CD05 and Donors

So my wife went for her blood test on Day 3, and we’ll get those results Tuesday of next week.  Wednesday is the HSG.  If everything is going well, we’d be looking for an OPK change the week of 5/12.  We have one wee bit of RR’s donor left, so we’ll obviously use him for our first try.  Odds being odds, though, we’ll eventually here start investigating other donors.

RR’s donor is anonymous.  A few of the donors I’ve seen/liked are open donors, which makes me a little nervous.  While it’s all fine and dandy now to say “Whatevs!” and pick someone to make us a baby, if confronted with two kids from two different types of donors, how would RR feel, really, knowing that her sibling would have this opportunity to contact her biological other half where she would be denied.

I can’t lie that it’s not already a thought in the back of my brain even without another kid, but it brings it to the frontal lobe when faced with this kind of decision.

It’s a little “cart before the horse” I know.  But something to think about as we move forward.  RR’s donor is exhausted, and in order to get more, we’d have to pay an arm and a leg, plus go to the moon and back, which we’re not financially poised to do.

Thoughts?  Anyone with kids from two different donors?  What if you wanted another, but had to use a new donor and he had a different status than your kid?  Is it a deal-breaker?  Is this all futile stuff, since how our kids feel about it will be based on how well we raise them?

Deep thoughts for a Friday morning.  I obviously need more coffee.

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Posted on May 3, 2013, in another one?. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I actually posted about this recently, kinda. We have had 4 children from the same donor. Since my wife and I have both carried, the donor is the only biological connection between the boys. There is a good chance we will have one more, but only have 2 half-vials of twice-frozen sperm left. Due to financial and planning reasons, we are opting to dispose of this sperm and forgo any possibly that the last child will be biologically linked to ALL his or her brothers. It’s a really hard decision!

    I have never thought about the status of the next donor, but I am interested to see what folks say. We have never even considered anything but an anonymous donor because, quite frankly, it scares the crap out of me. We are the lesbians that don’t even report our pregnancy back to the bank, lol. My assumption would be that we would choose an anonymous donor again, but who knows?

    • I’m interested, too!

      Thanks for your input. Oddly enough, I’m finding myself more concerned with the open vs. anon issue than the non-biological sibling connection. I suppose a part of me wonders that they might get along better if they’re not biologically connected! Ha! Of course, this is from me, someone who has never been “friends” with her sibling.

  2. It doesn’t seem like it would be that different from siblings that are adopted and some choose to find their biological parents while the siblings they were raised with choose not to.

    • I’m trying to think of it that way. Though it seems like having two different types of donors would come off as intentional like that, even though it wouldn’t be. We’d be picking based primarily off of looks/personality, and donor type and the long term complications and implications seem to be more than I thought (in my brain).

      I don’t know much about adoption (since our state barely lets same-sex couples adopt cats… kidding, mostly), but I assume there are some agencies people who allow contact vs. some that don’t (equivalent to anonymous)? I guess I’d be less worried if they both COULD but chose not to, versus one being able to and RR not at all.

      • When they are old enough to be told and understand, they will no doubt understand why there are different circumstances, if there are different circumstances. (Fingers & toes crossed for you that the first time is the charm!).

        One of my best friends in college was adopted, as were her two siblings. When they were old enough, two of them wanted to find out about their biological parents, but one just wouldn’t hear of it. Her parents were her parents, period. One wanted to know their genetic make-up and that was the extent. From what I vaguely recall, one was an anonymous adoption and even 40 years later, that child was able to track down some information, although they never did meet their biological parents.

        I do see the worrying point though. Things like that could keep me awake at night too.

  3. Our first was via a KD. For many, many reasons #2 is not. When looking at donors for #2 we had several criteria, not the least of which was an OpenID. Given that #1 has near weekly contact w/KD we felt it was only fair that we give #2 the opportunity to choose to know his bio other half in the future.

    • Right. And I think if RR had an open donor, we’d pick the same for #2. Only seems fair that both kids have the same opportunities, regardless of what they end up doing (contact vs not). But this way, the predicament is the other way around.

