Below is the most recent story from The Anonymous Us Project- from a donor-conceived woman.
I was conceived because of convenience.
Unlike a lot of women who use sperm donors, my mom didn’t struggle with fertility and she didn’t hear her “biological clock” ticking. She was only 25 when she decided to conceive me by sperm donation. She had given birth to my older sister when she was a teenager and after years of dealing with my sister’s deadbeat dad, custody battles, and child support problems, she decided that she wanted to use sperm donation simply because she didn’t want to deal with the problems that came with her child having a father in the picture. After getting a settlement from a lawsuit, she decided to go ahead with sperm donation.
I wasn’t the only kid in my neighborhood raised by a single parent but I was still different from the kids whose parents were divorced or one of their parents had passed on. I didn’t have any stories about my father. I didn’t even have a name. Around the fourth or fifth grade, I started making up stories about my father, whom I called Henri (after the character from the PBS show Liberty’s Kids). In high school, my story was more detailed. Henri was from Paris, France and the reason he wasn’t in my life was because of citizenship issues and the cost of the travel. I went so far as to write myself fake letters and take French to keep my story up.
This lie kept me going for a while. After I turned 18, I began searching for my father but I had no luck. The most they would do was send a letter to his last known address, which hadn’t been updated in over a decade. Depressed at my lack of success, I sought relationships, some sexual and some nonsexual, with older men in an attempt to create a father figure in my life. I eventually sought therapy, which helped a lot, but there’s not any support group that I’ve ever seen for children born of egg/sperm donation. Mostly, I was told how “thankful” I should be that my mother “chose to give me life” and that “G-d had a plan for me.”
I feel the void of my father more so than ever as an adult. I had no father to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. My son had no grandfather present at his birth or his brit shalom (and he most likely won’t have one at his bar mitzvah). Father’s Day hits me hard. I’ve lost more than one job in my life simply because I couldn’t drag myself out of bed on that day. I don’t celebrate my birthday at all. I resent my mother a lot and we don’t speak to each other. My mom did a great job of raising me — I ate homemade dinners every night, I went to Disneyland every summer, and most importantly, I knew I was loved — but I can’t help but resent her. I feel her actions were selfish. Emotionally, it’s very hard for me to accept that I was conceived out of convenience and not love. That the only reason I’m on this earth is because some random guy jacked off into a cup while looking at a Playboy.