February 26, 2024

‘My shock at discovering I was a donor child’

‘Suddenly my whole existence felt like a lie’

Two readers got in touch with the BBC after it broadcast a story on the positive side of egg donation.

One, 21-year-old Elizabeth, from the US, said that she learned as an 11-year-old that she was the child of her father’s sperm and an egg donor. The knowledge actually brought her closer to her parents, she says, and she wants to be an egg donor herself. “If I could help at all to de-stigmatise the idea, I would feel very proud,” she wrote.

However, the other story, from 35-year-old John, from the UK, was very different:

As I was conceived in the early 80s it's impossible to find records as to who the egg and sperm donors, my biological parents, are. It was rare for that information to be kept on file then … Suddenly my whole existence felt like a lie.

My relationship with my social parents deteriorated and I spent years moving around, doing a number of odd jobs. I also battled with gambling issues. I felt like a gypsy. I should add that my sister had a different reaction to me. She maintains a good relationship with our social parents, whereas mine has almost entirely broken down.

Even though I am now married, with a young child of my own, I am still against gamete donation. We shouldn't be playing around with science like this. If I had been adopted, it would be easier to trace the story of how I came to be and easier to find roots. As it stands it's unlikely that my egg or sperm donor parents knew each other, and I don't know the motivations of why they chose to donate.

I feel that donor conception is a trade in human beings and very few people consider the effects it has on a child.

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