A donor-conceived woman speaks out

MercatorNet 3 February 2016
The Belgian advertising industry recently launched a campaign to support sperm donation. Award-winning men donated theirs to boost national creativity. As the child of an anonymous donor, what did you think of it?

I found it an appalling campaign for many reasons. In the first place, their claim is pure nonsense. A creative gene does not exist. Studies prove that the environment where one grows up is more likely to contribute to one’s creativity. Stating that you can create creative people by letting “creative” men donate their sperm is utter fiction. In a YouTube video clip you can see the head of a genetics department supporting this fiction. Because of this I filed an official complaint against her hospital: they are actually lying in the hope of attracting more donors and clients.

It is selling out on so many levels but up mostly it is a sell-out at the expense of the children that are going to be conceived by this sperm. Those children will not be allowed to know whom they descent from and will live their lives trying to fill the gaps in their identity. They will have a huge hole deliberately inflicted by others. They will have no access to their full medical record and will have no means to track down their biological father and potentially a dozen siblings.

Imagine you are one of the donor-conceived persons that was created by one of this guys’ sperm. You will have to live with the knowledge that your biological father did this purely to get his five minutes of fame. The child will end up in a family knowing that his own biological father preferred to give him away to total strangers than to raise his own child.

These young guys clearly didn’t think it through whilst brainstorming on their bright coloured Fat Boys. I sincerely hope their sperm wasn’t good enough to be used. But if so, we have gathered all the information we could find on them and put it in our database of potential donors. It will at least make the search of some children that much easier.

What is your own background?
My name is Stephanie. I am Belgian, 37 years old and donor-conceived. My story starts with two persons: my mother and father. My mother wanted to have children. They desperately tried to conceive. When they didn’t get pregnant they went to see a specialist.

This doctor diagnosed infertility in my father and suggested a “fertility treatment” with the sperm of a man who resembled my father. They paid a lot of money and signed a document. My mother got hormones and they were told that if they did conceive, they should never to tell the truth to the child and even the people around them.

I am an “end product” of the first official sperm bank in Belgium.

My mother was inseminated in the spring of 1978 and in January 1979 I was born. But I wasn’t alone: a brother and a sister joined me. We are triplets. We often cynically joke that they got three for the price of one.

I always experienced a distance between my father and myself. Somehow I could not connect with him. As child you long for the acknowledgement of your parents; you want to be loved, cherished and accepted. But for whatever reason we had very little in common: we didn’t resemble each other and we had different interests. He didn’t grasp my being, my sense of humour. The love I felt for him, however, was unconditional.

As a child you don’t question the reality that is presented by your parents. I never questioned our ancestry. I even wasn’t aware that a treatment with the sperm of someone else was possible.
READ MORE: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/a-donor-conceived-woman-speaks-out/17550

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