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Open letter to possible DI Dads,

I have recently been offered an invitation the DI dad club by my beautiful 27 year old wife. We have been together 12 years and married three years ago. After a painfull series of news and tests including surgical intervention, conclusion is I am as sterile as a salt lake. :mad:

I read a lot, and all posts/articles and comments seem to try and sugar coat things especially to the Dads. Having some one else's sperm inserted into your wife's vagina because you are disabled is the biggest humilation a man can take. All this sugar coating about being a DI dad sounds fishy to me. Most comments revolve around anyone can be a father but few can be a Dad.

At the moment (for the last two years) I am in pain. However I think it will be much worse if I accept my wife's invitation to the DI dad club. Every morning, every evening, all the time I will spend rearing some other's man genes. I will be the victim of an Alpha male Cuckoo. Do you know the cukcoo lays his eggs in others birds nest and then just leaves ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuckoo
''About 56 of the Old World species and 3 of the New World species are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other birds.[14] These species are obligate brood parasites, meaning that they only reproduce in this fashion.''

The above how I feel about this DI business.

When these kids grow up, and play the violin beautifully, win a prize, come second in a sports competition, have their first fist fight get their degree, start a business or/and get a brilliant job. I know how I will feel deep down - good work Mr Cuckoo.

Who am I to deny the kids of my wife a real Father and Dad ? Who am I to deny my wife a real Man to her a real Father, Dad to her children ? I think all this hunky dory fairy tale about two people being a unit does not make much sense. In nature if one does not produce offspring he is soon side lined he would be at the end of the wolf pack, the lowest rank, the reject. The last one who eats after all the rest, the last one on the trail, the first one to be sent as gun fodder when a fight breaks out. :(

I am letting my beloved wife, my life companion go. It is the last manly and honorable thing I can do on this planet. It is the most reasonable, logic and obvious solution to my disability. It is painful, depressing, shameful and most of all humiliating. This is how I feel and think, if you are a to be DI Dad and you feel different treasure those feelings as you are lucky. I do not. I have no place in the Darwinian life. I hope some day I will come across her, holding beautiful babies and with a real man/husband that loves and respects her. :'(

Am I making sense ? ^idiot^
Mike
PS: Do not sugar coat your answers please for those women who go on a rant about love, please do not. I think love does exist but I am practical about it. I do not want to sacrifice some one else's life because of my disability and because now she feels pity and has some shadows of the love she used to feel for me. (She has not recognized that she is choosing status quo and non change for her own long term misery and short term benefit)

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mike99 I am a woman so may be completely wrong to reply to your post. I won't pretend to understand how you are feeling because there's no way I can. The reason I wanted to reply was because I have a DS. He is 14 year's old. I met my husband when my DS was 4 years old. My husband has bought my son up as his own. My DH has shaped the young man our DS is becoming. My DH had nothing to do with the 'making' of our DS, the sperm that met my egg was from another man ( a very short r/ship).

My DH adopted my DS, sees him as his own flesh and blood. Strangers comment on how alike they look ^idiot^ They are so alike in tastes and share a love for Xbox. They rib each other all the time and it makes me smile when I see it. I am outnumbered when it comes to the 'it' game they play, I am always the odd one out.

What I am getting at is that the sperm is a tiny piece of a very huge puzzle. My DS needs love and security from a mum and dad. That's what he's getting. Sod the genetics.

^hugme^
 

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Hi Mike,

It's EZ here, thank for replying to my post and linking me to this. 

What I think is that every individual is different, and that I can see and understand your feelings, from a male point of view, I would never disrepect your views because we are all different and will have different feelings about everything. 

But my life experiences have made me realise that for me, the most important thing is the love and respect of my partner, the feel of her asleep beside me.  I have issues about DI I am waxing lyrical about them, but that is my trying to rationilise what I feel, based on past experience that has shaped me.

But I would never give up my partner for a potential, it might be selfish on my part, but when I am in love, she is everything and I wouldn't give her up so she can pursue something she wants.  If she left me for that I would learn to accept it, but I wouldn't do the giving up. 

