggestions on d0n0r blogs? I added a few to my bloglines, but there were two in particular that I gravitated to because they are written by men. Mr. DD has been expressing his concerns about this option passively and stoicly, but I can tell it lays heavily on his mind. I wanted to see if I could gain a little understanding of the male perspective, so I read.

I had no idea that the push was out there to not only tell your child that they were the product of DUI, but when they are mature enough, to give them the ability to know who the d0n0r was and even meet their bio-half siblings! It freaked me right the fuck out.

Why am I having a hard time with this? If we were to adopt, open or closed, I would without a second thought, share the birth-story with that child including their adoption.

And why is it not only the social norm, but wholly expected I would be open with my child about their adoption, but the subject of DUI is somehow different and even taboo to many? Logically, DUI should be more acceptable since the child is biologically related to one parent, right? I can certainly understand why Adoption may be more popular with the male partner, because as my own husband stated, he feels inadequate when he thinks about DUI. So then one might theorize that Adoption would be the more populor choice with our male partners, but how many of us have had that road block put in front of us as soon as we even think about Adoption? But why the magnified stigma on D0n0r? Why do I who openly admits to our infertility and miscarriages, am inhibited enough to protect my site from prying eyes when it comes to this?

How can I be an advocate for DUI when I struggle daily with these thoughts? Look at me! I am using “DUI” to refer to the whole business. I’ve obviously got issues.

But…

But, why am I tearing myself up about this when I haven’t even started a cycle; when I haven’t even taken the first stim injection; when we haven’t even got pregnant?! So, today I have decided to stop tearing myself down and fighting waves of panic. We’ll select an anon d0n0r, that is definite, but I really need to stop obsessing about something I may never have to make a decision about.

Our objective is to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Everything will work itself out from there. It always does, even if it’s in a way that wasn’t expected or even imagined. This will give me time to review all of our options and do the research as DI_Dad suggests.

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Responses

  1. You’re tearing yourself up because YOU’RE NORMAL. Normal, healthy people do stuff like that because they care and are thoughtful.

    I think it also has to do with where you live . . .

  2. All of your concerns are valid. I was one of the unfortunate few who has a birthmom change her mind in a domestic adoption, and it sucked. Yes, I had the baby. I’m glad to see you’re progressing and wish you luck in your quest for baby.

  3. It’s not an easy decision by any means. That is why you are tearing yourself up. DUI means using someone else, other than your life partner to create your baby. That also means you would have a piece of that person growing inside of you. This thought in of itself would steer ME away from DUI. But that’s me. I’m an advocate of adoption, mostly because both my brother and myself are international adoptees.

    I never knew until I was much older that my adoptive mother miscarried twice. I knew of one for a while, and then after my mother’s passing, my brother told me she actually did twice. I’m guessing the first time was before they adopted him. The other time I know was when they already had him. The were all in the car, my mom driving, and they were hit head-on. The steering wheel was pushed into my mom’s belly and she lost the baby.

    So my brother was about 5 when I came into the family at the age of 2 1/2. My parents were very open about us being adopted. I’m not even sure when or how they told us, it feels like I just always knew. Of course, it’s a little different when your parents are both caucasian and you look entirely asian…lol.

    Well, don’t think I helped you any. Your decision should not be taken lightly by anyone. Just follow your heart and what feels right for you. There’s a heck of a lot to think through. take your time.

  4. Agreed, tearing yourself up is normal.

    This stuff is not supposed to be easy. Being a parent is not easy so I think sometimes life decides to make it interesting and make us appreciate it more by working for it. I don’t mean by punishing our bodies but by testing our minds. Creating life should always be taken seriously.

    Eric (DI Dad)

  5. Hey DD
    I can’t imagine not telling a child that DI was used in their conception. Ugh, me speak too many negatives. What I’m trying to say is that had we gone the DI route, I would consider it my child’s right to know. (And you know I’ve had some familial experience with DI). My only quandary would be trying to figure out when they would be old enough for the information.
    Now whether anyone else knows would be a different call (I would make sure any potential guardian knew but that would be it – I would consider it my child’s right to let other people know or not).
    I just went to see your comment on DIDad’s blog and I couldn’t help cringing with the thought that you might just not tell a child. In my view, they have a right to know and they also have the right to know that it doesn’t matter in the least to you and Mr. DD.
    Just my two cents (and I DON’T think it’s too early to think about these things).
    DinoD

  6. DinoD, bless your ever-lovin’, double-negative heart! It is not too early to think of these things; but it’s way to early to get myself in such a frenzy I can’t sleep at night thinking I have to have my decision made by the time our next cycle starts. Won’t I have enough to stress about? I’m just giving myself some breathing space. I don’t know if we will get more than one chance at this, and dammit, if I only get one, then I’m not going to cause myself to stroke out by CD10. Especially when you tally up the $$ that will be injected in my legs by that time!

