post #21 of 21
My partner and I discussed known and unknown for years. If we'd had a known donor that was the right fit we might have gone that route. We had a few people offer that were not the right fit either b/c of their medical histories or b/c we didn't feel comfortable with some aspect (ie fear that they wouldn't be on the same page as far as how much contact.) I think that a known donor situation when it is the right fit is possibly/probably the ideal in that there is no mystery whatsoever for the child. And right fit is different for different people, shared parenting might be the best for some, special friend/uncle status for others, holiday cards and once a year visit for others. As long as everyone is on the same page, it can work beautifully. However, if it is not the right fit, it can cause tension and pain and distract from what is already wonderful/difficult/consuming = parenting. My partner and I felt strongly that pushing for a known donor that wasn't a close friend or trusted person in our lives wouldn't work for us so we went the ID release route. We did not see this as the same as a known donor or close to it but we did see it as a much better option (for us) than an anonymous donor. We will not tell our child that he will get to meet his donor b/c that is not even close to guaranteed. We will tell him that the donor has agreed to one contact (if alive and located). By the time this happens the donor may be "fatigued" and have a set email that he forwards with updated health info and a pic, or less. We'll make sure our child's expectations are realistic about it. However, getting anything from the donor if the child is wanting it, will be better than the child not having any option at all. Also we have 5-6 pictures of the donor from toddlerhood through (early) adulthood. According to some of my adopted relations this, though far from "everything" that a child could want, is far less than "nothing" b/c some of the questions that a person who doesn't know his genetic origins might have can be somewhat addressed with pictures (ie who do I look like? Where does this nose come from?)
To anyone making this decision I would say that if you have a great known donor in your life and feel comfortable with him now and think you will in future, great go with that. But don't push through any kind of discomfort or negative instinct in order to hurry up and get pregnant already. And if it doesn't feel right, go the ID release donor route. All that being said, I would give that advice only if asked. I support anyone's right to make the choice that feels right for their family. LGBT families are judged enough so the least we can do is temper our judgment towards each other. Ultimately, each family ends up having the exact right child so it is then clear that whatever decision was made was obviously the right one!!!