February 20, 2007

Dealing with a Brave New World

Sometimes it can be demoralizing. Reading the posts on the Donor Sibling Registry can be quite overwhelming to the point of depression. There are so many people out there using donor sperm and eggs, and they all seem to think it's a wonderful thing. They all go on and on about their adorable, cute and cuddly toddlers with perfect features (like purebred pets). the baby trade is truly an enormous industry already, and thousands of children are already paying for it, but no one cares and no one seems to even NOTICE - especially not the parents, social OR genetic. (see ex. photos and story here).

How can people be searching for genetic siblings for their children and yet seem completely unphased and in favor of donor conception? It's like it's fashionable now to use donor sperm. These people seem not to even want to meet the father - they just want contact with other families who have children fathered by the same man (whom they don't want in their lives directly). They form support groups and go on picnic outings, and compare their children and marvel at how they look and act alike. They seem to think this is all acceptable and cool. It's PERVERSE!!!

One woman recently wrote on the registry about finding 20 half-siblings through the registry, and she knows of 28 half-siblings in total (she even met two accidentally in her local playground) - this incldues 3 children that the sperm donor is raising as his own, having relinquished responsibility for the other 25. The woman who wrote calls this phenomenon "Big Love." She seems quite thrilled about it all, and discusses how 8 of the families got together in a zoo, had lunch and traded photos of their babies, marvelling at the biological similarities between them. How cute.

Not!!! I am disgusted by it all. What I see here is 25 children robbed of their biological father (who is probably quite a man, since so many families wanted him as a donor!). And not just their father: their real grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and whole extended family. If they'd had a choice, would they really have chosen to have nothing to do with their father and that entire side of their family? These cute and cuddly babies will have children one day, and these children have also been robbed of their genetic heritage - all the way down the line to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

What good does it do these children to have contact with their 25 half-siblings? How do they know how many others are out there? They are at the mercy of their parents and of chance. They don't know when they could fall in love with an unknown half-sibling. They don't know when their own children could fall in love with their uncles, aunts or cousins.

No, what these infertile couples are doing is not okay. And if they think it's so okay to have donor conceived children because biology doesn't matter, then what are they doing searching for bioligically related siblings on the Donor Sibling Registry? How hypocritical. Their own actions betray them and expose the giant lie at the center of their convoluted justifications.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You really know nothing, do you? Some of these people are also searching for the donors, but because of people like you who like to say this is a bad thing, donors don't always want to come forward, for fear of the harrassment and humility that others like yourself like to put upon them. My kids would LOVE to meet their donor someday, I would, too. I would like to thank him for the miracles that he helped me create. It doesn't matter how my kids got here, they are here, and they are people. Don't judge me or them until you've been in my shoes or theirs. You have no clue what these kids are thinking, and just because some may feel badly about the way they were conceived (most likely because they were lied to about their conception until later in life and felt betrayed), don't assume that all DI kids feel that way. My kids are perfectly fine with how they were conceived (probably because I have been honest with them about everything), perfectly fine with having lots of siblings out there, and perfectly fine with everything (even if they don't get to meet the donor someday they realize it is not the end of the world). They are PROUD of their origins, you should really be ashamed of yourself for making such generalizations that you have posted here. What is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Not all people think just inside the box, you know.

Anonymous said...

As against this as you seem to be, you sure are having lots of fun researching it and finding all sorts of things to find wrong with it! Do you not have anything better to do with your time? Everyone has the right to live their life the way they choose. And of course everyone has a right to an opinion, and you have chosen to share yours with the world. What has gotten you so upset?? This isn't your life and nothing any donor family has done imposes on you personally. So what's the big deal? I'm actually honored that my picture has found its way onto your site! But hardly concerned about your blabbing! I love my child, love God, love life, and I'm wholly thankful that I've been given the blessing of a beautiful child via donor sperm. You should be so lucky!

Veronica Thomas said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, I know some of these people are also searching for donors. It would be great if the donors came forward - I support it completely. I am 100% in favor of ending donor anonymity. I am 100% in favor of having donors come forward and meet their own biological children, and accepting their natural role in their children's lives.

What the donors did was certainly unethical. However, many of them were simply brainwashed into it. They were told that they were giving away only an egg or a sperm. Just a little cell, it means nothing - like a skin cell or like giving blood, right? Not quite - unlike blood, this cell grows into something that is alive and calls you "mom" or "dad." This is the cell that creates your own biological child. Yet most donors probably didn't realize they were, in effect, giving away their own children.

I do not humiliate or harrass donors who are trying to meet their existing children. However, I want people to realize what they are REALLY doing when they donate: they are giving away their own biological children, not just cells.

As much as you would like not to believe it, it DOES in fact matter how your kids got here. You obviously know it too. After all, if it really didn't matter to you or your kids, then why would you all "love" to meet the donor someday?

