Did you tell family you were using donor sperm?

(6 posts)(3 voices)
  1. My DH and I have just been through 3 mc's and one failed IVF due to his balance translocation, so we have decided to start the process of donor sperm. He was actually the one who said he wanted to do this instead of continuing with more IVF's. I am comfortable telling my immediate family (mom, sister and brother) about it. We have always been very close and I feel like it would only help to have their support. My DH is really not open to talking about this with anyone. He definitely does not want to tell his side of the family. His one brother knows because he said he would be willing to be a donor, but if we fgo with an anonymous donor he doesn't even want him to know that. He has said that when it is appropriate we would talk to our child about where they came from which I think is very important, but other then that he has asked me not to say anything. I respect his feelings and I know this is so hard for him right now to be dealing with all of this. I guess I am just wondering will it get easier for him? Will he at some point be ok with me talking to my family about it maybe once the child is here? We are going to go to counseling at my RE's clinic so I am going to bring it up there so we can discuss it more. I just really feel like this is nothing we should hide away as some dark family secret and if the child is going to know then what are we going to tell him or her that they can't say anything cause no one else knows about it?! I guess it can be more difficult for men. If my eggs were bad I would have no problem telling anyone that asked. I wish this weren't so hard. Any insight anyone has would be really great. Thanks!

    Lisa

  2. This is a tough question. There have been relatively recent papers and articles written about alternative conception methods and how the treatment of those issues with the children and families should be approached similarly to adoption. With adoption, it is a pretty well universal consensus now that you need to tell your child about it, and obviously the family tends to know, too, because they witnessed the process. But there is also a need for the child to ultimately control the discussion and the dissemination of the story (e.g. the birth mother's story is not yours to tell, but instead the child's and s/he should control when it is publicized).

    So in some respects, I can see why you might want to give your family a heads up, but in other respects, I can understand the inclination to - once disclosure is made - make it something of a non-topic until you've figured out how to deal with it with your child. It can't be a deep dark secret, but it also shouldn't necessarily be your lead in for introducing your new baby, if you know what I mean!

    I know there aren't a lot of books out there but since the analogy has been drawn already in some literature, you might want to read up on adoption adjustments and how to deal with family members in an adoption situation. Might be helpful.

    As for us, I think disclosure is a good thing, but have told DH it is his story (and hopefully, if it works, our child's) to tell, and that he needs to tell it in his own way. I also think there is a huge gender gap here... it wouldn't make me feel like less of a woman to use a donor egg, but using a donor sperm (i.e. having another man's sperm in me... his wife!) is much more of an ego blow to a guy, I think.

    Best of luck!

  3. I think you should respect your DH's feelings and not disclose this to your family and anyone else for that matter if he is not comfortable with this. It will be both your child regardless of where the gametes came form. People tend to gossip and form judgements from there own biases, etc... Ask yourself - Why do you feel the need to tell?

  4. Simba - I appreciate your comments, but I think you misunderstood my questions. This is a good example of why forums like this are not always the best place for support. If youhad read it correctly you would have seen my question had absoulutely nothing to do with me feeling different about where my baby will be coming from biologically as a matter of fact that is the least of my concerns. Or why it is it necessary that I want to tell my immediate family? - Maybe because they are a very important part of my life. Perhaps, you do not have that sort of relationship with yours? Thanks anyway.

    eparas - Thanks for you thoughts and helpful insight

  5. beiker, going back to the adoption analogy, I think you will find that comfort with the discussion operates on a bit of a curve. For instance, in some cases and with some people (particularly as the process moves forward and DH settles in to the concept) your DH might be more comfortable discussing it. The trend in the literature is that alternative conception methods should not be treated as a deep dark secret (adoptions were similarly treated years ago as deep dark secrets, to the emotional and sometimes physical detriment of the adoptees) - ultimately, treating it as such sends a negative message to your child, who will be dealing with this for the rest of his or her life (and late disclosure to the child can have a pretty harsh impact on the relationship between child and parent and adversely effect attachment).

    I don't know whether it's useful or not, but I can share my experiences - we adopted our son two years ago. At first, when we were early on in the process (by comparison, you might think of that time as the time you would spend selecting your donor) we didn't talk about it very much - the people who were closest to us knew about it. But as we progressed, and especially after we accepted our referral (e.g. after you confirm the pregnancy is going well, I suppose), everyone knew, because for us it was a wonderful occasion to be celebrated... after all, regardless who our son's birth parents are, WE were going to be his forever family, which was seriously awesome (sgreeney was correct in that respect that what makes a parent a parent is so much more than DNA)! Then, when our process slowed down, I didn't want to talk about it much, because it was difficult for me. Then we brought him home and it was a hot topic again, and we were okay with that. Now that we've settled in, the fact that he is adopted is only novel or interesting to people who don't know us well (our son looks nothing like us, so we get asked where he is from, etc. when we are out and about). We are very comfortable talking about it because our son knows he was adopted, where he is from, and that he is with his forever family now. That makes it easier for us to answer questions in front of him, but we don't get into details (how much it cost, who is birth mother is, etc.) because that is HIS story, not ours.

    I don't know whether that helps or not, or is any way useful, but there you have it!

  6. eparas - That is a wonderful story and it does help. My DH is pretty accepting of using donor sperm because he is ready to have a family and we both know that this will be OUR baby - no one else's and love him or her more then anything. Dh is actually a pretty open guy he just does not want anyone to know that we are using ds and I totally agree with him that this is not something we tell to anyone who should ask about our fertility issues. I just wanted to be able to share the news with my mom and my sister because they are so important to me and always give me comfort and I know there will be times where this can get stressful and I just want to have an outlet. I think in time he will be ok with it. I'm excited for our counseling session this Monday. I will respect DH"s feelings in the end no matter what the outcome is. Having a healthy marriage and family is the thing that matters the most to me. Thanks again

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