Using anonymous donors in Australia is not allowed, but many people head overseas to countries where anonymous donors are the only option. Bre’s story (below) is a reminder that your children will grow up one day to be thinking, feeling adults who have the right to know the identity of their biological parents.
That not knowing hurts.
If you’ve already used an anonymous donor, please make sure you do everything you can to support your child in their journey.
And if you’re an anonymous donor, please consider revealing yourself.
We know better now. We can do better.
Article reposted with permission from Bre McEnany.
We know you’re out there.
We may not know your name or exactly what you look like, but you are no secret to us. Years ago, you made a decision to change our lives, to begin our lives, and for that, in the end, we must thank you. Our thanks doesn’t mean we have to love you.
Unfortunately, your choice to be anonymous has affected our lives, the lives you are a part of, in ways you could not have imagined.
What was on your mind?
I am sure at the time you weren’t thinking of the future when the child you could potentially help create would be an adult; a person with desires of their own. Or perhaps you were told that being anonymous is better, or you didn’t want to burden your future family with the knowledge of your decisions. Whatever your reasons for choosing to not be known to us, they don’t matter now.
All that matters now is that you come out because we are waiting.
Anonymous donors no longer exist
I am sure you’ve seen the stories (or at least heard of them) of how, because of the proliferation of DNA tests, sperm donation is no longer anonymous.
We are searching for you.
Eventually, we might find you, so here is your chance. The world is changing, slowly, and secrets are becoming less common, less necessary, as acceptance struggles to the surface. I urge you to embrace the change. Let your secrets out. Reveal yourselves to us, your children. We are no longer hiding in the shadows and waiting for you, we are out in the open, searching the faces of those around us.
Searching for you.
We have questions
Come out to us. Make yourselves known. Use the tools of our modern society. Come onto Twitter and Facebook, test your DNA with Ancestry or 23andme.
Find us because we are waiting.
We have questions that only you can answer, so come out and answer them for us, for you. We may not all be happy with you, we may not all like you, but we do all want to know you, to see you.
Our very existence proves that your choices exist, so come out and meet us, the consequences and results of your decisions.
Bre McEnany is full-time Occupational Therapy graduate student. She has known that she was donor-conceived from a young age and has been writing to advocate for the end of donor anonymity for the last four years. She has recently connected with several siblings and her biological father through DNA testing, which has increased her advocacy for the use of known donors and recipient parent education.
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Note: Many donors – both egg and sperm – who were only given the option of being anonymous indicate today that they do actually wish to connect with their children; particularly after they’ve had their own families.
But who makes the first move? Donors don’t wish to impose on their children’s lives; donor-conceived people fear they may be rejected.