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Author Topic: Newspaper story from Adelaide  (Read 2764 times)
dadams
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« on: December 29, 2014, 12:56:23 AM »

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/conceived-via-sperm-donors-this-is-their-emotional-quest-to-find-their-mystery-dads/story-fni6uo1m-1227168781926

CONCEIVED in Adelaide from anonymous donor sperm, Michael Griffiths and Kim Buck are part of a growing community of donor-conceived children looking for their biological fathers.

Neither are hopeful of making contact because of the degree of secrecy surrounding artificial insemination records which in South Australia protect the anonymity of donors.

Kim Buck, 30, an artist in Melbourne who grew up in Mt Gambier, said her mother received fertility treatment in the early 1980s at the Flinders Medical Centre and was told recently that records for donors before 1988 had been destroyed. Griffiths, 40, an Adelaide cabaret performer who was in the musical Jersey Boys, has also hit a dead end. Records released to his mother contained only a donor code, SM3, that may not mean anything to the donor.

Buck grew up believing his father was his biological parent and reacted with anger when he learnt the truth from a draft of his mother’s autobiography.

“I was absolutely shocked and very angry and we didn’t talk about it for 10 years,” he said. “I thought I knew how I was conceived.”

He said the expression ‘donor conceived’ wasn’t even in his vocabulary and to have not been told felt like a major deception. It also meant his sister became his half-sister and he lost a biological connection with family on his father’s side.

“I reacted to that quite badly,” he said. “I carried a lot of anger and confusion for a long time.”

Buck learnt of her origins in the heat of a fight when her parent’s marriage was breaking down. She was 16.

“It was just this blur of a time and I can’t actually remember he moment I found out,” she said. “I remember an incredible amount of shock and also a full understanding in a weird sort of way. I never really felt I fitted in to Dad’s network.”

Both are looking to find out who their biological father was but not in the fuller sense of a child given up for adoption who looks for parent. They express it more as a need for identity.

“For me it’s not about meeting some old dude and then having brunch and then hanging out,” says Griffiths. “It’s about figuring out who I am in the context of the way I was created which wasn’t how I thought it was.”

Buck says finding her father is very important to her although she accepts a meeting is unlikely.

“It’s terribly important, from a medical history point of view first and foremost,” she says. “But also the familial, genetics, identity — I would like to know his hobbies.”

She is not seeking to include him in her life but wants to know more about who he is.

“I’d be happy with just a picture and a list of hobbies and maybe a bit of medical history,” she says. “Just something.”

Buck said Victoria had statewide legislation governing donor records that could provide contact through an intermediary but in SA records were only retained at the discretion of the clinic. Buck said she and other donor conceived people she knew were not trying to pressure donors and felt very sensitive towards the people who had allowed them to be here.

“I guess we would respectfully hope or encourage if they were that way inclined they might contact the clinics and provide some level of medical information, whatever they were comfortable with,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. Maybe there is a middle ground.”

CAN YOU HELP?

Michael Griffiths, 40, was conceived in 1973 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The code for his donor was SM3

Kim Buck, 30, was conceived in early 1984 at the Flinders Medical Centre (now Flinders Fertility). Her files have been destroyed but the donor’s code was 12.

Any potential donor fathers are encouraged to contact either clinic, even if just to provide some information that could be passed on.

ABC 1 is making a documentary about Kim and Michael’s search for their biological fathers.
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