Saturday, July 9, 2011

sibling registry

When I was 25, the most wonderful and extraordinary thing happened to me.  I discovered that I had SIX half siblings.  Having never met my father, this seemed like the very next best thing.   When I did get to meet my father - and realizing that he is not someone I really like very much  - Knowing my half siblings was really fabulous and hearing that they had their issues with him too made me feel loads better!

Although I am very happy with the donor I chose - I realized I was a little sad that he did not donate more samples.  I found out from the sperm bank that they only sold his vials to a very few families.  While this may have some good sides to it - I feel my child may miss out on all of the fun associated with larger family ties.

I was interested to find that a friend of mine told me that she looked on Donor sibling registry, and found other half siblings for her child, but that None of those families wanted anything more that to be able to share very basic health information.  In fact at the last SMC workshop I went to it was noticeable that the general feeling seemed to be against being in contact with other half siblings,  so much so that someone felt the need to remind us of the value of at least sharing health information, and the general location where they might live - I guess so they avoid dating each other.

Can anyone enlighten me why people seem to shy away from getting to know their child's half siblings?  I can understand the shock of finding that you share a donor with someone that lives down the road - especially if you don't like them that much - but surely that is the joy of having a large family,  I know myself - I speak to some of my siblings a lot and others hardly at all!


  1. Hi,
    I agree I would be so exciting to meet half siblings. I guess people are just affraid of the unknown and affraid of loosing part of their child's affection or attention. I am in the process of a known egg donor cycle but if it doesn't work we are going to move on to an annonymous donor. I think it would be incredible for any child of a donor to know the donor's extended family. Isn't it human nature to be curious??
    I just watched a documentary (on Canadian Television) reuniting 4 sperm donor half siblings. It was so fascinating. If you have a chance check it out. I think it is called Donor 150 (Donor Unknown: Adventures in the Sperm Trade).

  2. Thanks KC for your message. I REALLY want to see Donor Unknown - apparently the movie came to my town for One showing - I found out about it hours later. I didn't know, perhaps one of my friends has cpability to stream movies - we could rent it. I saw the previews - and my Mom managed to miss it in London! It just looked SO fascinating - even just to see how alike the girls were. It sounds as though Canadian television is a Little bit better than what I get here in the US!

  3. I have given this a bunch of thought, and decided that I would want to get in contact with other families from my donor (assuming I'm able to get pregnant). It would give my future child the opportunity to have someone to relate to, and how does it hurt a child to have more loved ones in his/her life? It takes a why not reach out to others? I sometimes think it would be an amazingly wonderful twist of fate if I someday find out that a blog I have been following, just happens to be a family from the same donor!

  4. What you describe with your siblings is exactly what I saw on a documentary, it's one of the reasons I'd prefer an open ID donors.

    I don't really understand why people wouldn't want to know each other. The extended family feel appeals to me, maybe because I only have one sister and we aren't close at all, and I really miss that.

    If the families don't want it, the kids will probably find each other as the become older and curious.

  5. Maybe it has to do with what people think of as family... I come from a traditional family, 1 dad, 1 mom and kids. We have a very close extended family on my mom's side. Not so much on my dad's side.

    I also have what I call 'chosen family'. These people are not related to me by blood or marriage but they are my family in the sense that I can count on them for support even if we don't always agree.

    Also I think it comes down to the individual. For some people, bonds with others is important (my mom and her family for example) and for others, it is not ad important (my dad's family for example). Sort of like the people who have tons of acquaintances and friends vs the people who have a few very close friends.

    I am going to sign my daughter up on DSR. And I will make some initial contact but the decision to meet and what kind of relationship to have will be hers in the future.

  6. This is a great post - sorry it's taken me so long to respond to it!

    I'm not particularly interested in meeting other families with half siblings (though I'd love to see pictures of the children), mainly because I have so many friends that I consider family in my life already, as well as a very close relationship with my sister and her family. I, personally, don't feel the need to make a connection with other people solely because they share some genetic material with my son. I'm not sure that sounds exactly the way I want it to sound, reading it back it sounds harsh, which is not what I mean at all - but I don't know how to put it any other way.

    I can understand why other people would want that connection, though. And I also understand that, when he's old enough, my son might want that connection. So if he ever decides that he wants to meet his half siblings, I'll gladly make sure it happens for him.

  7. I'd love to know more about my daughter's half brothers/sisters, unfortunately it is almost impossible here (minimal information and no code, but it is understandable taking into account that we are a small country and only anonymous donations here. If it were easier to find half siblings, then the way to finding who the donor is is not far). But yes, every time there is a discussion about the subject, it causes a lot of reactions...
    [personally I've decided not to do any searching. I don't want to turn this searching thing and her not having a father into an issue. If she at one point will want to try and find them, then I'll do all I can to help].

  8. Finally, I can comment now that I have remembered my google id!

    I don't understand either why some families don't want to know the half siblings. I would think they would want contact at the very least for medical issues that may arise.

    And, a big congrats on your pregnancy!