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.