Read the whole article or just SCROLL DOWN TO the PURPLE HIGHLIGHTED PART and
you'll know why I've been as open as I can be, with surely a long way to go (and hopefully someday ready for the DSR, Wendy!) With thanks and with permission from Wendy Kramer of The DSR:
As more and more clinics and agencies include the DSR in their egg donation contracts and discussions, we get the feeling that this type of openness is becoming more acceptable in the industry. It's encouraging to see professionals being willing to take a step out and talk about this openly!
For more than ten years, we at the DSR have been facilitating the ability for all donor families to make mutual consent contact. We have facilitated and assisted with more than 8,150of these connections. Our service allows immediate contact amongst all parties,anonymous if desired, so that medical information, photos, emails and all other information can be shared between families and their donors. We are seen on our site that parents, children, adult offspring and donors can connect with each other in a healthy, enriching and successfulway, if given the chance. The industry has often stated that there is too much risk involved with allowing this type of connection (Fairfax Director 10/2010 explaining why they will not let donors know their own donor numbers) but we
strongly feel that properly educated and counseled families are very capable in
moving forward with their own familial connections.
We have been advocates for the donor offspring and have continually asked the industry and the public to ask this question, "what is in the best interest of the child to be born?". By telling the stories of those of us in "donor families" we have hopefully helped the public and those of you in the industry to have a better understanding of our needs. Secrecy does not work for the
majority of us. (It does work for those without adequate education and counseling). Secrecy implies shame,and many of us don't wish to being children into the world believing that there is something inherently shameful about them.
And we also know that when donors are adequately educated and counseled, that
they also lean more towards open donations.
On the DSR, both recipients and donors can have the choice of connecting with each other earlier than the child's 18th birthday. We know that many donor children are curious long before their 18th birthday and many have made successful connections during their teen (and even earlier) years. We believe that 18 is an arbitrary number and that parents know their children best as far as what age might be best appropriate for their child to reach out. This empowers all people involved without having the lawyer or agency, or clinic or sperm bank at the helm of their family information.
Parents usually sign up to the DSR first, as full paying members, and then post with a donor number and their clinic. Then, the donor also signs up, as a non-paying member, but she'll then have a DSR username. When the recipient family sends me the donor's $150, they just need to tell me the donor's DSR username, so that I can then activate her account to full membership, and then, she can post with the same donor number and clinic- so that they are then on the
DSR as a "match". They can then share the donor's Q&A, the medical information page, photos, and emails- all while remaining anonymous to each other until they are willing to share contact information. They do not need a middle-man, and have access to licensed therapists on our site, if assistance, coaching or guidance is needed.
We are non-profit organization, with no outside funding. We are therefore not obligated to present the industry's point of view and therefore have been way ahead of the curve in asking for this industry to look at the needs of the children being born and in asking for better parent and donor education and counseling - at the front door, before major decisions are made. With almost
eleven years and more than 30,000 people behind us, we would hope that the experiences of DSR egg and sperm donors, parents and donor offspring would be utilized to discuss how to bring more openness into into each family.
"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is
roots; the other wings." - Hodding Carter