“One of my least favorite things is sperm donor jokes, which are also inexplicably common. The only thing I hate more than sperm donor jokes is when someone calls their absent dad/child’s father a sperm donor… I literally have to walk away in order to not to get incredibly angry at whoever is saying it. ”
“In the circumstances it is inevitable that some parents will direct their bitterness and resentment at the child who is a constant reminder of their reproductive disappointment.”
These are both quotes from anonymous donor-conceived adults, about how reproductive technologies have shaped their lives. I just read their full stories and listened to them on a podcast via a great new website called The Anonymous Us Project.
The project was started by Alana Stewart, a “donor kid,” musician and writer. The website and podcast were created to provide a”safety zone for real and honest opinions about reproductive technologies and family fragmentation.”
Personal stories come from donor conceived, adoptees, donors and surrogates, fertility industry professionals and parents.
I was very moved by the two anonymous pieces I heard on the podcast, but they’re really intense. In one, a woman describes the memory of her mother trying to smother her and connects this to the conflicts donor parents sometimes feel about their children. It’s not easy to hear.
One father who used donor sperm talks about the love he has for his son, and the complictaed feelings stirred in him when he reads about unhappy donor kids. He tries to explain his point of view and tell us,”I do not apologize for choosing to bring this wonderful person into the world, and I would certainly do it again.”
One of the big issues seems to concern transparency. Those who feel betrayed or lied to have a particular sadness to grapple with.
I think the website, which has only recently been launched, could become an incredible resource for those many people impacted by reproductive technologies. It’s beautifully done, with a whole lot of love: Ms. Stewart writes, ”We hope that The Anonymous Us Project will fill out the conversation on reproductive technologies. We hope it will inspire more truth and transparency. We hope it will help shape healthier families and happier people.”
photo: The Anonymous Us Project