By admin on July 25, 2007

As we at the Donor Sibling Registry are “redefining family” many of us will have the opportunity to include as new “family” members people who come from different socio-economic, geographic and political backgrounds. In addition, we may connect with others with different sexual orientations than our own.

I have recently heard from a member whose child was so excited to have found a half sibling on the DSR, only to hear from the match’s parent that a connection would not be made because of the first mother’s sexual orientation. This is not about defining connection/match success as getting along or having a multitude of things in common. (How many of our family members that we actually grew up with think/act/believe as we do?)It’s about honoring the curiosities and connections that the donor conceived yearn for. It’s about celebrating these connections.

For parents we need to be willing to examine our own fears, prejudices, preconceived notions and hesitations and then be willing to do what’s in the best interests of our children in spite of them. I see this all the time with the non-biological parent, both straight and gay, in the DI family. Many times these parents have hesitations and fears about their kids connecting to their donor families. Time after time, I see these folks rise above their own discomfort to do what they know is best for their kids.

Reaching out to donor families can be an opportunity to connect with people that you might not have otherwise. It can be an opportunity to widen and enrich your family circle.

By admin on July 20, 2007

Inquiry is defined in the dictionary as a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge or an investigation. Also as the seeking of information by questioning.

The DSR has not only been a place for connecting families, but also an organization committed to inquiry. I have always thought it was important to create a safe place where all people involved with DI could inquire, share and learn about the different experiences of everyone in the “donor family”, donors and their families, donor conceived, and parents and their families. We have all had great opportunities for learning on the DSR, as over the past seven years we have heard from so many, with so many different experiences and viewpoints. As a parent, I know that I have always had a commitment to educating myself on these issues that directly affect my son.

More and more, people are coming to DSR as they are beginning the process of choosing a sperm bank or donor and are looking for advise or guidance. I have‚ had the opportunity to hear many stories (the good, the bad and the ugly) from families who have used all of the major sperm banks listed on the DSR. I have also had the opportunity to speak with many of the representatives from these sperm banks and clinics, and have come to some very interesting conclusions myself about which banks I would recommend. One trend that I see is that many of the banks seem to be focused on the front end- getting the clients in and pregnant. Also, getting sperm donors in with the promise of quick cash, with no mention in their advertising that these young men will be helping to create a human life that someday may be curious about one half their genetic identity and heritage.

Personally, I would only recommend sperm banks that also focus responsibly on the “back end”, or post pregnancy. Too often I hear of donor families (especially the donor conceived) who are ignored, dismissed and forgotten and whose needs are certainly not served later on down the road. This is inexcusable when it relates to important medical information as well as dealing with the curiosities of the donor conceived. It is also for this reason that I strongly recommend whenever I can, for people to use open donors.

By admin on July 11, 2007

I was extremely disappointed with the ABC Primetime piece. I had not realized that ABC News had gone “tabloid”. They lied to me about the story content and I believe that inclusion of Donor 150’s pictures and comments took away from the integrity and dignity of the story.

Ryan was cringing at all the “smart” talk. We’ve been through it before though, so he takes it all with a grain of salt.
I loved seeing Todd and the kids (so cute!), that was very special for me as I usually don’t get to see the matches made on the DSR. Reliving the Ryan and Anna meeting was fun too. They filmed so much wonderful footage during our weekend together. It’s too bad that they didn’t include some very important interview dialog with Anna’s parents, most especially her father. In his interview he spoke very eloquently about what it means to be a parent to a donor child and how important it was for him to acknowledge Anna’s curiosity. His interview was very emotional and touching and could have been very educational and helpful to so many donor families on the fence about telling their kids, and/or acknowledging their curiosities.

By referring to the donors as “dads”, this put a lot of people off. Understandable. The whole “Who’s Your Daddy” thing is outdated and I thought we had moved beyond it. This could have been a great opportunity for ABC to take this story to a new level of inquiry and education. Instead, they sensationalized and implied that picking a donor by his “beefcake” picture was regular practice. Shame on them.

Big picture, is that the message did get out there, and so many folks have been coming to the DSR and matching since last night. So all is good in the end.