Recently a donor conceived adult responded to a question that outspoken donor conceived people hear all to often, “Aren’t you just happy to be alive?”. Many people think that donor conceived people should just be glad to be alive, because without donor conception, they would not even exist.
Karen answers in a way that can help us all understand the struggle that some people have with being donor conceived. She also gives her thoughts on donating eggs, openness and her wishes for the future of donor conception.
“There are people conceived from rape and one night stands who most likely are VERY happy to be alive but do not support the method of their conception. Saying, if not for THIS you would not be here is similar to speaking on behalf of non-existent-potential people. It’s a pointless point and certainly does not make it okay to intentionally deny people loving/meaningful connections/relationships with their own genetic mother/father/siblings/extended family and all the deep meaningful history and personal identity that those connections bring.
Personally, I would never donate my eggs. Although I’m ‘pro-choice’ I also strongly believe that we should never intentionally create a child to give away or in most cases, sell. I strongly feel that we have a personal responsibility for our own sperm/egg when combined to create a new (out of the womb) life.
More specifically, I know that I’d always wonder about them and worry that their parents might have issues with their personality/disposition/quirks that I could easily identify with and understand. I’d worry that their social/gestational mother might have bonding issues with them because they are of her husband’s and another woman’s dna. Or that the extended family might have bonding issues with the child for that same reason. (kin altruism issues) I’d worry that the child felt out of place at family gatherings. I’d worry that they kept it a secret and the child finds out in a traumatic way. I’d worry that the child might think they were unwanted and given away by me and half of their bio family. I’d worry that my own social/bio children would feel a loss/ feel cheated/confused by their own separation with their half sibling(s), etc.
But what if I did, hypothetically, donate my eggs? Well, first I would never sell them but since I’m being hypothetical, say I did sell them. In order to justify/feel comfortable with this, I’d put the $ in trust once I could afford it, to put towards the children’s college education. I’d be completely open and willing to known (from conception), open myself and my entire family up to contact if they wished. If that child ever needed me, emotionally, financially I would be there for them.
I’d always have my door WIDE open to these children (and their mom, dad, family). I’d never agree to it unless I met the recipients, made sure I liked them, had a good feeling about them, made sure that they were people who I would trust to love and support this child. I’d require all the background, financial, psychological etc. checks that is done in any adoption.
And I guess that is where I want ALL of this to go for future generations of Donor Conceived People (DCP). I’d like to see it done in a similar way as adoption (with all the background checks etc.) Only have open sperm/egg donors who really care, are not ashamed, who are willing/open to what ever relationship the children want, who have nothing but the best intentions and who would never EVER give these children ANY reason to EVER be ashamed or feel unwanted/rejected.”