Monday, August 28, 2006

A5 - Position on Disclosure / Openness - Bob

What is your position on disclosure / openness with your children re DI? And if you do disclose at what age would you think appropriate to tell the children?

I ditto what Richard has said. In fact, I have told Dori that she is DI conceived, but at six months of age, she obviously has no way of understanding what I've said. But, I don't make a regular practice of it. Yes, I can see how doing that on a regular basis would make it easier for us as she grows to an age of comprehension.

My elder daughter, Addy, is four. We have not told her yet that she is a product of ICSI/ZIFT. In fact, it may be time to do that. Please note that this is not something we're trying to hide at all. In fact, it's so common that it doen't seem an out of the ordinary way to be conceived.

So, I'd have to say that it's easy to say that we are pro-disclosure, but fitting it into real life is a bit more challenging. Especially since we don't define our kids as being "ICSI/ZIFT" conceived or "DI" conceived.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A5 - Position on Disclosure / Openness - Richard

What is your position on disclosure / openness with your children re DI? And if you do disclose at what age would you think appropriate to tell the children?

I shall try to keep this one as short as possible. I believe that every child has a right to information about who they are and where they come from. That information includes the fact that they are donor conceived. While I understand that some people feel that keeping the information from their children means preventing a lot of uncomfortable questions and pretending that their family is exactly the same as every other, I don't believe that parents have a right to keep their children in the dark. Fundamentally I don't believe that the information belongs to the parent, they're simply guardians of it until their children are old enough to understand what it means.

Why do I feel so strongly about the subject? Because lies are not a way of building a secure family unit, and no matter how you frame it, not telling is a lie of ommission. What on earth would happen if somehow my children found the information out from a doctor or a government official or, heaven forbid, a letter landing on the doorstep from their donor? It's one of those lies, like so many others, that is terrifying while it is untold and then powerless once it is out in the open. It has the power to hold my family to ransom or bring us together, depending on how I choose to deal with it.

When will I tell my children? It will be the first thing that I say to them after "hello" when they enter this world, and I will keep telling them on a regular basis as they grow up so that they are confident that the information is not something to be afraid or ashamed of. And as well as making it easier for them to deal with the information, talking to them about it before they can understand allows me to become comfortable with the words so that, when I explain it to them when they're older, I know how to phrase it and don't stumble over the words making both me and them uncomfortable.

I will love my kids and I will trust them to love me, despite the fact that they don't share my genes.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Q5: Position on Disclosure / Openness

What is your position on disclosure / openness with your children re DI? And if you do disclose at what age would you think appropriate to tell the children?

Monday, August 14, 2006

A4 - Single Biggest Fear Regarding DI - Richard

What is your single biggest fear and why regarding the use of donor insemination in creating your family?

I think my biggest fear is probably the same of any father. I'm afraid that my kids will end up hating me. As a father to kids that are not genetically related to me, I have to work extra hard to ensure that my kids realise how much I love and appreciate them for who they are. A lot of parents rely on the fact that their kids have to love them because they're related to them. I won't have that luxury. But on the plus side, I will reap the rewards of that extra work, something that most dads will never even realise is possible.

For all parents I think there is a constant fear that when you finally let them fly the nest they might never come back. For me there will always be the fear that when my kids finally decide to go off and find their donor my relationship with them will never be the same again. But if I do my job as a dad right it will just be another chapter in their lives and part of the story of our family.

Richard

A 4 - Single Biggest Fear Regarding DI - Bob

What is your single biggest fear and why regarding the use of donor insemination in creating your family?

My single biggest fear in using DI to help build our family lies in the fact that we have an older non-DI conceived daughter. My older daughter, Addy, was conceived via ICSI-ZIFT almost five years ago. The reasons we decided to use DI for our second daughter, Dori, include a second failed IVF procedure, and a realization that our first success was unlikely to repeat. Other factors include the physical and mental difficulties that accompany IVF, and cost.

So, that brings me back to my fear. What will Dori think as she grows to realize that her sister is fully genetically related to me, and she is not? That was the biggest reason that I initially hesitated even to attempt DI, and when I did consent to DI, that I wanted to keep closed mouthed about it. Yep, at first I was completely against disclosure. Keep it a secret. Don’t tell anyone, especially the baby.

Well, anyone who is familiar with my openness now, through my writings on this blog, or on the Yahoo! Group, or my interview with USA Today, can probably piece together that I have changed my thinking regarding disclosure. I now feel that the importance in being honest with Dori overrides my selfish desire to hide the truth surrounding her conception. But, in the back of my mind, I still wonder how the fact that she does not share genes with me, while her sister does will affect her.

While I am convinced that openness is the best option, my fear is still present. I have reserved myself to love Dori (and Addy) unconditionally. My hope is that unconditional love, and open and honest dialogue will prove that we did the best we could in building our family.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Q4: Single Biggest Fear Regarding DI

What is your single biggest fear and why regarding the use of donor insemination in creating your family?

- Eric