Free 1st Phone Consult Session
As we are all maneuvering through uncharted territory, we believe that good counseling can have an important place in the “re-defining” of family that often times catches us by surprise.
Over the years, we have heard some disturbing accounts of DSR parents, donors and offspring being counseled by therapists who do not seem at all well-versed or experienced in the intricacies or the potential complications (and joys) of donor-families looking to form or deciding to connect somewhere later on down the line.
Just a few of the issues that we hear about on a regular basis:
- Maneuvering through the issues of disclosure, a child’s right to know, and when and how to tell
- Couples or single moms deciding to use donor insemination and wondering about open or anonymous donors
- How to move forward in connecting with a half-sibling’s family (or many families)
- Donors- how to move forward with connecting when your family members may not know of your donations or may not approve of your reaching out to your genetic offspring (and how to deal when there are many of them)
- Non-biological parents who may be feeling uncomfortable with their children reaching out to biological relatives
- Parents/donors/offspring coming together from different socio-economic/political/sexual orientation/religious backgrounds who need assistance in moving forward in the most healthy way possible
- For donor conceived people- how to cope when you have a burning desire to know your genetic/ancestral history
- Helping to make the distinction between privacy and secrecy in the families we connect with.
The issues and challenges of forming and re-defining family are just limitless.
Wendy is available for phone consult sessions, when a licensed therapist might not be necessary. She has experience in speaking with many donors, parents and donor offspring on all the above listed issues, and more.
If you're a DSR member, contact Wendy if your are interested in a free phone consult. If you are satisfied with your phone consult, we request a small tax deductible donation for the DSR.
"If you are a parent of a donor conceived person, a donor conceived person, a donor, or someone who loves someone affected by donor conception, and you have questions, need some advice, or would just like a great listening ear from someone who totally “gets it”, pick up the phone, and call Wendy! As parents of a young donor conceived child, we were unsure how to navigate our child’s early questions and comments. We felt helpless and had no idea where to turn. We were unable to find any therapists in our area with any familiarity of the issues involved in raising a donor conceived child. When a friend suggested we call Wendy, our initial feeling was one of doubt…. Surely someone as important to this area as Wendy Kramer doesn’t have time to talk to us! But, we eventually emailed Wendy and then picked up the phone. We have done so on several occasions since. Each time we have talked to her, we have found Wendy to be approachable, warm and such a joy to talk to. Based on her own experience, and the experiences of countless others, she has incredible insight into the dynamics of all of the parties. She seems to have such good insight into what is likely to work and not work. Her approach to issues is ethical and heart warming. We can’t say enough about how we have come to value her thoughts and advice. She’s an amazing resource!" - A DSR Mom
We can also recommend a few counselors (payment would be negotiated with them directly).
Susan Frankel, MFT is a psychotherapist as well as a mother of a young woman born from donor insemination. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC23930) in private practice. She also serves as the Adult Track Trainer and Clinical Supervisor for the TALK Line Family Support Center in San Francisco. She has extensive professional experience with donor children and their families. Her consultations are designed to assist families in making well informed decisions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT is a San Francisco–based marriage and family therapist (MFC51836). Being donor-conceived herself, she has a special interest in working with other donor-conceived people and their families. Her private practice is focused on helping clients wake up from the trance of self-judgment and cultivate self-compassion. This work is deeply informed by her experience of growing up donor conceived, as well as ongoing professional training in Buddhist and relational psychology. email@example.com
For egg donation issues, please see our page called "Egg Donation."
To read frequently asked questions on many family issues, please see our FAQ page.