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Author Topic: The West Australian article 2  (Read 13378 times)
Quinny
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« on: December 08, 2006, 02:55:40 PM »

Another article from The West Australian sent to me by Hursty. I also typed this up so any typos in it are probably mine. Smiley I do not have the date for this article.

Romance is a lottery for mystery siblings

Bubbly Boyanup mother Sue Hurst thought life was complete for her and husband Andrew when their IVF son Jethro was born in July, 2002.

But new information that Jethro has two biological half-sisters, their whereabouts and identities unknown, has scared his mother into thinking her son may one day become unwittingly romantically involved with one of this siblings.

Parenthood for the Hursts seemed normal until a fortnight ago when their IVF clinic said Jethro had two half-sisters.

Mrs Hurst first got word of the potential for half-siblings through a Health Department letter, when in 2004, she joined WA's voluntary register of information about assisted reproduction. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing, as Mrs Hurst's donor - Cyntra Walsh - recalled yesterday that she had given the clinic permission to use any of her remaining eggs for another family.

But Mrs Hurst now knows the girls are out there somewhere and if their family has not joined the voluntary register, they will be oblivious to the ties.

"It just came as shock to find out there were half-siblings out there," Mrs Hurst said.

"They could live in the South-West, they could live in the North-West, they could live in South Australia, they could live in Bunbury - they could even live next door.

"I don't want to shock or scare them and I'm not seeking them out because they have a right to their privacy and to bring up their daughters in a way they deem is in the best interests of their children.

"But I feel it right that they know of our existence and most importantly so as they don't have the opportunity to form a relationship of any sort, only to discover they are, biologically speaking, half-siblings.

"I will always be wondering - if Jethro forms a relationship and has no opportunity to discover who his half-siblings are, there is always that possibility."

Mrs Hurst and Mrs Walsh have become close friends after The West Australian in 2004 brokered a meeting between the two women when WA reproductive technology laws were frustratingly keeping them and their respective identities apart.

Health Minister Jim McGinty changed those laws a month later to allow responsible and consenting adults to be able to meet in such circumstances - Only Victoria has similar laws.

A well-adjusted Jethro has danced past his fourth birthday, recently asking where he came from and bonding with his first girlfriend, Ashleigh. His favourite book is titled Sometimes It Takes Three To Make A Baby.

"Jethro is adorable, we love him to the core of our souls," Mrs Hurst said.

"He has a sense of humour which gives us hours and hours of pure enjoyment.

"Everyone who meets him loves him."
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Hursty
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2006, 09:36:06 PM »

 ;Thanks for typing this out for me Adam (Quinny), You did word for word and a great job. The paper omitted that i also said it would be nice for Jethro and these 2 girls to be able to meet one day also if this is what they wanted to do when they were older.- however overall I think our journalist Steve Butler did a great job of writing the story. The date of the publication was Monday 20th November 2006. I knew that this story was comming out when we went to Sydney for the Truth and Identity Forum as they came and took the photos and interviewed me the week before we went to Sydney.
Regards
Sue
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006, 12:47:13 AM »

As an offspring I find this sad for several reasons.

One reason is that most people seem to think that the only problem with being donor conceived is the possibility of forming a relationship with your sibling when there is much more to it. I'm not saying that you think this was Hursty - it is just how it is often protrayed particularly in the media and hence the greater public believe it to be so.

Another is that these siblings may never know of each others existence. Siblings should always know of each other and be allowed time to grow up with each other. The problem with meeting them later in life is that they do not share any life experiences together and it can be extremely difficult for them to form a close relationship.

In addition, unlike Jethro, these children may never even know of Cyntra and will have the same problem the rest of us face.

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Quinny
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2006, 01:21:17 PM »

hi Damian,

I agree with what you say, but I have noticed when trying to bring this subject up with people not involved with donor conception issues the most sensationalised way is to say that I could have had a relationship with a half-sibling unknowingly. This seems to be the most attention grabbing way.

The second way is to say I could have hundreds of half-siblings. Smiley

I don't think the importance of bio family relationships is something people are interested in unless it affects them directly.
It's fair to raise these points but for newspapers wanting attention grabbing articles I don't know if that's something that would make it in.