  4. My kids are from two different (known) donors. They both know they have a different bio dad, but seem to not have any issues with that. Although at a doctor appt the other day the doc referred to them as maternal half siblings and my son went, “What?!?!” I know one day they will understand this, but so far things have been just fine. Wishing you guys tons of luck!

  5. We each carried one of our kids, and they each have different anonymous donors. And, interestingly, they both look like me and each other (I have been know to call my partner my handmaiden. Because I am hysterical.). Anyway, I feel like queers spend a lot of time talking about how love makes a family. Indeed. We live and believe that.(But, my partner also told our person for the first kid that for characteristics in a donor, we wanted “north swimming sperm.” So, you know, grain of salt.) Our oldest is almost 9 (and youngest almost 3), and the oldest, of course, knows that there isn’t a biological connection between he and his sister, or he and his other mom, but it does not phase him. Our baby has said that the reason that I don’t have any milk for her is because her brother “drank it all”–her developmental understanding.

    Anyway, clearly I have feelings (and experience in my own family), but I really do think that if we want people to believe what we believe about love and family and such things, it’s important to–if the situation dictates it–live that.

    • Thank you for your perspective! RR looks so much like my wife, there’s often disbelief that she came from me. Yay science! But really – I think my brain knows that family is less about genetics than it is about love, can’t help but to over-think everything these days.

  6. Interesting. We used a willing to be known donor for the Bean, and if for some reason we had to switch donors (which shouldn’t happen, as we have frozen embryos and an extra vial), it would be important to me to use the same donor type again, mostly because our reasons for choosing that type in the first place — it was a major criterion for us, maybe the very top one — haven’t changed.

    At the time we were ttc the bean, we were not at all sure we would want more than one or who would carry any future attempt. But we still chose based largely on “looks like non-gestational mom,” despite advice from a family where both moms carried to choose a “neutral” donor so that the kids could have the same donor without risking a child carried by Sugar looking nothing like me at all, to the extent that I was perceived as not a parent. We didn’t intend to take the advice, but given the amount of information we had about the donor we chose, I reasoned that, since we are both white and everything, our donor was relatively neutral — eye and hair color between the two of ours, for instance. Then I carried the Bean, who I get told regularly doesn’t look like me and everyone thinks looks just like Sugar. So much for that idea.

    Back from my tangent! I think what I meant to say above is that at the beginning of the process, the idea of our children potentially not sharing a genetic link didn’t matter to me as much as our looking like a family. If Sugar were trying this time (and there were no embryos), I think we’d use the vial we already have and then go for the same donor type.

    • Here, too, in regards to the “looking like a family” bit. For instance, we are … ahem… short-ish people. So we intentionally look for donors who aren’t taller than 5’10 or so. It’s our preference to not have a 6’4″ son or daughter looming over us wee folks, though it would be nice to have someone around to get things off of the tall shelves.. Hmm…

      I digress. Donor type wasn’t really in the top five things we were looking for the first time, though (at least, not that I remember), but it’s definitely becoming more of a deciding factor this time.

  7. That’s kind of a tough call. We specifically chose a willing to be known donor (although he could change his mind in the next 16 years), because it was important to us. PB is adopted, and apparently demanded to find out about her biological parents at around 6 years old. She did meet them, and is still in contact with her birth mother (her birth father passed away quite a few years ago), but when she talks about her parents, it’s always the people that raised her. Still, she wanted to know, and we wanted to do our best to provide our children with a similar opportunity, should they want it.

    They may not care. PB’s four siblings are also adopted. Two came from foster care, and already knew their biological parents (more or less… long story). Of the three that were adopted as infants, PB demanded contact when she was young, one has made casual contact as an adult, and the third has been adamantly opposed to the idea of making contact. He’s just not interested, period. (Incidentally, my current impression is that adoptees have the legal right to find out who their birth parents are [or birth mother, at least, since the birth father may be unknown], while the donor-conceived do not.)

