Skip to comments.Study shows problems for adults conceived by sperm donation
Posted on 06/12/2010 6:56:37 AM PDT by GonzoII
Study shows problems for adults conceived by sperm donation
Alana Sveta and Olivia Pratten.
.- A recent report by the Commission on Parenthoods Future indicates that adult offspring of sperm donation struggle with questions of identity as a result of not knowing their biological father. Fr. Thomas Berg, who specializes in bioethics, told CNA that the practice of sperm donation has grossly underestimated the human need to connect with one's biological parents.
The report, My Daddys Name is Donor: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation, was co-investigated by Commission members Elizabeth Marquardt, Norval D. Glenn and Karen Clark.
Many people think that because these young people resulted from wanted pregnancies, how they were conceived doesnt matter to them, said Marquardt.
But this study reveals that when they are adults, sperm donor offspring struggle with serious losses from being purposefully denied knowledge of, or a relationship with, their sperm donor biological fathers, explained Clark.
The study is the first representative, comparative examination of the identity and well-being of the adult offspring of sperm donation. It is estimated that 30,000-60,000 children are born every year through sperm donation in the U.S. alone.
The study found that young adults who were conceived through sperm donation exhibit higher rates of confusion, isolation, depression, delinquency and substance abuse than those who were raised by their biological parents.
Two-thirds of the donor-conceived adults agreed with the statement My sperm donor is half of who I am. About half reported being disturbed that money was involved in their conception.
More than half said that when they see someone who resembles them, they wonder if they are related, while nearly half said they have feared being attracted to or having sexual relations with someone to whom they are unknowingly related.
In addition, two-thirds of the donor-conceived participants affirmed the right of donor children to know the truth about their origins, and about half have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even when the children are told the truth.
Donor-conceived Alana Sveta tells her story on FamilyScholars.org. She describes how she often tells people that her father is dead so she will not have to tell them the truth about being conceived by a sperm donor, a fact that she considers creepy and disgusting.
It embarrasses me, she said.
Sveta said that other donor children feel the same as she does, but have remained largely voiceless. Its just that we, the children, havent been empowered to vocalize our issues yet. The needs and concerns of our mothers and their partners have trumped and stifled our own, she said.
Olivia Pratten agreed. Unfortunately, many of the physicians who run the fertility clinics continue to ignore or dismiss what we say as being a 'bitter few,' she said. As this study proves, we are not a few.
Pratten, conceived via an anonymous sperm donor, explained on FamilyScholars.org that she has yearned to know more about her father since she was told of her conception at age 5. I never saw him as a sperm donor, she said. To me instinctively he was my biological father.
Speaking of the flaws inherent in the system itself, she said, When the parents using the technologies are called the 'consumers,' that means the resulting children are the 'products.'
In an interview with CNA, Fr. Thomas Berg, Director of the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person, explained that he believes this will be a very hard-hitting study.
It raises all kinds of issues, he said. I think this is one of those 800-pound gorillas that's been sitting in the room for a couple decades now.
Fr. Berg said he was not surprised by the findings of the study. It makes a lot of sense to me, he said. The need for connection with the biological parents is a much more powerful kind of thing than many people realize.
He explained that the assisted fertility industry has grossly underestimated the need that people have to make that connection and the result is a huge gaping hole in the self-understanding of those children conceived without such a connection.
Human beings need to be grounded, said Fr. Berg. We need a story that tells us who we are and where we came from. The human person can't develop fully and normally lacking that narrative.
For children whose history is tied to an anonymous sperm donor, there is just necessarily a huge part of that foundation that's missing, he said. Part of the 'Who am I?' question never gets answered.
I think there's something about self-identity which is just disturbingly left unsettled for children who come into the world through sperm donors.
Responding to the study finding that about half of the individuals questioned were disturbed that money was involved in their conception, Fr. Berg said society is reaping the fruits of the way we have commodified life.
That just speaks volumes, he told CNA. These poor children have come to the realization that they themselves, from the very beginning, were treated as objects, about which there was monetary consideration.