Personally I would have liked to have known my bio family while I was growing up, but in reality I haven't stopped growing and I would be happy to be in touch with them at this later stage of life.
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2006, 09:45:34 PM »

Hi Damian and Quinny
Its great to get feedback on what I am doing from doner concieved adult's point of view as I am trying to act in the best interests of Jethro and who better to recieve feedback from than others in his position. Thankyou! And I can see and understand where you are both comming from. I have also written a letter (annonymous of course!!!) to the phycologist at our fertility clinic and asked her to pass this letter on to the other recipients of Cyntra's eggs. I have yet to recieve a reply from either the phyc or the recicpients. In the letter i just asked if they would be willing to let me know if how they are bringing up their girls - ie telling or not. Also if they had considered joining the voluntary register so as our children can one day meet. I do find it sad too,Damian - however like Quinny - if one day this happens for them I think it will still be good. I'm yet to find out how Jethro feels about it all and guess that can only happen when he is able to fully understand about all this. I will be completely honest with him as his questions get more in depth and hope I can help him in whatever way I can. Until then he is such a happy boy, well adjusted and knows that Cyntra gave her eggs to me so me and daddy could have the baby we wanted. Thats all he's interested in at the moment. He starts kindy next year - oh this one is going to be hard to let go of!!!
I can see myself sitting in the car park in the car bawling my eyes out!! They grow up too quick! I am hoping that the story in the media hasnt scared off the other recipients - especially if they havent considered the truth for their daughters. I think they probably know what we look like now and may even know what Cyntra looks like. I hope they AT LEAST keep the articles to show their girls.
Sue
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2006, 09:54:54 PM »

Hi Sue,

it may take Jethro a long time to develop his thoughts and feelings on this issue.
As I mentioned in my talk at the conference, my views didn't change until I had children of my own - so I was 28. It is as much an ever changing experience for us too.

Cheers
Damian
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Hursty
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2006, 10:27:20 PM »

Hey there  Huh I got a response from the fertility clinic yesterday re: my annonymous letter to be passed on to the other egg recipients. I recieved a letter from the psycologist saying she had read my letter carefully and believes that it is a matter for the fertility clinics director to decide wheather to pass my annon letter onto the other recipients and I that i  should hear from him (the director) soon.
This is annoying me - when our Health Minister Jim McGinty had the laws changed after we met Cyntra - it changed in that where the parents of these children and the doners wanted to meet they could do so after councilling etc.. if both parties were responsible and wanted the meeting. I wonder where parents of half siblings stand with this law and how you would find them if the fertility clinic doesnt pass the letter on or if the other recipients arent on the voluntary register. I wonder if provisions were made for half siblings within this new law when it was passed? I will be looking into this.
Sue
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Hursty
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2006, 07:03:44 AM »

 :-\Me again "Hursty" - I got my letter from the directer of the fertility clinic today. They "appreciate" my reasons for wanting to send this letter to the other recipients of Cyntra's eggs but the laws were changed so as doner concieved children could have contact with their biological parent NOT the parents of the other children concieved by another family from the same doner. So I guess that means that having biological half brother/sister's is supposed to be irrelivant to the child.
I'm just pissed off at the moment - its an annonymous letter for heavens sake.! Surely it cant hurt to send that or to let the other recipients know that we exist and that should they be willing that we are on the voluntary register and realise the importance of joining the register for our children.
They (the fertility clinic)are going to forward my correspondence along with the correspondence they have sent me on to the Reproductive Technology Council to determine if my letter can be sent on to the other recipients. I bet they all are wishing I would just go away.
Sue
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Quinny
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2006, 11:22:12 AM »

Grrrr!!! That sounds shocking!! Is this Pivet or somewhere else?
By the sounds of what's happening the clinic may be afraid of the other parents reacting badly. That could get them in legal trouble which they would want to avoid.

At least they have passed on the info to the RTC. Hopefully some guidance will be forthcoming. From your messages it also sounds like if the letter had come from Cyntra there wouldn't be a problem? Is that right?

Maybe it's time to get Jim McGinty involved with this small "oversight". Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2006, 09:28:12 PM »

Yes Quinny this is Pivet. I will phone Antonia Clissa next week if I havent heard from the Reproductive Tech Council by then - just to see if my corresspondence has been passed on and what they are going to do about it and when. Good point you made about if it were Cyntra would the letter be passed on. If I have no luck I will ask Cyntra to write and we "may" get somewhere. And if that doesnt work I will be writing to Jim McGinty - "again". Pivet are probably thinking look what happened the last time we passed on unidentifying letters between this woman and the egg doner - they wouldnt let us meet and have identifying information and we all ended on the front page of the newspaper when we met. I think that being parents of half siblings we should have the right to at least correspond annonymously to find out where each other stand. We have brought these children into the world - while I dont think it is wrong for us to do this - in fact it has completed our lives - we still have a responsibility to make sure our little loved ones have all they need in their lives to also make their lives complete. Am I rambling??? Will go now - fume some more - and then take some action. Will chat to Cyntra about this one too. I just assumed half siblings would have the same rights as biological doners. Angry
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Quinny
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2006, 08:54:52 AM »

hey Hursty, sounds like you have a good plan of action there.
About assuming half siblings having the same rights as bio donors, well maybe that is the case but the siblings have to be adults before anything can be done? I don't know though.