    Also, I don’t know about your bank, but at least with ours, the donors state their preference (willing to be known or not) at the time of the donation, but are not barred from changing their minds. If it’s the same with yours, by the time our kids are of age, RR’s donor could be open to contact, and Critter’s could not. The same is true of any new donor you might choose. There’s no way to say for sure.

    So I don’t know. The odds are that your kids will have somewhat different statuses, but that’s true of lots of families in different ways. I guess my best thought is to pick the donor that seems best for your family, since so much of it is kind of a crap shoot anyway.

    And hey, maybe this first try will work, and a lot of this will be a moot point anyway, right?

    • Wouldn’t that be nice?!

      Both my wife and I have some experience with adoption and step-folks, etc. etc. with our respective families, so we have some good in-house resources for talking about those things, you know? I’m grateful for that.

      Donor’s minds change. Kid’s minds change. Our minds might change. It’s all a crap shoot – you’re totally right.

  8. I think you move forward the best you can, but I don’t think that how they feel about it will necessarily depend on how you raise them. It’s going to depend a lot more on who they are as people, in my experience, and as parents we have a lot less control over who they are than we think we will when they’re babies. One of our kids has no opportunity to ever know her birth father and she minds…oh, she minds. Another could see her birth father and his family weekly, if she wanted to, and she couldn’t care less…totally uninterested. You just never know.

    • Fascinating. Truly. I think deep down, I’m scared that RR will mind. That #2 will mind. That, despite our stellar parenting (HA!!), they will deem us inadequate and look for their other halves. See? This is totally less about them, and more about my insecurities as a parent. 🙂

      • I’m just getting caught up on the excitement around here, and actually opened the comments thread to say what C Storm said. I think we can take a lot of pressure off of the whole thing by not interpreting our kids desire (or lack of desire) to know/have-info/whatever about the donor as an indication of whether we have succeeded or failed. That doesn’t answer your question about ID or anonymous — I think it may depend on your reasons for choosing anonymous in the first place. Do they still stand? Also, another option would be to check the DSR for RR’s donor and see if there are sibling connections available for her (though that might be too much of an extra variable right now). It’s possible that knowing that info/connection is available might feel like enough of an “even footing” in terms of options down the line. In either case, good luck.

  9. It’s so hard to imagine how your as-yet-unconceived child will feel about his/her situation in 18 years! Your reasoning for picking the same kind of donor makes a lot of sense to me. It does seem like it would be good for it to be “fair” in terms of both kids either having or not having the option to contact their donors. Though, as is is pointed out above, the donors’ perspectives may change over time too.
    One possible plus about having different donors–if one kid wants to find out and the other doesn’t, the one who finds out isn’t somehow “spoiling things” for the one who doesn’t want to know.
    For us, the decision about our donor felt important and worth putting some thought into. But we also decided that we couldn’t obsess about it too much, because of how much we couldn’t know ahead of time about how all of the different people involved might feel down the line.
    I hope that you guys are able to find and answer that feels right for your family.

  10. If you don’t mind a comment from a chick married to a dude (I read your wife’s blog) – I have no personal experience with donors, but all joking aside, I don’t think how your kids view the situation as adults will necessarily have anything to do with how you raise them. Obviously you’re going to present it in child-friendly language with an appropriate narrative when they’re children, but how they *feel* about it when they’re all grown up? Who knows!

    Hmm. That didn’t come out as positive as I intended…

    Here: I think you’re right. Family is about love, and even if you end up having to make a decision that is kind of unfair to your future second child, I think your love will carry them through it.

    (If I were in this situation I think I would be completely neurotic about this kind of thing. So!)

    • It’s hard not to be neurotic. Not only are there open vs anon, but personality traits, appearances, etc. It’s really crazy pants.

      I grew up raised by a single mom who was adopted, so I’m not a total stranger to the whole “curiosity about where I came from” kind of bit. And when I did meet my maternal granddad, he was kind of a let-down (shh, don’t tell him … oh wait, he’s dead). I was surrounded by a lot of love, so I think that totally helps.

      So I think we have an arsenal of experiences to help support RR and any future kids… just, in this moment, it feels like a weird decision to be faced with, ya know?

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