Adoptees and donor conceived seem to have much in common…
Insomnia struck again, so, I just watched the last two episodes of Generation Cryo. I didn’t watch the series, just the last two episodes. What I don’t know, is, if they realize that there could indeed be more than just the 15 who signed up on the donor sibling registry – and whether that was part of the discussion earlier in the series, because realistically, with the number of parents who tell vs don’t tell – the likelihood of more siblings is there, unless, the cryo bank knows those were the only families, and, know they were the only source.
It was an interesting glimpse into the lives of a few young adults who are donor conceived, understanding, that glimpse was merely snippets selected from the overall picture. Of course, there was no randomness to the selection pool because they all had the same biological father – yet that creates a unique situation, similar to the twins who were deliberately separated at birth, and adopted into different homes. Different in that only half of who they are came from the same person, but similar with the different environments they were raised in. (some had full siblings raised in the same home.)
Yet those snippets, show the reality that the adults made decisions that for some – clearly only fell within their comfort level. One of the dads specifically, seemed very uncomfortable to say the least, and likely very angry too as to this whole process. Sitting back – the lack of genetic connection appears to be really hard for him, to the point that he could deal with it when it was only a vial, a medical process, not a human being that contributed 50% of the genes for his children. From the outside looking in, it is hard for me to understand why after so many years, the obvious familial love, why he couldn’t understand the flip side – that if the lack of the genetic connection caused him such grief, then, how could he not step outside of himself and see the lack thereof, the not knowing, or knowing you had others out there – might mean something to his kids? I’m saying that not just based on the last two episodes, but one of the clips from a previous episode that appeared to relate to him having issues with his kids wanting to know their siblings. It seemed that he only wanted his nuclear family, only that was acceptable.
I was also struck by the one dad’s lack of understanding of how his words could cause his kids to understand, without any doubt, that he did not want them to know their biological father, end of story. He didn’t have to come out and say it, but he played the loyalty card. I think he just made his kids life so much harder, and, I suspect their mom identified the loyalty issue the kids would feel, and while she didn’t say that – perhaps – that is also what fueled her push back – the mama bear protecting her cubs mode. That style of parenting – we must be the be all, and end all, of their kids world is unknown to me, and I am thankful for that. I know other adoptees haven’t been as fortunate as I, in that respect.
The fact that the siblings connected first, and spent some quality time with each other as young adults, will likely help in maintaining a long-term relationship – especially now with all the different modes of keeping in touch at their fingertips. Meeting at that age, when they are all evolving into adults should make it easier, than meeting when you are set in your ways. It should also help in any relationship they do choose to build with their biological father, they aren’t going it alone, and it seems they are all okay with other siblings not being at the same stage, or having the same desire for connection at this point in their lives. The not so curious commonality I saw with adoptees from closed adoption, the lived reality that we would never know, and how you can live quite happily despite that, and be okay, but, once there is a chance the what if’s, and what could be suddenly become reality, it dispels the need, or your belief that you don’t care, or are curious. Rather, they just hadn’t been given the choice, the key to unlock that part of who they are if they wanted too, and acceptance isn’t the only option they have – it changes everything, bit by bit. The different stages of recognition of what you want, and when you are ready for the next step, or, that you don’t want to go further, but, recognize that you might in the future, or not.
For years, I have said that the reproductive industry should have looked to the knowledge gained in adoption in regards to adoptees. From what I have read, they felt donor conception is completely different – that is was the “adoption” and “separation” that made all the difference for adoptees. They seem to have made a grave mistake. How many donor conceived will pay the price for that decision? I find it indelibly sad that once again, the adults didn’t think of the kids, their needs, desires, the challenges they would face.
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”
― Walt Whitman
Oct 2014: You may speak freely, but please try to use words that everyone can hear about your individual story or view. If you don't, those who can actually benefit won't hear it, I want to see change in my lifetime. I may refuse to approve certain comments.
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