For those men considering using donor sperm who are worried about whether they will bond with their donor conceived children. For those men with fears that their kids will consider them a fraud.
First off I don’t look or think of my kids as my donor conceived children. They are simply my kids. Soon enough they will be young adults. But right now they are both teenagers. You think the terrible twos were an issue? Just wait. I am sort of kidding.
Back to fears. Years ago I wrote an essay talking about fears. It was published in a book called Voices of Donor Conception. In 2007, I published on my blog a YouTube reading of that essay. I look crazy tired in the video. My kids were then 5 and 3 and running me ragged. I still worried about a lot of the fears as they were too little to fully understand their conception story. They knew it but did not fully get it.
With 12 more years of living now under my belt I can very clearly say all of my fears were unfounded. They are now 17 and 15. Yes I may still worry from time to time. But my kids know who Dad is. They know they have a donor and he is out there somewhere. They know they have and have met their two known half siblings and yearly spend parts of vacations with one or the other.
I am more settled and so are they. Certainly they have their moments and I know as they get older those moments will turn to deeper introspection as to who they are. Who they come from. And what they may find missing. It won’t be easy but I can say they know I will support them and be there for them. That is all I can ask and hope for.
As I have in past blog posts I thank my donor for the gift of these two young people. I no longer fear him. If my kids find him and he is willing I will accept their need to begin a relationship with him if that is their desire. They know I am Dad and I know they believe that. We have gone through too much of day to day life and a divorce and they know how much I love them.
Life is not easy. Parenthood is not easy. Everything takes work. Fears disappear and fade when you are an active loving parent. That does not mean there won’t be bumps or that your children will brush aside their need to know more. They won’t. Many can’t. It’s unfair to ask them too. Be present. Be supporting. Listen. Pay attention to their needs. It’s amazing as a parent how much of our happiness is tied to theirs. Knowing that give them the best life you can. Sometimes that just means don’t let fears prevent you from being dad or a parent.
If you're a man who has children through sperm donation, or is considering that path, you may like to join Eric's online Facebook support group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2259512504329244
This post first appeared on Eric's blog, https://di-dad.blogspot.com, and is reposted here with permission.