* Author Topic: Embryo adoption after having biologically-related children  (Read 5216 times)

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Offline Muttimumma

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Hello..!

I was wondering if anyone can offer me their experiences/feelings etc about having a child through embryo adoption or double donation IVF after already having had biologically-related children with same partner etc..?

Please know I mean absolutely no offence or upset to anyone. I just want honest input, whilst I try to work-through my own emotions and thoughts....   :)

I'm now going through the grieving process and trying really hard to come to terms with the fact the age is seriously against me ever being able to have another child conceived naturally and fully biologically-related (as well as DH having issues).
(I've had at least 2 chemical pg's and early m/c in the past 20 months).

My heart aches for another child and I know if we were lucky enough to be able to have another baby with the help of donor conception, that I would love that child to utter distraction with all my heart..! (I've always adored babies and children even when I was only a child myself. I also have several adopted cousins in all with different aunts/uncles and a huge family on my mum's side with many half-siblings. We've never felt any difference between her full siblings, half siblings, full cousins or adopted cousins). It still makes me wonder about donor conception and how it might affect our own nuclear family though. (I'm really hoping that pregnancy and birth help make bonding even easier for us).

My main question is the potential feelings stirred-up within a family who already have been lucky enough to have children conceived naturally..? How have the siblings felt..? What about extended family..? Were there any negative reactions with grandparents etc..?
(In our case, there would be a big age gap, as our current youngest is already 8.5).

We know that any donor-conceived child would need to be told about everything to do with their conception from a young age, as they would have too many siblings already 'in the know'. We hope it would give any child/children we had a sense of being extra-special and desperately longed-for and needed. That indeed would be absolutely true..!  :-)

Very importantly: How has the donor-conceived child felt not being biologically-related to their other siblings..?
Have they felt really left-out..? (It makes me feel that perhaps trying to 2 d-c children would really help with this possible issue, but I doubt my body would allow this to happen..either with twins or 2 babies very close in age, as I've already had 4 c-sections).! :-(

Were feelings (even right at the beginning from pregnancy through to birth and then going home) really significantly different from when older (naturally-conceived) siblings were born in to the family..?

I'm trying to see that if we can't conceive another child naturally, that it was 'meant to be' that we might be fortunate enough to bring a donor-conceived child in to the world to join our big (and sometimes noisey, but happy) family..! I feel this emotion growing stronger and stronger in my heart and am finding more sense of peace about it and donor conception in general.

I've read of quite a few families who have gone through conventional adoption to complete their families and they've said that if they could choose now, they'd not want it any other way....as otherwise they'd not have come to know and love their adopted child. :-)

This is all only my own personal feelings and concerns, but please understand that I'm feeling really vulnerable and would really appreciate feedback and am really sorry if I've stirred-up anything negative for anybody.

HUGS to all,

M xxx

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    Offline tillyturner

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    Hello Muttimumma

    first of all welcome to the forum and dont every worry about what you post if it is from the heart, we have all said things on here we wouldnt dare say to our friends or family, but on here we all have the same fears and worries thats what it is for you will not be thought of badly for expressing your concerns and worries :)  ^hugme^

    I didnt have double donation I had donor eggs, but I had a friend that already had children and went for embryo adoption as she felt that her family wasnt complete and she wasnt finished having children, she never told her family or the other children and still hasnt to this day the baby is now 8. She did tell her family she had IVF to explain the treatment and medication ect but was worried the same as you that the family and other children may treat the new baby differently.

    I am not saying that this is the right thing to do but just that others do have donation after naturally conceiving and I can certainly say she loves that baby with all her heart and she looks just like her brothers and sisters!

    I hope it helps and am sure others on here will have their own stories that will help, keep in touch and let me know how you are getting on :)

    Hugs Tilly xxx ^hugme^

    Offline Muttimumma

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    Hello Tilly,

    Thank you so very much for your supportive message.

    It's very reassuring to know that I'm not the only person out there who feels that their family isn't yet complete and would love to be lucky enough to have another child by what ever means to add to a family already containing several naturally-conceived children.

