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Negotiating Donor-Sibling Relationships

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We have two matches on the Donor Sibling Registry/, and I have started exchanging e-mails with the mothers (one child is two and the other is five months, so it's just the parents in contact for now).

One mother is a single-mom-by-choice, and it seems like she wants the same sort of relationship we do - e-mailing, exchanging pictures, and meeting up when the babies are older. The other mom is in a heterosexual marriage, and they haven't told anyone irl that their child was donor conceived. She seems to want contact, but she's also pretty wary.

I was wondering if anyone here has stories about contacting donor half-siblings and/or their parents. I am curious about how things went, and what sorts of relationships you have with the other families.
post #2 of 18
We have a variety of relationships with our daughters' donor siblings. (they have the same donor, phew!) We're not incredibly close to anyone of them, but we see one particular family several times a year. The little girl is 9 months older than our oldest, so they play well together. There's another family who live about 25 minutes from us and they have a little boy who is a year and a half younger than our oldest daughter and about a year older than our youngest. We saw them the other day and did a lot of comparing about their personalities (it's all the donor's fault! lol!) There are two other families who live several hours away, and we've met one of them, but are eager to get together as the kids get older. Finally, we met one family randomly on the beach (yes, it's true) and while I've run into one of the moms several times, she's always friendly, but seems completely uninterested in furthering the relationship. I think we've struck the ideal balance for us. We can hang out, they send birth announcements, and we exchange pictures, but it's not like we're trying to raise our kids as siblings. I know some people want that, but we don't. What's most important to me is that we all keep in touch so that if our kids want to establish a deeper relationship when they're older, if they want someone who is curious about their donor, too, they'll have those connections.

I have one set of friends who met (randomly at pride) and became friends because their kids share a donor. Now the parents refer to the kids as siblings and they are all thoroughly enmeshed in one another's lives. (the kids are 6,5,3) They have made a good connection with each other, and I hope it adds stability and continuity to their kids' lives, but I wouldn't introduce a child as a "sibling" when I couldn't control so many things- like their parents, the degree of involvement in each other's lives, the whole what-if-they-move-away thing, etc etc.
post #3 of 18
Looking forward to your answers... we are not there yet but may be facing the same dillema in a few years !

Thanks for asking the question !

post #4 of 18
we are in email contact with 4 other families. 2 have boy/girl twins (one smbc, one hetero couple), one has a boy (2 moms) and the other a girl (smbc). outside of that we did try to contact other families but several didn't reply and one only wanted to know if we had spare vials.

we exchange photos and general information a few times a year. there is no plan for meeting up or sharing more personal details like surnames or where we live. we definitely do not consider these children/families part of our extended family, nor are the children "siblings" of our sons.

it's interesting to see that they all share some traits - all are off the charts with height, all love music and all are outgoing - and we have all agreed to share any medical info that may be relevant.

funnily enough, the hetero couple are the ones who are more hesitant to share photos etc.. only the dad is in contact with us; mom does not want to disclose AT ALL that the children were conceived using donor sperm.

so why did we make contact? i think it is naive to think that our sons will not be curious about this when they are old enough to understand.

post #5 of 18
We have found 16 other families whose children share a donor with ours. The vast majority of the families are queer, but there are a few SMBC; there aren't any heterosexual, married families. We met a couple of the families early on, when our twins were about 1.5 years old. Meeting in person was fine; I think it would be way more interesting now that the kids are old enough to really interact, but we don't have any plans to get together again anytime soon. In general, we stay in touch via a yahoo group listserve. Some families are more active than others. Some families send out holiday greeting cards, some don't feel comfortable sharing their mailing addresses. We are automatically notified of the children's birthdays, and as this point it seems I get a notification very frequently! There are 31 or 32 children all together (an equal mix of boys and girls, ranging in age from 1 yo to 7 yo).