    But in all seriousness, yes, I honestly have considered not telling anyone, including either children (if I was to be so lucky). And I’ve also admitted to being ignorant and scared. I need to take this in slowly. It took us a whole year just to make it this far.

  7. This is hard stuff, no question. Just keep hammering at it and it’ll get easier — I promise.

  8. Sucks being a woman, huh? We just naturally worry 5 steps ahead of ourselves. Your plan of one step at a time would be wonderful – hope it works for you 🙂

  9. Women worry far too much and about everything. It is good and bad.
    Take a deep breath, do your research and I will keep praying.

  10. If it were me personally going through this -I’d be having very similar thoughts. And to be honest, I’d probably be leaning in the way of not telling anyone. (That’s not to say that I don’t totally respect anyones choice to tell… don’t get me wrong.)

    My dad is not my biological father. My bioligical sperm donor was a drunk and an addict. He beat my mother and attempted on more than one occasion to kidnap me as a baby to get my mother back. He spent the majority of my life in and out prison and wanted nothing to do with me. The man who raised me was is my dad. The man who rocked me to sleep at night and read me stories at night is my dad. The man who walked me down the isle (twice LOL) is my dad. As an adult, I wish I didn’t know he wasn’t my biological father. It isn’t blood that makes him my father. As a child, I constantly wondered if my life would be different with him in it. Does he think about me? Does he regret his choices? That’s a lot of crap to put on kid. It was something I thought about ALL the time and because of that, I didn’t have the relationship I could have with my stepdad.
    It wasn’t until I got older and realized that biology didn’t matter that I allowed myself to get close to him.

    I realize that it’s not quite the same thing were talking about here but in a way it is. Is your childs life going to be any better for knowing, or is he going to be needlessly confused? I just think the most important thing would be that the kid knows they were conceived in love – and he/she will be.

    It is the fear of open adoption that has stopped me dead in my tracks for that being an option for us. I’m too close to the padded room as it is.

    Awesome post DD.

  11. My bio father was a sperm donor. Well, not really, but he might as well have been. He did not want kids and left my mother and me shortly after my birth. My mother told me at an early age of all this (and much more..) and I went through a hard time at first but then finally realized that he was just a sperm donor, and I had a great Grandpa and step dad that took his place and that was what mattered.
    I just lost a baby to her bio mother (we are adopting from Guatemala and bio mom decided to parent after 5 weeks.) It was heart breaking, but we pulled through and got another referral, who we went to go visit and fell in love with. It was much like my miscarraiges had been (had 4 of them).
    Whatever you decide to do, it will be the right thing for you and Mr. DD. For now, make a decision…. once you do that you will feel better that you are going forward with your plan. Plan B is excellent, trust me.
    Either way a baby is in your future. Hang in there.

  12. DD- I don’t consider this worrying on your part… I think you are mulling over some of the things you are going to need to confront and work through. That’s good, whatever decisions you make.

    My own opinion is the same as Dino D’s. If you present DI as normal (if you can come to terms with that), then the child will never consider themselves “different”. It will always be loved by the people it considers its true parents.

    That’s my two cents anyway. But I guess hearing the viewpoints is part of formng ideas, right?

  13. I’m proud of you for your ability to gain perspective. So many people lack that trait. You’re going to be fine.

  14. Ditto what Erin said. Just keep re-reading that last paragraph you wrote. That’s the best advice you could have.

    I’m so excited for you.

  15. I think you have to tell a child where they came from. Full stop. How you tell them and what you tell them when is up to you, and I know it must be horribly hard, but sooner or later they will find out they aren’t their father’s biological child, and how much better is it that they find out from you?

    I’m coloured in my opinion on this by having found the blog of a woman in australia who was a DI child, and she is one angry young lady. As others have said, it is their genetic information, they should have some ability to know about it.

  16. Tough thoughts, DD. And ones that are worth thinking about.

  17. You are NOT tearing yourself up, or down. You are a female and you are ‘planning’. I know that I do it, I have to do it. I go through every scenario and play it out in my head. This gives me an idea for what feels right, and what I would do in each situation. Yes, I am a planner and I hate surprises, so I plan it all out.
    Nevermind what the current push is with DUI. Do what you and Mr. DD feel comfortable doing, and yeah, you may not have to make those decisions (I hope you do!), but if the situation arises, you will have thought about it. And you are right. It WILL all work it self out!
    Karen

  18. When I started going down the donor gamete path, I decided fairly quickly that I need to research the hell out of it. I’d been a donor so that part was done. I figured the missing piece for me was the donor offspring perspective. That was one thing I was never going to be.

    So I found the Caroline Lorbach book which is called Experiences of Donor Conception and a few of the websited (mostly UK and AU because we Americans are very far behind when it comes to this). I highly recommend that book. It does pretty much come down hard on the telling side, but with good reason. You might find it very helpful reading. I’m not saying what you should feel one way or another but I know it helped me to read all the perspectives.

    Now I’m also looking at domestic open adoption. I don’t think I would have been as open to it earlier but it really feels the best for my family.


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