Monday, January 5, 2009

Upcoming Documentary!

An incredible single woman considering sperm donation as an option to create a child produced a documentary as part of her master's film making program. In Anne Catherine's journey to determine whether or not donor conception is the right decision for her, she visited with donor-conceived (Ryan Kramer and me), past and current sperm donors, cryobank directors, recipients (including Wendy Kramer), and her own relatives with an infant conceived naturally.


Veronica Thomas said...

Kathleen, I applaud you for your blog and for speaking out on this topic. We need more voices like yours! I do have a question for you. It seems from your entries that you are advocating, above all, for an end to donor anonymity. Does this mean that you favor donor conception as long as it is not anonymous?

One of your earlier entries compares the different ways in which donor conception is similar to being adopted - you discuss the loss, the grieving, etc. that DI-conceived people experience, and how this is similar to being adopted. Yet many of the things you describe, it seems to me, do not disappear simply if we had an open system where donors could no longer be anonymous.

Wouldn't you still feel loss, even if you knew your donor's name and contact info, if you were not part of his life and the lives of your paternal family members? Wouldn't it be a loss if he was having Thanksgiving dinner with your paternal grandparents, half-siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins, and you were not invited? Wouldn't the loss be simply in being separated from them, in not being part of the family circle and part of their relationships, and in being recognized and accepted for who you are - his daughter, and a part of their family?

What I am getting at is that in my opinion, ending anonymous donation doesn't do much - it's only a first step, but the reality is that children need, deserve and have a right to so much more than that from their genetic parents. Creating a child comes with responsibilities to the child, and those responsibilities cannot be sold or contracted away because they are biological and natural. It's simply not enough to provide the child with a one-pager listing basic information about a biological parent, whether or not that information is identifying. That's like a joke!

damianhadams said...

Hi veronica,

I agree with you. I think that at first many view the health issue as their major concern and others also the loss of identity/heritage which would be somewhat ameliorated by known donation. But, if anonymous donation was to cease then I feel that the next generation would then by pointing out the damage that this loss of kinship has on their lives. Even if the child was then to meet and have a meaningful relationship with their father after reaching maturity, nothing can replace the lost years and interaction that would have occured. A similar thing occurs with many adoptees.