It's interesting how you say that your kids are actually "proud" of being donor kids. This reminds me of the little boy in the news a while back, who wore a shirt that said "My Dad's Name is Donor." I guess his parents thought it was cool. But I just wonder, what is so cool about not knowing your own biological parent(s)? What is there to actually be "proud" of?

Could I be "proud" of NOT knowing my own father or mother, whom I dearly love? Could I be "proud" of not knowing either side of my own extended family, including siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, and all the rest? These people are wonderful and irreplaceable. It is nothing to be "proud" of if they were missing from my life.

Is it something to be "proud" of that I'd have lots of known and unknown half-siblings floating around in the world, all of them being raised by people who are not their own parents?

Perhaps your kids have been trained to be "proud" because they were "wanted." But the fact is, they were actually "UNwanted" by their own biological parents. Why is it so great to be wanted by strangers? Doesn't it matter much more that your own parents, your own flesh and blood, didn't want you?

Moreover, what is so special about these strangers, who now call themselves your "parents," wanting you? What about what the CHILDREN "wanted"?

You are right on one point. Everyone is grateful for their life, and your children are surely glad to be alive. The children of rape or incest are also surely glad to be alive. But does that mean that the rape or incest was a good thing? When good things come from bad things, it doesn't make those bad things good.

Perhaps your kids have been taught to feel "proud" because there are lots of children out there who are in worse situations: they are abused, etc. All those terrible biological parents hurting their kids...and your children are wanted and coddled, so they have it better than all these poor kids growing up with their own biological parents.

But that argument fails most of all with the children of donor conception. That's because the donors have been screened - they are usually intelligent, capable and successful people (not to mention physically attractive and healthy) with university degrees. Donors are the kinds of people who very often treat their own children very well. They're not the fringe-society types who abuse their own kids.

So chances are actually very high that if donor children had stayed with their own biological parents, they would have had a great life, not a terrible life. They would have been raised in good families by entrepreneurs, university professors, lawyers and doctors, and various other successful people.

After all, even the "social" parents were obviously very attracted to the donor's profile! So why wouldn't their resulting children feel the same way?

Veronica Thomas said...

Thanks for your comment. You ask why I spend my time researching this. Well, I guess I feel strongly about it (can you tell? :-). You're right that donor conception has not affected my own life in any way. And yet, I don't believe that we should just mind our own business and not care what is happening to others around us (isn't that what the Germans believed when they looked the other way and ignored the concentration camps next to their cities?). I feel strongly for the children that are constantly being affected. They often have no voice, as the voice of infertile adults and the repro tech industry is so overwhelming. Their side of the issue also deserves to be heard.

I have no doubt that you love your children. They also surely love you deeply. You are the only parent or family they have ever known, and for that reason they love you. However, if they had been given a real choice between the nonbiological "social" parent who currently raises them and their own biological parent, who is to say whom they would have chosen? How many of us would not want our "real" daddy? (especially one whose profile was good enough to have been chosen by you)?

Only time will tell what your children really feel, and how they are truly affected, by the choices you have made. I'm sorry that you had such pain in your life with infertility, and my heart goes out to you. Your choice was certainly not easy. However, even a mountain of pain cannot make some choices right, and this was unfortunately one of them.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I can't help but reply again because I find this amusing to say the least. You're equating people who choose donor insemination to Nazi Germans?? That is just too funny. As for children choosing their parents... did you, by chance, choose yours???? I don't recall making that decision myself. Although, if you believe in any type of spirituality (religous beliefs or what have you) the spirit actually chooses its life BEFORE entering the human form. So in actuality our children DO choose their parents and mine chose me! Isn't that wonderful! AND, I even got chosen under these circumstances! Go figure! Truly blessed I tell you! Oh, and by the way.... I confess, I'm 75% German, and so was our donor! But you can hardly compare me to being like what you have described! And we aren't killing our children like the Germans were, we're giving them life! We're giving them opportunities to educate a very naive and uneducated society.
Have you ever read the book 1984??? Big brother is watching....
How about this... check out www.abraham-hicks.com there you will surely find something much more meaningful to change (yourself) and realize that you have absolutely no ability to change the lives of others, only your own.
I've also been advised to have you post some of your feelings to this site: DSR_Discussion@yahoogroups.com
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

