By admin on December 24, 2008

I have been hearing some disturbing stories of DSR parents, donors and offspring being counseled by therapists who do not at all seemed well versed or experienced in the intricacies or the potential complications (and joys) of donor families looking to form or deciding to connect somewhere later on down the line.

As we are all maneuvering through uncharted territory, I believe that good counseling can have an important place in  the “re-defining” of family that often times catches us by surprise. Just a few of the issues that I see on a regular basis:

*Maneuvering through the issues of disclosure, a child’s right to know, and when and how to tell

*Couples or single moms deciding to use donor insemination and wondering about open or anonymous donors

*How to move forward in connecting with a half sibling’s family (or many families)

*Donors- how to move forward with connecting when your family members may not know of your donations or may not approve of your reaching out to your genetic offspring (and how to deal when there are many of them)

*Non-biological parents who may be feeling uncomfortable with their children reaching out to biological relatives

*Parents/donors/offspring coming together from different socio-economic/political/sexual orientation/religious backgrounds who need  assistance in moving forward in the most healthy way possible

*For donor conceived people- how to cope when you have a burning desire to know your genetic/ancestral history

*Helping to make the distinction between privacy and secrecy in the families we connect with

*Feeling like having a therapist actually there for a first meeting would be important

The issues and challenges of forming and re-defining family are just limitless.

We have access to a couple of amazing therapists here on the DSR. These are parents (gay/straight/east coast/west coast) of donor children who have worked through many of these issues themselves. The DSR has set aside some funding to help with  members who would like counseling, but haven’t yet reached out for assistance. Please contact me if you are interested in a free phone consultation.

By admin on December 19, 2008

Season’s greetings to all DSR members!

Yesterday we officially had our 6000 matched person on the Donor Sibling Registry. Keep in mind that there are most likely at least 25% more matches that are not listed on the DSR.

This week we uploaded a Video page with several DSR news stories from the first one in 2002 through this year.

We have a had a very successful year presenting research and educating the industry on the experiences and needs of donor families around the globe. Between us and our partners at Cambridge University, we’ve presented in Europe, Australia, and the US.  One of these papers is about to be published in the journal Human Reproduction. Additionally, egg donor research conducted with Dr. Jennifer Schneider will be presented in Scotland in January of 2009.  All very exciting!

This year we organized and completed a GLBT outreach project which included partering with several GLBT organizations and advertising in several magazines and newsletters.

The big media news for 2008 was certainly Oprah.  For any of you that might have missed it, it is one of the videos we now have on the video page, it’s worth checking out. To all the DSR families who have participated in media with us- thanks so much. It is because of your willingness to talk publicly, that so many others have learned about the DSR and the possibilities of connecting.

This year we also added the “medical” and “donor q & a” pages on the DSR for families to share important medical information, and donor to share non-identifying information with their genetic offspring.  If you are a donor, please fill out the questionnaire so that your offspring can learn a bit about you. This is a great tool for people who wish to share information, but maybe connect more slowly. Only your matches have access to viewing these pages.

We continue to hear the most amazing stories of people connecting with half siblings and/or donors on the site.  We feel privileged to be able to  serve all of you- our lives are so much richer for it!

Wendy and Ryan