A different kind of extended family: forming bonds with families who use the same sperm donor

July 23 |
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MamaSolo while pregnant. Photo via Mothering.com.
People who opt to build their families with the aid of sperm and egg donors are often faced with an interesting dilemma: do they try to find half-siblings for their kids? MamaSolo on Mothering.com was faced with the somewhat surprising realization that parents who had used the same sperm donor as her were interested in fostering a relationship between the children. After a bit of hesitation, she dove in:

In the years leading up to my decision to become a single mother by choice (SMC), I noticed the topic of donor insemination (DI) children seemed to hit the mainstream consciousness. Feature films, documentaries, books, and even news stories — all with a subject matter relating to DI families, both the pros and the cons. I have no doubt that the public awareness, and subsequently the increasing acceptance of DI and SMC, did help inform my decision to move forward knowing that my child wouldn't be a total anomaly in his paternity.

Once I became pregnant I signed up for the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR), but only as a lurker. I decided not to enter a profile since I wasn't sure I wanted to open the door to that kind of contact. I did look up my donor's number and saw that there was one person with a profile for the same donor who was also pregnant. I was curious but cautious so didn't reach out.

Then seven months in to my pregnancy I received an email from the nurse coordinator at my fertility clinic. She had received an email through a somewhat circuitous route from a mother who had a child from my donor and was looking to connect with other families with children from the same donor. She was also the same person that I'd seen in the DSR profile. The nurse wanted to know if I was interested in making contact.

You can read the rest at Mothering.com.