    I have had feelings of guilt at times and greed that I feel so desperate for the chance of another child when I already have children. I  guess some people might think I should just accept that I can't have any more children naturally and accept it with grace...but I can't do that..not until I've tried all I can.! :-(
    I enjoy being a mother and raising children more than anything else in life by far. I know what i'm missing-out on by not at least attempting donor conception.

    I think your friend is very brave being able to keep the details of her youngest child's conception from the family. I think that we would need to tell at least our children what we're doing because the subject has been raised in the past of donor eggs and sperm (as well as adoption) and I'd not want to risk it being 'blurted-out' at an inappropriate moment for the child's sake more than anything, but also for the older children's sakes. I'd want to maintain trust with all our children especially because of their ages: 24, 19, almost 15 and 8. Not much gets past them because of how old they already are..! (One's a med student who recently attended a talk by Prof. winston, so she knows that OE IVF wouldn't be a real possibility at my age either ..LOL ). :-/

    I feel concern about grandparents being a possible issue more than our children in many ways. They all have a lovely strong bond with our 4 and I'd be devastated to think that any one of them might treat a donor-conceived child any differently. Then again....if they had a problem with the situation at all...it would be precisely that: their problem!

    I'd be tempted not to tell the grandparents, but as our children would most likely know (along with our child in due course)..the chances of them eventually finding out would be very high. I'd love to think we had their full support and blessing, but there's no real way of knowing without telling them...? Difficult dilemma.

    Thank you so much again for the reply, Tilly..! 

    HUGS, Mutti xxxxx

    Offline daisyg

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    Hi Marina,

    I know from meeting others like you, that your story is becoming more and more common.  I am a member of DCN, and I have met other couples who have non donor conceived children and have moved to DE/DD for a sibling.  Yes there are special issues of course, but they don't mean that you can't have a happy family with DC/non DC children and that children in 'mixed' families feel completely and utterly siblings.

    I would really recommend talking to someone at the DCN who could put you in touch with other families who have been where you are and who now have children.  They will also be able to talk to you about how they told their children about their conception and how they handled it.  DCN also produce a pdf called 'mixed blessings' which is about mixed families experiences.

    http://www.dcnetwork.org/products/product/mixed-blessings-pdf-version

    Of course, there is also the option of talking to a counsellor about the issues, and you can find one on the British Infertility Counselling website if you need.  http://bica.net/directory

    I know there are others on Fertility Friends who have been where you are now and I hope they will be able to share their experiences.

    Best of luck,

    Daisy xxx

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    Offline Muttimumma

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    Thank you so very much for the really helpful advice, Daisy..! :-)

    I have ordered the DCN pdf you kindly recommended and I will be in touch with the DCN for contact with other 'mixed' families with donor-conceived children. I know it would be of great help to us to hear/read other parents' feelings and experiences. I know all families and children are different and what we really want to strive to achieve to the best of our ability is a strong sense of belonging, unconditional love and support and open honesty with all our children.

    Incidentally, all 4 of our existing children are hugely different in their characters, interests, strengths and passions in life (and all have been since day one). We love this and try to nurture and support them each individually as well as wholly as a family. I'm really hoping that because all our existing children are indeed so individual in character, temperament and interests etc (and incidentally all look very different from one another too), that if we are lucky enough to be blessed with another child through donor-conception, that they can shine in what ever way makes them content and we will of course do all we possibly can to support this.
    I have no pre-conceived (no pun intended) expectations of our children, other than a strong hope that they will all know that they are loved beyond words and that all we want is for them to be happy, healthy and good to other people in life. :-)

    I think it would help us to join the DCN and try to attend a meeting perhaps..?

    Thank you so much for your good luck wishes. I hope that maybe some other parents might feel that they can offer their experiences and feelings about this topic too.