To prevent causing further harm, we must eliminate the possibility of people coming into the world through sperm and egg donations, said Fr. Berg. This will require an entire change of mindset, as society must rediscover the genuine God-given meaning of sexuality, marriage and family.
Renewing our understanding of this three-fold relationship is essential, he explained. The whole meaning, richness and importance of that for culture has been utterly disregarded.
California Cryobank (Reproductive Tissue Services)
I have a neighbor who conceived her first child through an affair with a married man (used him). To add a sibling, she went through the above. She stated she “finally found the right way to do this”. She is a professor at a college, a Catholic college at that. Sad and revolting.
My adopted relatives know who their parents are. They were raised by their parents. Birth parents...that’s another matter.
God bless you and yours. Yours.
Its just that we, the children, havent been empowered to vocalize our issues yet. The needs and concerns of our mothers and their partners have trumped and stifled our own, she said.
When I read a phrase such as, “...been empowered to vocalize...” I get deeply suspicious of the true authorship of what I am reading.
Too often these young people have others who give them the diologue to recite or the writer of the piece wants to take over and rewrite as he types.
When are you going to tell us all about that boat (ship?) you built?
Mostly on the Abbey The Missing Teen Sailor threads!
I feel bad for them but OTOH how many men would donate if they knew in 18 years someone migth show up on their doorstep?
As an adoptee and adoptive parent, I feel qualified to answer your question. We both know the names of our biological fathers. When I adopted my daughter, I asked questions of her birth mother regarding know health issues of both parents. Just knowing a father's name already brings some form of identity. My german background comes from my birth father, whereas my daughter's biological father was 100% Italian and contributed to her saucy personality ;-)
A few years ago, GMA arranged for a young girl to meet her sperm donor father. The girl was about 16 and she was so excited to FINALLY know her "dad". The meeting took place via a large studio monitor. "Dad" was there with his wife and two little boys. The girl blushed when his face came on the screen and after a series of questions, commented: "Oh, that's where I get my big feet from"! But then the segment took a turn when the moderator asked the man if he had any other children from his 'donations'. "Yes", he responded, "I understand there are more than 100 and I hope they don't all come looking for me", he laughed. The young girl's face became crestfallen. Her joyful blush was replaced with a grimace.
Every one of us has a God-given right to be loved and appreciated.
Donum Vitae - INSTRUCTION ON RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE IN ITS ORIGIN AND ON THE DIGNITY OF PROCREATION
Wow. How sad.
I don't know what I'd do.
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Both lists, since homosexuals often use unnatural methods to "have" children, other than adoption, or from previous relationships. I thought the article would be about physical or health problems, of which I have also read in connection with IVF. But this is a different issue. This is not knowing your father at all other than an anonymous masturbator, who often did the job for money.
Nature knows best, and that means children should be born the normal, natural way. God has designed how children are conceived and born, and this issue is another example of how peoples' intellects can create things that are dangerous and wrong. Science if not guided by natural moral law can and does create evil.
It is often said that "well, this woman wants a baby and has no husband" or "this woman wants a baby and her husband has a low sperm count".
My reply is - this world is not designed or created so that every single want, whim and desire a person has MUST be satisfied. That is a self-centered, infantile and dangerous mentality. If a husband and wife want children and cannot produce any themselves, there are children to adopt; and there would be more, if they were not aborted.
One demoniac act generates many more. Kill the babies, then there are none to adopt, so people who cannot for some reason produce ones of their own will go to unnatural and dangerous lengths to have them. All wrong.
Just one of the reasons the Catholic Church opposes in-vitro fertilization. The egg is fertilized outside the womb and then the fertilized egg is implanted into the womb.
|1711 Endowed with a spiritual soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude. He pursues his perfection in "seeking and loving what is true and good" (GS 15 § 2).
Because it was deliberaely planned as a form of conception from an unknown stranger — a quick hoookup might not result in a pregnancy.
Not much; and that is deeply embarrassing for the unfortunate offspring, too.
And their grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins.
with adoption the adopted baby is already there. This is creating a child witht he deliberate purpose of denying it a father.
I write because it is my duty to God.
If anyone listens, it’s their duty to God.
Good to see you, friend!!!
Hope you and yours are all well.
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