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Posting for traffic - anyone born via donor egg/sperm?(58 Posts)
Hi all, we are in position of potentially needing donor help to have a baby. I see lots of parents saying their child loves them and they’re the mother etc and the family but I would worry about when the child is older or an adult what their thoughts would be whereas all I’ve seen is children around 4 or babies who can’t process complex thoughts.
Has anyone experience of this?
Please don’t turn this into a bun fight on whether donor is correct or not - I am working through that myself.
We are currently thinking about this and i would love to hear the responses to this. Where are you thinking of getting treatment op?
Not me but my godson (not exactly godson because we are all athiests but that sort of relationship) was sperm donor conceived. He was fine with it as a young child, had big issues with it as a young teen (tbf these were also linked to his mothers getting divorced) and is currently at peace with it as an older teen. He can access more information about his donor at 18 so I guess there may be some fallout at that point, or maybe when/if he one day has children of his own.
I'd be quite surprised if most donor conceived children didnt at some point have quite complex feelings about it, but complex isnt the same as bad iyswim. And I think how parents help the child/teen/adult deal with these feelings makes a big difference to the outcome.
There's a study here that might be useful:
I used to be all in favour of it and was even considering donating eggs when I was younger, but I think it is more complicated than I originally thought. My DH is adopted which is a slightly different kettle of fish but seeing him still struggle with the fact that he didn't grow up with his biological parents has made me question what the long-term effects will be on donor-conceived children.
I should add that study seems to have been conducted by a right-wing/religious organisation, so take it with a pinch of salt.
There are some studies here which AFAIK don't come from religious organisations:
@PanicOnTheStreets85 I'd be wary of that study purely because of who's reporting on it - the Catholic Church is against all assisted reproduction, including IVF.
I'm Catholic, I've had IVF, and don't agree with the Church's official stance.
@Paniconthestreets85 Thanks for the link. I share some of your concerns. At least my DH would be the biological father. We thus far agree if we did it we would need to be open from start as a child to avoid a shock when older and would have to be comfortable with helping the child find the donor if they wish at 18 which is in itself tough if I’ve done all the child rearing. We’ve also discussed things like my DH having to be the disciplinarian (even though he’s a big softie and I’m more strict) for a teen as I would be so upset if a ‘you’re not even my real mother’ was thrown at me in a teenage strop. It’s the teenage and adult years I’m worried about. Most people who say it’s great and they are the real parent only have young children - maybe by virtue of how it’s a new process. I also worry about what they’d think of having multiple half siblings all over the place.
@Cookiebear2010 Denmark is supposed to be very good and the donors are not anonymous so the child can find them when older. I feel like this is essential (even though I would hate it).
I don’t know if I’m thinking too far ahead. Plenty of people fall out with their actual parents or become closer to a step parent etc in general so maybe a donor egg child would be happy to be living in a loving family environment. Ironically while unable to have a child our entire life is set up to give a child anything they could ever want alongside buckets of love and a large and involved extended family.
I'm also not sure about those other studies - the studied population was people who were already part of FB groups, which indicates it's an important part of the respondents' consciousness. Donor-conceived people who couldn't care less are far less likely to join one of those groups, so the studies were biased to begin with.
Ignore that link - the Catholic Church oppose all assisted.conception.
You’ll find lots of good, independent info on the Donor Conception Network site - for families in all situations.
We have donor conceived kids and have had an open dialogue with them since they were tiny, so far no issues - the oldest is 10. At 18 they’d an choose to get info regarding their donor from the clinic - and I fully expect them to do so. I would.
We know many, many donor conceived kids through a Lgbt parenting grp.
The issue with that report also is that the biggest sample of respondents found out from a DNA test as an adult so that shock would definitely skew your thoughts on donor conception. It’s a very tough one. I do think we could give a child who my DH child a wonderful life and that I would be a good mother. And also just because I have fertility issues should I deprive my DH of being a parent..
There is no more anonymous donation - all donors now know this when they donate, that at 18 the child can find out all details about their donor.
All donor conceived kids in the U.K. have the right to know their heritage when they turn 18.
I used to work with someone who was conceived through donor sperm.
She was really screwed up by it, I think there were specific reasons including her mother and father already had children, mother wanted another and for some reason he couldn't father another child so mother used a donor, her husband knew and agreed but the daughter felt he resented her and she never had a good relationship with him. Physically she was nothing like the rest of the family, think hair colour, height and build so she always felt like the cuckoo in the nest. She couldn't find her biological father but did find half siblings. For a time she was obsessed by it all but eventually she married and had children and seemed to come to peace with it all.
