Sunday, January 11, 2009

Biological Connections Exist And They Matter

I am a medical researcher with a strong background in the biological sciences. I have also worked for and with clinicians who are involved in reproductive technologies and or the obstetrics and gynaecological fields. This career path has shaped my perspectives on the issues of donor conception. I have always known about my conception and I consider myself very lucky to have been told from an early age. It did not change the love I had for my dad and it made it easier to deal with and accept as it was always a part of my life and is not something that I all of a sudden had to come to terms with. As a child my dad was my father, it did not matter that we were not biologically related. I was always too busy being a child than to stress over my origins.

The family unit is recognized as the greatest factor in our lives. It is important to recognize that sociological and biological fathers can be two separate things. And while a family is what you make of it, there is however a basis to the phrase “blood is thicker than water”. Genetic connectedness, are ties that bind.

It is this genetic connection that I have been trying to locate during an 19 year search for information. It started off as a search for non-identifying information and to obtain a family health history. At one point it would have been of great benefit to have had a family health background to help assess a condition that I had. During this time I have encountered numerous brickwalls and hurdles. The fertility units that I contacted over several years provided differing accounts on my records, with them being lost, being destroyed or of unknown location. This was very frustrating as was their answering or not answering of certain questions I posed to them. Only through contact with individuals that were conducting the practice at the time was I able to track down my mother’s treatment records. These documents contained a donor code, but no records to link this code to a donor. Apparently, donor records were not kept. The changing of stories by these clinics which has occurred to not only myself, but numerous other people that I personally know, has led me to be very cynical of their practices and what they report to customers and the media.

While I started off searching for non-identifying information as I at one time agreed with anonymity – I have now changed my perspective and I wish to know who this person is. This view changed after the birth of my daughter. It was a moment not too dissimilar to the moments that parents often report experiencing when they hold their child for the first time and stare into their baby’s eyes. It was an acceptance and knowledge of a biological connection. That no matter what might happen in the world, we would always be father and daughter. No one or no thing would ever be able to change this. This biological connection made me think about how I would feel if my daughter grew up not knowing who I was. This was a concept I could not bear to think about, instead I applied it to how this notion did in fact mirror my own life. While events transpired that I do not know who my donor is, and I may never know, there will always be a biological connection that can never be broken.

2 Responses to "Biological Connections Exist And They Matter"

Anonymous (visit their site)

Hi, we are looking for a donor-conceived adult to speak at a conference in Australian April 16 2011.

We believe the practice should be stopped, or at least strongly regulated to favour the basic right of a child to know and be raise by their biological parents whereever possible.

If you know of such a speaker please contact me at

many thanks and great blog.


Anonymous (visit their site)

Hi, as I am currently reading this while pregnant with a donor conceived child that has genetic connect ion with my husband only, I feel your posts largely ignore the biological Bond and experience that a woman feels when carrying a child who is not genetically connected to her. I do not think I could not feel the same feeling you describe above when I look in the eye of my baby. I don't want to downplay your experience, and I think I would probably idealize biological connection and feel confused if I knew say my mom is not my genetic mom. However it is also true that sometimes our genetic mom's or dads are not that similar to us anyway (responding to your other post that says you feel you are looking at half of yourself in the mirror). My mother for instance, does not look or act at all like me, almost nothing in my mirror is anything like her, and she is my genetic mother.

Anyway, I agree that any human has the right to know and connect with their genetic ties. Just wanted to point that the mother of a donor conceived child, who is not genetically connected, is still somehow a biological mother.

After all we are biological beings. Who says that a father with no genetic ties to you is just a social father, after all the breath he has breathed close to you, all the effects you both have had on each other's biological body... It is a bit invalidating to him, if you look for all your details just in your genetic ties, and dismiss he s heritage as not yours... But I guess you are a biologist and perhaps that's too concrete for you, maybe ? ❤️