My name is Emma Groenbaek, and I am 23 years old. I was born and raised in Aarhus, Denmark.
My parents struggled to have children, as may others do. I took them 6 years, help from a donor and a lot of money but then suddenly I was on the way. They had almost given up hope and was ready to adopt when It happened. Today they have 3 daughters.
When I was just a baby my parents made a children’s book. The book was about the story of me being a donor child. It was a very personal book with drawings and picture of friends and family. My parents read it to me as a night time story as often as I wanted. This means that I heard the story a lot of times have no memory of the day my parents told me that I was donor conceived.
I could always advise parents of donor conceived children to tell the truth as soon as possible! I don’t see any point in waiting. Some say they will wait until the child is old enough to understand. What is the point of that? It only gives the parents time to worry more and the child less time to get use to the fact.
I say; tell it in a kind and calm way so that it does not get associated with something bad. Tell it as early as possible in a way where the child can understand and ask questions. And make sure that they feel like it is something they can talk about.
I have always known that I was donor conceived. It is something that we have always been very open and talked about in my family. I do think this is key because when we talk about things, they become less problematic. I’m sure this is one of the reasons why I feel so comfortable with me being donor conceived.
As I grew older being donor conceived wasn’t something that occupied my mind. Sure, I was reminded from time to time, but I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I always tell people close to me that I am in fact a donor child. Then one day a friend came to me for advice. She knew that I was donor conceived with an anonymous sperm donor and wanted to hear how this had affected my life, as she was planning on using a sperm donor.
The anonymity vs open donor debate is always hard as there are many different stories with many different views. This is how I feel: When I was conceived, anonymity was the only option and therefore not a difficult choice for my parents as it is today. To me anonymity has not been an issue. I have not felt like it was a problem as I already had my own family. I have never wished to know my donor or other children from the same donor. Actually, I had never even thought about half siblings before I stared to share my story and became part of groups on the internet. They were other people’s children like I was my mom and dads. I’m grateful towards my donor and that he chose to be a donor, but I do not want him as a part of my life. But I wish him the best in life and hope he feels the same way!
Everyone is different, and so of course are donor children as well. This is very important to remember! It can be hard for some to accept that I do not want to find out more about my donor or half-siblings, if they do. But It is important that we share our stories and different views upon donor conception and do not judge each other.
I really hope for the future that being donor conceived becomes something we can talk about and share openly. I have experienced a big lack of knowledge which means that people do not know how to react and what to say when I tell that I am donor conceived. They do not know if it Is okay to ask about or if they are supposed to be sorry for me. I wish for this to change in the future and this Is one of the reasons why I share my story.
Do ask questions and don’t be sorry! I’m perfectly happy with who I am.
Link to my blog with the Cryos interview: Click Here