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Author Topic: My (rather long winded) story  (Read 10518 times)
lorah-may
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« on: January 30, 2012, 05:06:03 AM »

Hi, I am a donor embryo connived child, which means that I was donated as a complete embryo and not just a separate egg or sperm. Before I start I just want to say how grateful I truly am to have stumbled upon this website. I have read a few articles and stories and I feel like I have finally found somewhere I sort of fit in. Finding this site has been my first opportunity to truly learn that there are people out there who have felt and experience the same joys and hardships both I and my parents have been through so thankyou.
I am 17 and I was born and live in S.A, I was conceived through Repromed who are notoriously hard to deal with because they have changed hands I donít know how many times. My parents have told me what they have been told, but I feel hesitant to trust word of mouth, seeing as they have never shown me my documentation. What they have told me is that there was a married couple who couldnít conceive naturally so they went through the I.V.F process and it was successful, they conceived twins, a girl and a boy. After this they decided they didnít want to try for anymore and that they would donate there remaining (Iím assuming frozen) embryos. I was the only one out of eight embryos and three I.V.F cycles that took. I was born at the Queen Victoria Hospital which has since been shut down after it merged with the womenís and childrenís hospital, which make things harder. I was told I was I.V.F donated at age 12 and it wasnít a surprise, but I had never suspected that I wasnít my parentís child. I guess I always new on some unconscious level seeing as I look more ethnic, with tan skin dark drown eyes and my mother and father both have blue eyes and English and German roots. At first I thought I had no genetic parents and that some crazy new science had made me magically, because my parents never really said to me that I had genetic parents. They sort of assumed I instantly figured that out, I felt and still sometimes fell very alone seeing as I have no one even half related to me in my life. Now I am desperately searching and my father is getting nowhere with Uni S.A, I am becoming increasingly frustrated as I feel they are not trying there best or doing what is in my best interest, I feel like I have been stripped of my right to know who I am, the right to avoid having an intimate relationship with a genetic relative and the knowledge of my prenatal metical history. I have never seen any documents and donor information, but I will try to get my parents to trace it down (especially my donor ID code), I will also be asking for doctorís names. We have been trying since I was twelve and now that I am going to be 18 this year I feel its time my Dad steps back and let me deal with some of the work. But convincing him of this is hard. I am also dyslexic which normally passed down threw genes and I think had there been more communication between Repromed, my donor family and my parents then it could have saved my parents a lot of heartache in my earlier years when I was developing extremely slowly compared to the other children.
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dadams
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 09:27:11 PM »

Lorah-may,
welcome to the forum. Thankyou for sharing. Your experience and thoughts is similar to many other donor offspring that I know. So you are certainly not alone in that regard.
Repromed was bought out by some of the doctors and all of the old records now reside with Adelaide Uni which basically "owned" Repromed until that time.
In SA you are legally entitled through legislation to obtain non-identifying information on your donors (genetic parents) from the age of 16. Given your age these records should be there and not destroyed as has happened to some who are considerably older than you.
There are lots of avenues to try in your search for information, and if you ever need a hand always feel free to ask as I have contacts here in SA that can help.
There are also other online resources that may interest you such as the PCVAI (it is called people conceived via artificial insemination but is open to all DC people) email group, the Australian donor conception registry (yahoo group) etc.
Always good to see another offspring from SA on here.
All the best Damian
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lorah-may
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 04:34:04 AM »

Last night I had my parents show me what they had. They had some non-indentifying information. It verifies their story that the couple are married and have twins, a male and a female. But apart from that itís very basic. It has their age at the time of donation and their religion which was Anglican and that they were Australian, apart from that I was sad to see there wasnít even a very basic physical description. I was glad to see it but I felt saddened to think I have full-blooded siblings out there that I might never meet. Apart from that I was wondering where I should go next. Uni S.A. and Repromed have all my mothers health documents so that they can try and hunt down the donor code but seeing as its taken them more than 3 years now Iím wondering if there is someone better I can go to for help.
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dadams
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 09:32:21 PM »

Hi Lora-may,
I feel for you. I understand about the need to find siblings and information, and am trying to find out some information too.
My understanding is that Repromed will no longer have any of those records. They should be at Adelaide Uni. I will make an inquiry and find out who the best person is to speak to in regards to accessing information.
Your mother (not you) will be able to request her treatment records under the freedom of information act. Hopefully that will contain the donor code.
I'll get back to you as soon as I hear anything.
Regards
Damian
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lorah-may
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Donor Connived


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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 07:07:40 AM »

Thank you very much
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Quinny
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Donor offspring from Perth, WA


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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 11:55:08 PM »

Hi Lorah-may,

Welcome to the forum and thankyou for posting your story. I look forward to hearing some good results with your search.

