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Author Topic: I am a donor offspring and my story has a happy ending...  (Read 12698 times)
alicia
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« on: April 28, 2008, 08:02:31 PM »


Hi everyone,

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my story.

I am 27 years old and found out 5 months ago, that my father is not my biological father.

It has been quite a rollercoaster ride since the day I found out, but I had one thing very clear, I wanted to find the donor and if possible, make contact with him.

I contacted the Royal Hospital for Women, which is where my mother went through the DI procedure. There I met a lovely lady called Sheila Sim, Senior Social Worker of the hospital, not only did she help me through this whole process,  but she also gave me emotional support which was very much needed at the time.

Thankfully my donor had left all his details at the hospital, and had expressed interest in meeting future offspring.

After a few DNA tests I contacted my donor, first by phone and then arranged a meeting.

I lived in Melbourne at the time, so I flew up to Sydney for the day, just to meet him. It was an amazing experience, quite nerve wrecking to be honest, but it was extremely important for me to meet him in person, I had many questions, but most of all I wanted to have the chance of saying ďthank youĒ in person.

I feel very fortunate to be alive, that is why I am so grateful to the donor, for taking the decision to donate, to my mother, for choosing the huge step of undergoing the DI procedure and to my father, who, even though we are not blood related, he has really taken me under his wing and has raised me with all the love and support of a real father.

Thankfully the donor was a very warm, friendly person; we talked for three hours non stop! I had so many questions and so did he! I felt an immediate bond. After the meeting, I felt closure, I felt inner peace, after wondering for so long I had finally had the chance to thank the man who gave me the gift of life.

I am now living overseas, but even to this day, I keep contact with him via email. I have also made contact with another half sibling, so I hope next time I travel to Australia I can meet her.

I definitely recommend donors to leave all there contact details; it is a very positive thing to do, for the offspring and also for the donor himself. Honesty is very important in life and I know that if I had not had the luck I did, and I hadnít met my donor, that would have upset me tremendously and would have left me with the constant mystery of not knowing who is the donor who gave me life and most importantly, not being able to thank them for that gift.
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Quinny
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 01:56:41 PM »

Thanks Alicia, that's an awesome story. I am so happy for your outcome.

It's great to hear a story like this, especially since most of us won't ever get the chance to meet the donor.

I hope you get to meet all your half-siblings too. Smiley
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Donor conceived adult from Perth, Western Australia. Searching for a donor who donated to Dr Colin Douglas-Smith in 1976.
alicia
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 02:44:43 PM »

Thanks for your reply, I know I have been fortunate compared to many people who do not have any information of their donor, I hope things start changing for the better. I heard that now donors must leave their contact details to give the offspring the option of contacting them when they turn 18 years old, is this true?
And that this is the reason why our hospitals are lacking donors, because they do not want to leave any personal information. One of my closest friends, after hearing my story, has decided to become a donor and one month ago, he left his first donation at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney. Iím very proud of him and I wish there were more people like him, open minded and willing to help many families. he has left his contact details, so I hope that in the future, he too gets to meet the offspring.

I hope I someday meet my other half siblings, as far as I know, I have 15 half siblings around Australia! Unfortunately I have only met one, because she is the only other person other than myself, who has made contact with the hospital in search for information, but I am still thrilled with that, at least I know one half sibling. Being an only child, my half sibling is the closest thing Iíll ever have to a sister..




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dadams
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 10:44:28 PM »

Actually, clinics/hospitals were losing donors dramatically well before there was any legislative requirement for them to be "known" donors.
The myth that the drop in donor numbers as being purely due to the requirement that they must be known donors is nothing but scaremongering by those with a vested interest in the process. Sure there will be those that will now choose not to donate as a result but are they the kind of person we would want in a donor anyway?

Alicia, your friend that is now donating - does he have children of his own?
It is just my opinion (nothing more nothing less) that I feel that all donors should be those that have had children themselves as it is only those that have that are able to comprehend the enormity of their "donation".
It is amazing how having your own children changes your perspectives of the world (in a good way of course).
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Quinny
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008, 07:29:12 AM »

Damian, do you have any evidence for the losing of donors before anonymity was banned?
In Australia in particular I mean.
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Donor conceived adult from Perth, Western Australia. Searching for a donor who donated to Dr Colin Douglas-Smith in 1976.
dadams
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 11:03:07 PM »

Hi Adam,

not on hand, can't recall where I have seen the numbers either.
And no I'm not making it up as I have had it confirmed by the health dapartment here in SA and I am certain from my correspondences interstate that it was a nationwide phenomena.
But it would be nice to have some published data on hand.

Cheers
Damian
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Quinny
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 11:48:38 PM »

I did a google search for this data for hours last night and couldn't find anything to support it. I guess it doesn't help when you have to search for terms like "number of donors dropping".