@1forsorrow sorry to hear that about your friend. That sounds very complicated if the father resented her.
I think you have a very balanced attitude OP and hope you have good luck with it if you go ahead. I do get mildly frustrated nowadays when I see people promoting donation as if there is no possible downside, and anyone who does suggest that there might be is told to go back to the 1950s, but you seem to be alert to the issues and I think being open from the outset is a very good idea.
If it helps, I know DH did use the "You're not even my real parents" against his (adoptive) parents as a teenager but says that he just said it out of anger/frustration knowing it would hurt them and now really regrets it. So even if you do ever hear something along those lines, remember that it might not be how they really feel
I did see someone posting something about adoption before that might apply to donor conception too - if there are problems with the relationship, the child will blame the fact that they are not biologically related to their parents, even if that is not the cause. If they have a good relationship with their parents, it's less likely to be such a big factor in their lives. I haven't experienced it myself but I think that rings true to me and my experiences with DH.
I think teenagers can be horrible to parents of any variety, I can remember desperately hoping I was adopted and asking my mother and saying how it would be nice to know and wouldn't change anything hoping she would "admit" it. Totally mad as I am like her clone. I think we all go a bit crazy as teenagers but it doesn't mean it's forever. I was very close to my mother as an adult and shake my head at my desperation to be adopted.
I think it depends on how and what they are told and them as people and you.
I deeply regret not donating my eggs. I was absolutely heartbroken as it had taken me years until the point I had finished making my family. I struggled a great deal (not with ovulating) with pregnancy and at one time was told I couldn't have children. By the time my family was complete I decided I wanted to be an egg donor and I really wanted another women or couple to experience being parents and did not view it as absolutely not having a child but donating an egg. But I was rejected for being too old -despite having periods and getting pregnant 12 months before and amazing health. My best friend at aged 35 had not found her life partner and asked a male friend to donate sperm with no come back. Her daughter is now 25 and there are no issues. She doesn't know 'her biological father' and doesn't have a relationship. She once said to be 'I'm thankful to him for giving my mum the chance to be a mum but he's not my dad - my mum is my mum and my dad' but it was always talked about openly. We as animals, unlike dogs seem to have this need to know 'family' but it's a real myth to me -family is those that love you and raise you.
The actor Jordan waller was conceived by a sperm donor to lesbian parents. He’s talked about it a lot including in this podcast. podtail.com/en/podcast/daddy-issues-podcast/jordan-waller/ (It’s pretty sweary so if you’re easily offended I wouldn’t listen)
Obviously it’s a different experience as he had the added dimension of not having a father at all but (as he describes it) 3 mothers but the part where he talks about his relationship with his sperm donor is interesting especially as it’s the donor that wants a relationship not him
Hi OP. I have no experience of donor conception, so cannot help you there. But just noted you saying that your DH would have to be disciplinarian. I would advise against this, as it sets you up as the "weaker" parent. Ultimately, I think a teenager would not respect you if you felt you couldn't tell them when their behaviour was wrong, and waited until your husband was available.
You and your DH would need to be a team, disciplining in the same, agreed way. Any throwaway comments about you not being their real mother should be quietly ignored during an argument, and you should try to remain calm and stick to what is relevant (easier said than done, I know). Then perhaps a chat with the child on another day about why that was hurtful.
Thanks everyone for your help and views. Listening to that podcast now thanks @Kit19
Hi OP. I was conceived by donor sperm, as were my siblings. We are a very close family and all get on well, speak every day. We didn't find out until early adulthood, which wasn't ideal, but even when it was all revealed it wasn't a huge drama, after a few weeks we'd all moved on and gone back to normal. Don't let people with limited experience tell you it has to be a disaster because it doesn't. I rarely think about it, and when I do, I think it's interesting rather than strange, sad or difficult.
A friend and her brother were born via donor sperm. When they both found out they still loved their parents just as much. Neither of them felt the urge to find out their real biological father was.
Thanks @Hotpinkparade I am also from a very close family and that’s what I always envisaged having myself. have you ever tried to find your biological parent?
I don't have any experience but used to say I would happily be an egg donor if it means a family get to experience the love of being a parent however now I have my own children I worry about the effects having a biological sibling that they can't really know about comeback and find them one day - I think it it was anonymous I would probably still consider because I wouldn't ever see the baby as any link to me
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