Thursday, October 7, 2010

Anonymous Us: A story collective project

Posted here with permission from author, Alana Stewart:

I am writing to tell you about and seek your participation in a story collective endeavor called "The Anonymous Us Project". This is an opportunity for everyone involved in reproductive technologies to tell the world what they really think about donor conception: the good, the bad, and the ugly- all in the atmosphere of, you guessed it, anonymity.

I, Alana Stewart, Founder of The Anonymous Us Project and self-proclaimed Donor Kid, viscerally understand the potential conflict of vocalizing relevant truths concerning donor conception. There are loved ones we risk offending, family well-being we risk upsetting and maybe livelihoods we risk sabotaging if the whole truth were to be told concerning donor conception and parent-child separation. The Anonymous Us Project wishes for all parties the opportunity to tell their stories without fear.

In the upcoming weeks we need to collect stories and build content in preparation for press outreach and the launch of Our website is still being built, but the submit form is ready to go.

You do not have to – and in fact you cannot – provide your name when you submit your story.

When you're done writing and have successfully submitted your story, you will receive a confirmation number you may use to contact us about your story and remove the story should you wish to. We are looking for submissions of 750 words or less. Please feel free to write anything you'd like relating to donor conception, surrogacy and adoption. Feel free to make multiple submissions on relevant, but different ideas. Stories will be selected to be read aloud on the Anonymous Us podcast, which anyone will be able to subscribe to for free through iTunes or an RSS feed.

Send us your essays and thoughts:

Help us grow this project.
We can't judge the health of these practices without understanding the journey of the affected.

I hope this project will fill out the conversation on reproductive technologies.
I hope it will inspire more truth and transparency.
I hope it will help shape healthier families and happier people.

Thank you everyone for your involvement and contributions.

3 Responses to "Anonymous Us: A story collective project"

Anonymous (visit their site)

I thought this site (The Anonymous Us project) was a great idea until I did a bit of digging. And read articles such as

I thought the Anonymous Us project was to be a site where people could share experiences- and that all experiences would be put forward (I have a positive experience - which is why I was originally looking at the site) However I soon found out that this isnt the case. The site owner is trying to encourage negative stories as she (and her promoters) have the view that children should only be created by married straight fertile couples. These negative stories are used as 'evidence' to support her views.

She is funded/ supported by groups such as the 'Institute for American Family Values' who appear to, again, only support that children be conceived to straight, married, fertile couples." According to Elizabeth Marquardt, director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values and editor of, half of young adults who are conceived by sperm donation are "disturbed about the circumstances of their conception." "Overall, compared to those who are raised by their biological parents, they are more likely to struggle with mental illness or substance abuse or depression," Marquardt told NPR last summer."

Please take any reference to this 'research' or 'studies' by these groups with a very big pinch of salt. There are many peer reviewed and more accurate studies that actually show the opposite to be true. Alana Stewart cites the projects- funded by those with a clear agenda- on various posts.

Look instead at 'real' research - for example In a 2001 article in Child Development (Vol. 72, No. 2, pages 559-608) Golombok found that children in families that underwent IVF were as well-adjusted on a range of social and emotional measures as matched youngsters who were adopted or conceived naturally. A study in Human Reproduction by Golombok and colleagues, published online March 29, reports on the third wave of a longitudinal study of youngsters who are now 3 and their parents. Families that conceived via donor egg or sperm, surrogates or naturally were a lot alike with one exception: Women who had conceived via an assisted method were more warm and interactive with their children than those who had conceived naturally.

Elizabeth Marquardt - one of Alana's biggest supporters- makes statements such as
(10 Feb 2011)
" Your donor will fall in love with your kids. His kids. This is a fact. Get used to it now. If your donor does not fall in love with your kids, congratulations: you just had children with a psychopath. "
Direct quote (to lesbian couples) from Elizabeth Marquardt -

Alana posted this recently - to the Family Scholars web site- after a workshop for parents considering using reproductive technologies to grow their familes.
She is so vehemently opposed to children being 'manufactured' as she describes the conception of children not 'born naturally' that she is unable to even consider other points of view. So for her to be fronting a site that should be for people to be able to share stories freely, this is of great concern. Little do they know that any negative story will be used in her campaign to abolish reproductive technologies.

So before you unwittingly support her by posting, do a little research on Alana Stewart and post knowing what your story is going to be used for. Of course if its a positive one you are unlikely to see it anywhere- although they generally use one to demonstrate their 'fairness'. Be warned.

whosedaughter (visit their site)

To anyone who reads the above comment (by "anonymous") I can attest that she is completely wrong and is spreading misinformation.

whosedaughter (visit their site)

‘Free Sperm Donations Worldwide’ – Are you there?
Elizabeth Marquardt 06.27.2011, 11:31 AM

There is no apparent way to reach them and make them fix it, but the group “Free Sperm Donations Worldwide- Private Sperm Donor Arrangements” has set up a Facebook page in which they have tried to take aim at me, but they’re so dim they can’t even figure out how to do it.

First, the quote they attribute to me was actually in a piece by lesbian mom Mary Bowers in the Windy City Times, which I linked to in the blog post they happened to see but apparently not read or understand.

Second, they claim that I am a supporter of The Child Listener group, when actually I am not a supporter of that group and have never suggested otherwise.

And finally they reprint Vince Londini’s bizarre BioNews piece critiquing our report, My Daddy’s Name is Donor. As I posted at the Family Scholars blog, earlier, in response to his piece:

The author, Vince Londini, seems not to have read, or at least, not to have read with any real attention, the section in our report called “Is Donor Conception ‘Just Like’ Adoption?” But you can read it, if you like, on pages 71-76, here.