    Warmest wishes,

    Mutti xxxxx

    Offline Marmot

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    I agree that the DCN would be a good source of advice. They have a booklet called Mixed Blessings specifically about using donor conception when you already have a genetic child/ren. I am currently pregnant with a son conceived via egg donation (there are no fertility issues with my husband and we used his sperm) and we already have a son conceived naturally. We have told close family (parents, siblings, aunts and uncles) and have only had positive reactions so far. Of course our baby isn't born yet but we intend to be open with him and his older brother (although we intend to talk to them both at the same time naturally as our youngest grows up - we haven't told his brother yet, he's 4).

    I can't deny I worry sometimes what if I feel differently about the new baby and what if I think that any problems are due to the fact we used egg donation. But I've thought it all through and in some ways I think it's helpful to already have our son. I love him so much and I believe I love him for him not because he was conceived with my egg and that reassures me I will love the new baby too, for himself.

    Obviously not exactly the same situation and our baby isn't here yet so I can't tell you about that. But I hope it's been somewhat helpful.

    Good luck whatever you decide.

    Offline Muttimumma

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    Hello Marmot,

    Thank you so very much for your very reassuring message. :-)

    I think I would feel the same about any donor-conceived child and everybody I know who has had naturally-conceived children and gone on to have a donor-conceived child says they love them for who they are (exactly what you described) and feel the same love for all their children, no matter how they came about.

    It's been a little while now since we raised the subject with our current children and I've also since mentioned the possibility to my parents who have been amazingly supportive and said the loveliest things.! It has been a huge relief, as it was really important to me that all our immediate family were aware of the facts and were at least open if not really supportive and excited like we are. So far, everybody has really shown me what they're made of, so to speak and been totally open-hearted and welcoming of any possible donor-conceived child joining our family. I couldn't wish or hope for more.

    Our youngest child (8) said she knows she 'would love any baby brother or sister whether they were mummy's egg + daddy's seed or donor egg + seed because they would grow where she and her sisters and brother grew in mummy's tummy and have mummy's blood feeding them and hear mummy's heart..just like she did'....well, needless to say this made me well-up with emotion, feeling relief and overwhelming appreciation and love for my little girl.! Sometimes it really is 'out of the mouths of babes'.

    Thank you very much for the recommendation of the DCN 'mixed blessings' publication, which I have now bought as an online download. :-) Daisy had recommended it previously and since then, I have bought a large pile of books on all sorts of aspects on donor conception, which I've found really helpful. :-)

    I have several adopted and step cousins in my family and have always felt exactly the same about them as all my DNA-related cousins. I know it's not the same as one's own children, but I am confident that I would not have any issues about bonding at all and now I'm very optimistic about our existing children and extended family too. If in the unlikely event that any extended family have a negative reaction to the situation, I am pretty well-prepared on how to cope and what to say too. :-)

    Marmot, I truly wish you the very best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy, and hope you have as stress-free birth as possible. :-) Your son is of a great age to be able to have basic things about a new sibling coming along explained to him (our children are all 5-6 years apart). We referred to our new baby as 'their baby' (to the older child) and we never experienced any significant jealousy. It also helped that the 'new baby gave' a large gift to the 'big sister/brother' when they were born and a small gift here and there popped-up from 'baby' at quite regular intervals during the first weeks at home! :-)

    Warm wishes ad many thanks again,

    Mutti xxxxx

    Offline Bagpuss1972

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    Does anyone else have experience of this or provide an update if they have since had their DE baby please?

    Offline Hayze

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    Ok, so I know this is an old thread but I stumbled across it and felt I needed to reply.  I have an 11 month old DS who is an adopted embryo, and 2 natural children (20 and 17).  Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is aware of how little one was conceived and they all find it fascinating. Most people forget so we regularly get comments like ‘doesn’t he look like his brother’. We just go along with them. Everyone adores the baby and no one thinks about him any differently. The original ingredients were different but I baked the cake (or should that be bun?) 😁.

    We’re now having another so as to give DS2 a natural sibling, mostly for potential future medical needs and for him to have that genetic connection.  My worry is that finding out he has other siblings might make him feel incomplete, but if he has one with us then hopefully he won’t.

    I hope this has been helpful to someone. x