Cheers,
Adam
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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 #6 on: February 28, 2012, 09:43:05 PM »

OK so here's the story from Repromed:

They have all records POST May 2006.
However, for donors etc prior to that date that tried to contact them when the company was bought out by some of the doctors so that they would have permission to keep the details on file. So for those that they reached and agreed, Repromed will have their details/records also.
In the first instance it will be best to contact Repromed to see if they have the records. Simply because Adelaide Uni are less accommodating in that regard. I am still waiting to find out who people should contact at the Uni if they need to go down that route.

Cheers
Damian
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Claysonmsa
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 09:41:20 AM »

Hi! Such joy you have brought to your family, I am sure! I am a past patient of the old RMU (Repromed).My son is looking for siblings from his  male donor AP. Yes indeed  past owners are very hands off.The lady at Uni SA seemed not that concerned with our plight and Repromed wanted to help but........ Roll Eyes Please write to Minister of Health John Hill to implore that SA needs to follow other states and have a voluntary donor/ recipient register. One day it will have to happen.

I wish you a positive outcome. Smiley
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bev
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 10:58:26 AM »

welcome Lorah-May

A friend of mine recently wanted to find out some details of an operation she had at a hospital in Adelaide - the hospital was being hopeless about providing her with the operation info and she knew there was a copy of it or a letter about it in her file at Repromed so she went to see a doctor there, signed some kind of 'authority to obtain information' form which got sent to Adelaide Uni and her whole original paper file was sent to Repromed about a week later!! Not exactly the same situation as you but maybe your parents could do something like that to get their file and find out the donor code, then it might be easier to track down the details you need?

Good luck in your search
Bev
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dadams
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 11:03:15 PM »

Hi Bev
I had a similar situation.
Told that the records were lost, destroyed and every other variation of we won't help you under the sun.
By using the "freedom of information" (FOI) request my mother was able to obtain her treatment records and the hospital antenatal records. So it appears these were not so lost after all.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 11:55:45 PM by Quinny » Logged
Quinny
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 11:56:18 PM »

Were the records your mum got of any help to you?
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Donor conceived adult from Perth, Western Australia. Searching for a donor who donated to Dr Colin Douglas-Smith in 1976.
lorah-may
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 07:56:45 PM »



My apologies, i haven't been on in far to long. My mum's records where slightly helpful. I have learned my embryo was frozen five years before my birth, this should make the twins 5-3 years older than me, as I'm working on the assumption that they used the eggs asap and then took time to decide wether they wanted to give the others away. I also found out the age of my mother and father at the time of harvest (conception/donation, whatever Cheesy)I am now certain they had male and female twins. but thatís about it really. I also found out that they signed that they didnít want to met any child that may a result of their donation and I respect this if they still feel the same but 17 years have passed and a lot can change, so Iím hoping theyíve had a change of heart
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Fennel
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 07:00:52 AM »

Hi Lorah-May,
I saw you mention your donor signed the 'did not want to meet..', and felt compelled to mention that this simple statement may not accurately reflect the donor's actual feelings at the time, or now. I was a sperm donor at repromed from the mid 90's and in hindsight feel the counselling available and options given for truely expressing and understanding my feelings about interacting with my potential future offspring was quite inadequate.
I wish you all the best in seeking your biological relatives.
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dadams
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 09:11:33 AM »

Hi Lorah-May
there are studies published which do show that (specifically the study was on sperm donors), that some can and do change their thoughts on being more open with time.
At the time of the donation, there was still legislation here in SA guaranteeing anonymity. This didn't really change here much until 2005 when the NHMRC regulations came into effect, so it may have also been possible that the clinic stipulated that they sign that they didn't want contact even if they may not have actually felt differently at the time.
As Fennel mentioned, as have others also reported, the counselling years ago was generally quite inadequate.
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Quinny
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2012, 12:04:56 AM »

I would like to point out that even though the parents may not want any contact, you have no idea whether the twins would or not. They may be quite interested to meet their sister.
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Donor conceived adult from Perth, Western Australia. Searching for a donor who donated to Dr Colin Douglas-Smith in 1976.
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