DNA testing has forever changed the conception of donors – Harvard Health Blog


DNA testing (and family secrets that are sometimes revealed) has been in the news a lot this year. As in the memory of Dani Shapiro Inheritance It has been proven, a simple DNA test can stimulate identity and destroy a family story. Those of us who work in reproductive science know that Shapiro's story is not unique. Over and over again, young (and not so young) adults learn to "accident" by donating.

Readers may wonder how this happens. How can parents keep secrets so important to their children? As a physician whose culture is made up of many parents who have given birth to children in terms of donation, I would like to shed some light on this.

(In a future blog post, I will talk about the feelings and experiences of their children. may gain an understanding of the causes and methods of privacy.)

Two major reasons for secrecy about donating a donation

Volunteer parents typically experience an unplanned birth. Donor ideas are often not the first choice. Often, men and women who are born with the help of a donor have experienced infertility or have a disease that causes them to be sterile. Possibly, they have a genetic condition that they want to avoid passing on to the baby. Loss brings conception to the donor and stays with them throughout the process and after. Some feel that everyone "will be fine" if they try to pretend that this is their genetic child.

The doctors recommended the secret. For many years (and even in some places today), doctors have been encouraging denial, confidentiality, avoidance. In the late 1980s & # 39; 90s, some doctors selected donors for their patients' sperm and told them they had found a suitable combination. The plot twist was complicated by many couples when their doctor told them that he (most of them) would conceal his sperm donor sperm. That way, the doctor said, they will never really know.

Three ways you should not talk about donating

In the past few months, I have talked to several young adult parents that I did not know they had donated. In all cases, parents contacted me because a family member had bought a DNA kit or was talking about doing so. Despite their stories, all the parents I spoke to were worried about & # 39; their failure & # 39; that I say. Each of them loves their baby or his children. Each came to me suffering what it means for their children to learn the ideas of their donor when they grow up. Speaking to him, I saw three patterns that he didn't tell.

It was not disclosed because it seemed appropriate to keep it confidential. Some parents believe it was best for their child not to know that he had made a donation – sometimes because their doctor had developed that thought. As the burden of secrecy sets in, they may – or may not – change the heart of the street. The mother of four adult children, who are all now 30 and married with children, described her family as close and loving, people who truly enjoy spending time together. She and her husband never saw any reason to say so. This only changed when her mother-in-law gave her a DNA kit as a Christmas gift.

He didn't talk about it because life got in the way of the media. One father told me that he and his late wife had always planned to tell their two children that he was not their genetic father. Plans changed when his wife died suddenly, leaving him aged 3 and 5. For many years after her death, he was simply in the process of survival. He didn't mind telling his children until they were old enough, but that felt like the wrong time to tell them. Now that he & # 39; s in his 20s, one of his children would love to have a genealogy and buy a test.

It is not mentioned because it was an isolated issue. While most people come to terms with volunteering after experiencing infertility and reproductive loss, I sometimes meet people with different reasons. One man had a vasectomy for the birth of his second son because his wife was advised not to conceive again. The couple got divorced and he continued to marry. When he and his new wife wanted to have a baby together, volunteering sperm was a chance rather than a waste. The father said he always felt close to his third son, who was pregnant with a sperm donor. I never thought of the idea of ​​a donor as an issue. Only when he began reading articles did people accidentally learn that they were donated by a donor was not shocked.

A scene that changes

While the idea of ​​“nobody needs to know” has not completely disappeared from the task of taking donors, I am happy to end up with a good essay. Today, most people who criticize donors recognize that their child has a right to know their original story.

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