My parents have a secret from the world. It’s about them, their bodies, and choices they’ve made. However, the nature of the secret — one that relates to my conception — is invariably also about me.
I’m thinking about whose story this is because this is a topic my mother and I often debate. She believes my dad’s infertility is his story; my dad agrees. Back in the 1980s, they chose an anonymous sperm donor in order to bring me into existence, and I (shockingly!) see that as being about me. This is the core conflict of my life; I want to share this information about myself, and my parents are highly protective of this information they feel is about them.
Of course it’s ultimately about all three of us. It must have been disappointing for my parents to find out my dad, in his thirties at the time, was infertile, after getting married and dreaming about a future together with biological children. And the bomb drop of “the man who raised you isn’t your biological father” created a titanic explosion in my life when I was in my early twenties.
We are all entitled to the centering of our self, our experience, and our story. But what to do when one person’s wish for privacy conflicts with another’s desire for transparency?
This blog is meant as a tool to organize and communicate my evolving thoughts around being a donor conceived person and the surrounding experiences I’ve endured. I’ll share observations and insights around topics such as the destructive nature of family secrets and the progression of artificial reproductive technologies in recent decades. More specifically, I’ll inspect the tension of wanting to respect my parent’s privacy while not enabling their uncalled for shame around infertility. My goal is to examine these issues from various angles, but that’s not to say I don’t have clear biases. I hope it’s useful to you, wherever you are in your own journey of discovering or uncovering facets of your family.