On the RTC website it only has data from 2002 onwards, where numbers are decreasing according to their annual report. I couldn't find anything pre-1991.
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Donor conceived adult from Perth, Western Australia. Searching for a donor who donated to Dr Colin Douglas-Smith in 1976.
Jules
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 01:45:06 PM »

Thank you for your story Alicia.

My husband & I have just received our donor profiles for our first donor cycle.

One thing I have been a little worried about, was how a donor conceived teen/adult would react about their conception. Your story & others like it, have showed me that I really have little to worry about.

Good Luck with meeting your other half siblings

Take Care

Jules
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AllyRose
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2008, 10:10:33 AM »

Hi Jules and welcome,

I think you will find that most donor conceived adults wished they had been told mucher earlier in the life of how they came to be.

I am mum to a 3 year old boy and my husband and I have told him from day 1 of how he 'arrived'.  He may not understand yet but its good practice for us when the understanding and the questions come.

Good luck on your next cycle.
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alicia
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2008, 02:49:29 PM »

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your comments.

Hi Dadams, my friend who has donated is single and has no children. I understand your point, and I imagine that having children must really show you how important having a child is, but I donít agree that only fathers/mothers should be able to donate. My friend is an excellent person, with a very good heart and is donating purely to help other families, and he is more than happy to leave his details because he understands how important this is for everyone involved. I know many fathers / mothers who are also incredible people with good hearts, but unfortunately there are also many people who have children and do not value them, so I really donít like to generalize. I think the most important thing is for the donor to be a good person and weather he be a father or not, to understand the importance of his donation and be willing to make contact in the future. This is just my humble opinion, but I understand what you mean.

Hi Jules, thank you for your comment and congratulations on starting the DI process, I wish you all the very best and good luck with your next cycle. I think itís great to let children know from the beginning how they came to this world, it will be easier for them in the long run and they will be able to take it naturally. I would have liked to have known earlier that I am here thanks to DI, but still appreciate having found out now, better late than never! My father did not want me to find out, to tell you the truth; to this day he does not know that I am aware of my DI situation. My mother told me not long ago because she felt I had the right to know the truth and made me promise not to tell my father, because he had said that if she ever told me he would never forgive her. I have kept it a secret, not because I am uncomfortable in saying what I am, because I have always been a very open minded person, but I have kept it from my father so that I donít hurt him, he is quite old fashion and I know that it would hurt him if he knew that I knew, he would think that I wouldnít love him the same, even though this has nothing to do with it and my love for him has not changed at all since I found out, he has been a wonderful father, and for me he is my real father, because of all his love and support during my life.
So itís a bit of a tricky situation, but I really feel that honesty is always the best path to take and being open minded and true about the situation from day one seems to be a great idea to me.

I will keep you posted on how things go with meeting my half sibling, hopefully it all goes well, its exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time! But I think it will be a great experience and hopefully we can be friends.

Thanks once again everyone, its great to keep in contact with you all.

Take care,

Alicia
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dadams
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2008, 10:23:40 PM »

Hi Alicia,

thanks for responding. Firstly I am sure that your friend is a good man with his heart in the right place, and he is doing all the "right" things with regard to donation.
To try and explain my point about donors already being fathers I'll use part of my own story to explain a bit. Many years ago I also seriously thought about donating to give back to the system that created me and to do so in a very altruistic sense. For some reason or another I never got around to it. And I am extremely glad I didn't because after the birth of my own children, my views on the whole thing changed 180 degrees. I would not be able to live with the guilt of doing this now and it would have been the single biggest mistake of my life.   
So in effect having children changed me dramatically and it does do so for many others also (not all but it does for some). I'm not saying that your friend may ever change his mind just that for those that do go through this "change" it would be extremely traumatic to live with this after the fact.
All the best
Damian
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Quinny
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2008, 04:54:26 AM »

Hi Alicia,

I was told about being donor conceived without my Dad knowing. It took many years and it was the hardest thing I have ever done but I did eventually tell my Dad that I knew. I had no idea what sort of reaction to expect.

However, I am so glad that I did. He has passed away recently and I think having this openness was nice. He was even very supportive of me trying to find the donor.

Obviously I can't speak for everyone but what prompted me a lot was what my child(ren) would call him and how I would describe him to them. I was not going to perpetuate that lie that he was biologically their grandfather.
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AllyRose
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2008, 05:09:13 AM »

Adam,

I'm sorry to hear about your dad.  I was touched by what he had to say on your behalf in that story that appeared on 'stateline'? (sorry not sure if that was the program's name).
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Quinny
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2008, 11:26:28 AM »

Thanks TriciaB. Yes it was Stateline WA.
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Donor conceived adult from Perth, Western Australia. Searching for a donor who donated to Dr Colin Douglas-Smith in 1976.
dadams
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2008, 09:59:07 PM »

Hi Adam,

you have my deepest sympathy. I lost my dad when I was 10 - it's a horrible thing to go through losing a parent.
Treasure every memory.

Warmest regards
Damian
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