We talk to our older kids about the existence of their donor siblings, but thus far they show no interest in them. I assume this will likely change at some point, but I could be totally wrong! Who knows? We figure we'll keep the connections open so that the kids have the option of contacting each other when they're older.


post #6 of 18
We have been in email contact with two families, one much more than the other. One is a SMBC who lives on another continent, and we've just had a few emails with her: Christmas cards, announcement when our second child was born, that kind of thing. The other family is two moms, not in our state, and we email every few months, send pictures.

I'm comfortable with things as they are, but if we find ourselves going to the state of the US family I imagine we'll probably try to meet. They've sounded receptive to that. Right now, it's totally driven by the parents, as the oldest of any of the children involved is 3-1/2.

I guess my goal is to maintain enough of a tie so that when the kids get older there's some connection there. We're not aiming for additional sibs or even something like cousins, but somebody that they know who they are. If they decide they want a different relationship they have that choice.
post #7 of 18
oh wow, does SMBC mean single mother before children? That's all i could come up with!

strangely enough, all the families we've met with the same donor have been two-mama families at the time of conception
post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by pdxmomazon View Post
oh wow, does SMBC mean single mother before children? That's all i could come up with!
Single mother by choice
post #9 of 18
Our situation is a little different, but I always get excited when I see posts about donor conceived children, so I'm going to chime in anyway.

We have two (one in the belly and one out) kiddos conceived from the same donor. He's a known donor though, and his wife is a wonerful friend of mine. They live a good jaunt away (like 18-20 hours drive), and we don't see them very often. They have two kids, one of whom is a daughter only six weeks younger than our dd. We call them siblings, even though I think we all equate it more to counsinhood than actual siblinghood. They're genetic siblings, even if they aren't living the shared childhood that would make them siblings in the "normal" sense of the word.
Anyway, the relationship with our donor family is important because they're pretty special friends, but even if they weren't, it would still be really important to US. We exchange photos and updates, and certainly any medical information. Mostly though, it's just important that our kids know that they have a set of half siblings out there, and that they know who and where those people are. I don't want our kids to ever feel awkward and unknown to their half-siblings, so I hope to maintain a level of connection that at least allows a comfortable deepening to that relationship if they should want such a thing at a later date.
We're also a hetero couple. We totally disclose donor status to our children and to our families and close friends, and anyone else who asks. I really, really thought the whole "keep it a secret forever" thing was an attitude of the past, and I'm really surprised that you mamas are experiencing quite the reverse. Part of me understands, but a bigger part is just baffled - the psychological science of donor relationships shows unequivocally that disclosure is far and away the best way to help your kids (and yourselves!) to have a healthy emotional state about the whole thing.
Lex - I can't imagine having 32 donor siblings out there for my kids. Crazy! In one way, pretty cool though. If (when)ever your boys want contact, guaranteed there will be someone who is eager for the same thing!
post #10 of 18

Hi, I had a baby girl Oct 3 2010 conceived through procrea clinic by a donor. Did you have it done in Montreal too?

post #11 of 18

Hi, I went through procrea clinic and had my baby girl 2010 october...I am looking for half sisters and brothers so she will have a peice of her other identity when she gets older...I have the characteristics of the donor and then some.

post #12 of 18

How did you get matches on the sibling donor site...I went there and there shows only one registry on there from procrea...and the girls name is alazia.

post #13 of 18

Did you get it done through procrea?

post #14 of 18

HI...did you ger the inseminations through procrea?

post #15 of 18

Hi...I was inseminated at Procrea Jan 2010

post #16 of 18

Hi you from Montreal...my daughter was conceived from Procrea 2010. Email me if interested in knowing if our children could be half siblings? lucyy707@hotmail.com

post #17 of 18

Hi, I also would like to find siblings for my daughter who was through donor insemination in 2010...through procrea clinic...can you help me with info how to find a sibling?

post #18 of 18

I concieved through Procrea...a baby girl....did you too? I have gotten no hits of donor sibling registry :(( email me forfb@yahoo.com

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