How do you know that you are not one of these "ill-gotten" children? Are you sure that your "dad" is your dad? You know, alot of people from days gone by used donors and were too ashamed to tell their kids about their true conception. Are you one of these who will be surprised someday and then wish you had never been born? I don't think that the kids actually feel that way, that is just your perception. If you agree so much with abolishing the anonymous donors, then why aren't you concentrating your efforts at the sperm banks and such places instead of bad-mouthing the kids and parents of DI kids? Seems to me that your effort would be better appreciated in that aspect than here spouting your vicious venom at people who have had to resort to such measures to have kids. Kids are a precious, even DI kids. ALL kids are precious in God's eyes.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wrote to Veronica in person and she has not replied back. I feel she is uneducated on the subject of DI. DI is not perfect. I never claimed that. The fact that she posted my minor daughters picture on her website with out even knowing her name or mine is disgusting. She is exploiting minors just to pull at heartstrings with pictures of children. I am very thrilled to have met my daughters siblings. This gives my daughter a part of her other biological "half". It also give us a beautiful extended family we would have never had if she were not a DI baby. I am happy with my choice and my daughter want's for nothing. She may be angry when she gets older. I don't know the answer to that. I am trying to find out as much as I can for her now. People are often angry about things they are ignorant about. I have a lot to learn and I am sure Veronica can find a better outlet for her anger at something she knows very little about...

LorMar said...

I too find it very strange that a woman with no personal experience with DI is so up in arms over it. Her level of anger is unbelievable. I can think of something better for her to be angry about. Child abuse (sexual and physical--much of which occurs at the hands of biological parents but that is beside the point). If she could transfer her anger over to that, she would probably make a world of difference for children.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe our photo is still on the site. I am contacting the Associated Press. She will hear soon.. I asked her to take the minors pictures of her web page. She is exploiting them. How does she think herself a good person. What if these childrens classmates or their parents see this. Do you want these children ridiculed at school. Do you have any children of your own. Please remove my daughters picture or I will have to take action. I don't care if I have to contact my lawyer. PLEASE REPLY. Through your site as I don't trust you.

Anonymous said...

The photos are off the site but now she has linked them to the MSNBC site. I'm getting a bit annoyed with you now lady. By saying this "and thousands of children are already paying for it, but no one cares and no one seems to even NOTICE - especially not the parents, social OR genetic. (see photos here)" and posting a link to our photo implying that we are uncaring parents is an EVIL move. You are hateful.
This is what the legal system calls SLANDER.
1. defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
2. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
3. Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.
God will judge you my dear. I feel very sorry that you get your cheap thrills by hurting innocent children and their families. Calling us uncaring etc., is nothing compared to what YOU are doing to innocent children. You should be ashamed and embarrassed. Its one thing to voice an opionion, another completely to cause harm.

Anonymous said...

Veronica you may want to consider this information from FreeAdvice.com:

"Defamation or "defamation of character," is spoken or written words that falsely and negatively reflect on a living person's reputation.

If a person or the news media says or writes something about you that harms your reputation, or that keeps people from associating with you, defamation has occurred. Slander is oral defamation, and libel is written defamation.

If you have been harmed by the defamatory remarks or statements of another, seek the advice of a libel and slander attorney in your area".

Veronica Thomas said...

Hi Anonymous,

I don't like to point out the obvious, but you yourself (if you are who you say you are) chose to make yourself a public figure by exposing your reproductive choices to the world and by making your name (which I don't even know) and your photo, and even photos of your minor child, available on news services that reach millions of readers worldwide.

By willfully placing yourself in the public eye, your story (along with your photos) became a news item. Everyone is free to comment on the news, which is public knowledge. I am not, in fact, exposing anything that was not already publicly available for the world to see.

You may not agree with my opinions. However, I am free to make them and to share them. I am commenting on the news, and that is free speech. What I say is clearly presented as my opinion - and you are free to disagree. However, so far in this country, opinions are not illegal.

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple more links since you seem so hell bent on putting us on your site
http://cbs13.com/local/local_story_224003640.html
I have more if you want them.

Anonymous said...

http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?f=00&g=8809234e-9866-4ae5-9bd2-41fd4f5e10eb&p=Source_Today%20Show&t=m5&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633?at=Y&fg

Anonymous said...

You seriously need to find something else to do with your time. I am saying goodbye to you. sorry your life is so empty. You are a sad and lonely woman. too bad for you. hope you dont have a husband. Feel sorry for him.

LorMar said...

Ms. Thomas,

Whether you like it or not, DI is here to stay and there is nothing you can do to stop it. I suggest you take lessons from from Katrina Clarke whom I have had the pleasure of corresponding with. She is a voice of DI whom I can respect and agree with. She is doing a great job for the voices of DI offspring and I support her in her fight to end donor anonymity. Voices such as yours will set that clock back since you will probably be viewed as nothing more than an extremist. In other words, you are hurting the cause of DI offspring rather than helping.

Anonymous said...

Actually you can have your children genetically tested to find out much about the donor. Did you take a look at the Today Show piece I posted the link for??? It may give you more insight to how we actually do feel. Check it out.

http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?f=00&g=8809234e-9866-4ae5-9bd2-41fd4f5e10eb&p=Source_Today%20Show&t=m5&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633?at=Y&fg


copy and paste this into your browser!!! I am Michelle in the piece..