The Anonymous Us Project is a safety zone for real and honest insights regarding third party reproduction (sperm & egg donation, and surrogacy). We aim to share the experiences of voluntary and involuntary participants in these new reproductive technologies, while preserving the dignity and privacy for story-tellers and their loved ones. All stories are contributed anonymously because "anonymity in reproduction hides the truth, but anonymity in story-telling helps reveal the truth." Read More
I'm a transman, meaning I was born a female but I identify as male, and though I've completed sex reassignment surgery and I'm now legally a man, science has not come far enough to give transmen actual sperm-producing testicles. So, my options for parenthood were 1) be a biological mother or 2) be a legal father with the aid of sperm donation or adoption. My wife and I have been together ten years and we married in 2009. We started looking into using a sperm donor so that we could have children together. We completely ignored the possibility of adoption because we live in Utah and the Mormon church has a lot of influence in adoptions here and we didn't think they would be helpful towards a couple where one of the potential parents was transgender.
On a side note...
Before you say "Well, you didn't have to tell them you were transgender," 1) a background search would quickly reveal that my name was Mary Elizabeth for over 30 years, and 2) If I were going to put my child up for adoption, I would want the people who want to raise them to be honest about who they are. They're giving you a child! The least you can give them in return is the truth.
Anyway, back to my story...
Internet searches and visits to fertility clinics never failed to bombard us with images of smiling children and stories of nothing but complete happiness from all involved. My wife and I felt that there was no downside to sperm donation. The child would be wanted and loved and that's all that mattered. That was all they needed to be happy and healthy people.
And then we came across this website, Anonymous Us, on a Facebook parenting page we'd joined. The comments, some of which came from women who'd become mothers by sperm or egg donation, were scathing and hateful towards the donor conceived person who penned the story in the link, calling them ungrateful, whiny, a brat, a bitch, and even going as far to say they should go kill themsleves. The sheer hatred people had for donor conceived people who were anything other than eternally grateful to everyone involved in their creation made my heart ache for the ones who were unhappy. I imagined that such people must feel so isolated with no one to talk to without being judged (Being transgender in a conservative area, I'm very familiar with that feeling).
I spoke with my wife about how the stories I read on this site made me feel and ultimately, we decided to not go through with sperm donation. My wife was disappointed, because she'd always wanted to experience pregnancy, but she was on the same page that I was. We're not sure of where to go from here in order to become parents but we know without a doubt that we made the right decision in not using a donor. The whole experience has brought my wife and I closer as we have made peace with the possibility that we may never be parents and have come to a place in our relationship where we're fine if our family never grows beyond the two of us.
I am an egg donor. I did it once and not for money, it was purely an altruistic favour for a former family friend that couldn't conceive.
I did it in the moment. It seemed like the right thing to do and I don't regret it for a second. However, I see now photos of the children, by default and the six degrees of separation that is social media. Plus, am occasionally related stories about them through members of the same family I am still in contact with (the mother hasn't contacted me since the birth).
But, as I see them growing (they are now teenagers) and how look so like me and my own natural relations, share the same interests and mannerisms, traits and ways of thinking that are very unique to my own family, it is very difficult for me not to want them to know me and my family. The difficulty is that the parents have kept it a secret from the children and I am obliged to keep quiet and honour their decision. It means I can't visit other members of the recipient family who I am still close to, when the children or parents might be around etc as the mother is fearful of them finding out.
I always wanted to them to know the truth because I don't believe in living lies and think it's the childrens' birthright to know, and I was always bought up to believe that love is elastic and something that should be shared and not possessed. I saw a programme recently when an adopted son was searching for his birth mother and was helped so generously by his adoptive parents who were more than happy for him when he found his biological parent. It was heart-warming to see and it made me cry because I will never have that.
Other people I know have contact with the children, see them all the time and are allowed to be part of their lives and experience them growing up and for me not to be a part of that is hard.
I partially understand the mothers' reservations and insecurities - at the same time what once were two eggs have grown up into such lovely children, how could I not want to be a small part of that? Therin lies the difficulty from another perspective - it's not all about the recipient, donors have feelings too.