I also think they should find out where the other parents stand, but perhaps they do know that already and the parents may have asked not to be contacted. But if the parents haven't said any such thing then surely it is up to the adults to decide if they should meet each other, for what organisation has the right to say no you can't?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2006, 08:56:28 AM by Quinny » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2006, 09:45:46 PM »

Yes maybe the other parents have said they they would like their privacy or whatever - but surely they could tell me that. I am a grown up!!!! - and I would repsect their wishes., I would just like to know for certain where they do stand so as I can explain all this to Jethro as his questions get more in depth. I just keep thinking for heavens sake its an annonymous letter - whats the big deal - our children are biologically half siblings. They're all trying to keep this big secret and for what?Huh So what if we know each other - what will that do to change the world?Huh!!! I'm certainly not going to try and take their children away. Anyway I'll let you know what happens when something does and hopefully it will be good news. I am totally amazed and think they are all full of crap.
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2006, 05:39:41 AM »

I hope you get a good response. I'll be glad when this site gets its name and is more public so that a lot of people can read about this sort of thing and perhaps gather support.

I don't know what the problem could be from their end, but maybe we should ask. When I get back to work next week I'll be able to see if I've had any response from my mate. On a differnt note, he offered to see if he could set up a meeting between me and a fertility doctor from there but I don't want to do that before I have a list of questions I want to ask. If I did that I could ask about this sort of thing from someone who works there.
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2006, 10:58:32 PM »

Thanks Quinny. Hope you do get to see someone there. Who is your mate setting up an appointment with Dr from Pivet? Does he work there or something? Have you discussed your situation with Antonia Clissa from the Reproductive Technology Council? She is really nice but they get all their information for the register from the clinics so they cant tell you much unless the clinic has given them information but she may have ideas you could try??? I wonder also if Margaret Van Keppel from Pivet (she's the clinical pshycologist who used to pass on unidentifying letters between me and Cyntra before we met), she may be of some assistance??? It's about time someone out there started helping anyway. Surely with your birth date and all - do you have conception date??? They couldnt freeze sperm back then could they??? Does your Dad know what clinic they went to? You could always go on front page of newspaper like Cyntra did looking for us - asking for doners of this date in time at such and such doctors - who donated  to come forward. Maybe even offer to  do a today tonight segment? Going public was the only way we got to meet Cyntra otherwise we would still not know each other even though she donated specifically for us as we advertised for an egg doner. I wasnt sure and still arent that Jethro will appreciate what we have done (ie the newspaper articles etc - but you dont have to worry about that cause its YOU looking. It just doesnt feel right sometimes but maybe a doner would come forward - maybe a couple would. You just never know. It would be nice to be able to get info privately though if possible. Anyway wish you luck please let me know how you get on.
Sue
ps You finished painting the baby's room yet???
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Quinny
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2006, 01:47:17 AM »

I'd rather not say yet who my mate is but he doesn't work there.

The voluntary register has already told me they can't find any info, so that's why I asked my mate about it and he went on with offering to help because I didn't know he had any affiliation with the fertility people, that was just a lucky coincidence. Smiley

Dr Colin Douglas-Smith had his own practice when my parents went to him. He moved to Pivet years after that time. Apparently they could freeze sperm back then according to Damian, but that would be one of the questions I'd need to ask someone who worked back then here in Perth. I don't have an exact date of conception.

As for Today Tonight and a Current Affair, could I ever be one of those people appearing on those shows? I don't really like them for the sensationalised beat up that they do, but if it was supporting me maybe that'd be a good thing. Finding two donor offspring who are related that unknowingly ended up in a relationship would be good for those shows. Smiley

The paper would be good. Bundygrrrl was supposed to be organising an interview in The West but I don't know what's happening with that.
I was in The Australian the other week, but did that help any donors come forward? I don't know.

Hahaha, no I haven't finished painting. It takes ages. Smiley
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 12:19:46 PM by Quinny » Logged

Donor conceived adult from Perth, Western Australia. Searching for a donor who donated to Dr Colin Douglas-Smith in 1976.
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