Support for donor conceived people, donors, and parents of the donor conceived - current or intended.
My name is Laura McMillian, and I'm a donor conceived adult AND known egg donor. I have a passion for the subject of donor conception and, having been on two different sides of the equation, I'm able to speak from experience while supporting others experiencing challenges related to being donor conceived, being or thinking about becoming a sperm or egg donor, or being or thinking about being parents of a donor conceived person. I hold a Master's in Clinical Psychology, Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, and I'm a Certified Professional Coach with the ACC credential from the International Coach Academy. This is not psychotherapy, and I'm not a licensed psychotherapist but, rather, a coach, mentor, and consultant in this area. I can help you decide on actions and goals in situations of seeking information or relatives, guide you in working on relationship difficulties, give you valuable information on donor conception, and assist in problem-solving around your obstacles. Some of my clients work with a therapist and me simultaneously, due to the differing benefits offered by each profession. They can help you cope with tough emotions, while I can help you decide on what to do next and further into the future.
Please note that I don't work directly with minors under the age of 18, though children may accompany parents during their sessions.
Educated and experienced.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, feelings and ideas, Laura. I totally agree and will be sharing what I know with my donor conceived daughter from the very
close the gap
If you've been feeling like a piece of your identity has been lacking because you haven't been aware of the identity of your donor, or in contact with him or her, there's a good psychological explanation for it. As human beings, we have certain developmental stages that need to be satisfied in order to keep moving forward. Before we can form our own sense of identity as a teen and adult, we first need to be able to identify with our parents (or guardians). If you're being raised by someone with whom you don't relate, the prerequisite stage is never fully satisfied and you will have identity problems. I'm happy to help you strategize the actions that may help alleviate these sentiments.
Truly Know Yourself
Perhaps you've been able to find your donor or half-siblings and are ready to move forward into a more balanced future. What happens next? Completing your sense of self and fully understanding yourself is a process. It's as though you're having to repeat your teens years all over again, this time, with the ability to complete the developmental stage of forming who you are and presenting that you to the rest of the world with confidence. Let me hold your hand as you forge your new path in the world.
YOUR LIFE WITH FAMILY SPLIT OFF AT BIRTH
Different people will have different preferences for how often to stay in touch, by what method, and under what ground rules. In order for donors and donor conceived people to feel safe and secure, they need to respect each other's boundaries and requests regarding the new relationship. I can help you make a maintenance plan for these relationships.
approaching your new relatives
If you're thinking about contacting your bio parent and/or half-siblings, there are several considerations to take into account. You may encounter bumps in the road along the way, and I'm happy to support you through the process. That said, I strongly recommend that you consider using the major donor registries and, more importantly (especially for those without a donor number), submit your DNA to the three major genetic ancestry testing services - 23andme.com, AncestryDNA.com, and FamilyTreeDNA.com, so that you can connect with your bio parent, offspring, or half-siblings. There are also Facebook groups that offer community support, such as We Are Donor Conceived. My services are simply an adjunct to these supports, given my background and training.
YOUR DC CHILD/ADULT
We know your love your donor conceived child/adult and made the best choice that you could at the time of their conception. But with new knowledge coming out about what's healthiest for them, you can learn to better support them through an empathic, open style of upbringing, telling them about their conception in a supportive manner, and helping them through any emotional challenges that neither party foresaw so that your relationship can be the strongest possible. History certainly plays a part in how the present manifests, and the past may need to be addressed to create a more peaceful and thriving present and future.
We have an almost identical experience. Thanks so much for helping me through this confusing time.
...we are all extremely lucky to have you. I could not have done this without your kindness and support. Your guidance helped me tell [my daughter she's donor conceived] in the best way possible...
"But there's a primal need in all of us to understand our roots first...some things can't be replaced by a nice lifestyle or all the love in the world." Yes, it's not ONLY
the deception. It's the not knowing your originators. This is why I cringe every time I think about the man-made random milestone of turning 18 that an industry deemed appropriate for something as essential as knowing a parent.
Both of my children were conceived through donor insemination and have known since birth. We are on a journey now to find both of their donors through DNA testing. Thank you for your thoughts and support.