And if I never resolve my issues, we have a DI child and I can't accept it, she would choose the best for the child, not me, which is right. 

So if I was in your position, but being me, I would hold on to the love of my other half, unless it reached a point she couldn't because of choices to make or not make..

Because you say "who are you to deny the kids of my wife a real father"  You are the man who loves her, that's who...  If you cannot go down the DI route then don't, but hold on to your love and allow her to make the desicion whether your love or a potential is most important, don't give it away.  That's what I would do.  No blame, no nastiness, just a sadness life can be crap sometimes.

If it has to be, I will go down the DI path, I have no idea how I will feel, but I couldn't give up my partner, and if future feelings of mine get in the way, then I have lost nothing except the woman I love.  If they don't then all of us have won, me, my partner and the new child. 

But that is just me It's not advice,it's just a view. 
 

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So, to summarise, as I understand your argument is that all fertile women should dump their infertile male partners and get pg by someone more 'manly'?

And by the same token, men such as my DH should dump me and other females who have fertility probs and get some other more fertile (ie a proper, real) woman up the duff? i guess so. For me specifically, he has to live with an often-borderline psychotic, grief stricken, genetic freak of a woman who is effectively a production line for disabled babies? Just trying to be clear here! Actually, I do think, or at least think DH would be justified in doing so, If he went off with someone else. He would be a father many times over if it hasn't been for my genetically flawed eggs. He wouldn't have the humiliation, being the eldest of three brothers and the first to be married, of seeing his younger brothers become fathers, while we have a granite plaque in a cemetary to show for our efforts. Basically I have ruined his life, haven't I? Our wedding day was a mockery, a total waste of everyone's time and money. But he hasn't left me and I don't think he's having an affair. Perhaps you can shed some insight for me into his male brain why he hasn't done this? Too expensive perhaps? Hasn't met the right woman? Perhaps he even loves me?! I have no idea.

Of course facing donor anything strikes at the heart if our soul. For some it is easier to accept than others. If its definitely not the route for you, then there's nothing wrong with that. I can see why it's more primal for men. At least with DE the woman does carry the child and give birth to it, which normally helps with the bond.
But for men, of course it's not like that. Your mind seems pretty set. DE is realistically an option for us, but not something I myself am comfortable with. Not yet at least anyway.
 

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Hi Mike,

I believe you are entitled to your opinion and I think from what you have said personally, DI or DS would definitely not be for you.  I can't imagine what it is like to be in your position, but I do agree with the others that genetics are not everything.  I have a friend whose boyfriend left her when she was 6 months pregnant and she met an amazing man who has raised her daughter like his own.  He has adopted her and as far as all are concerned she is his daughter and he her father.  They do everything together and she is like him at times and has his ways.

I don't want to sound patronising in anyway, but you do sound very angry in your post.  I hope you are getting support.

I also don't believe that anyone on here sugar coat's how hard it is to accept that donor egg or donor sperm is the only way forward.  I am also baffled by your comments that you are only a real man when you have fathered a child.  What about men that walk away from their families/children?  Are they real men? And far better then men who haven't fathered a child?

I am not sure what else to say to you to be honest, but I hope that you can find a way forward.

X
 

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Hi Mike,
Not much I can say really as I am a woman, but I will just mention our situation/experience
I am married to a man who 20 yrs ago told me if we needed Donor Sperm, he could not use DS or adopt, the end.
Would I have left him maybe, if the need to have a child brought resentment ^eyes^ would I have wanted him to leave me ? no.
However it was a DE we needed and he stuck by me, told me it was my decision and whatever I decided he would be OK with, and I finally took the plunge a few years ago, being an only child the genetic side of things had me in knots, I met a woman from here when she was pregnant and again when the babies were 8m old and was amazed to see how one was the spit of her Mum the other her dad ( they used DE) I also met a wonderful woman on here who has 2 boys using DS and again the likeness to her husband shocked me,
some time later I stumbled upon "epigenitics" and this set my mind at rest completely,

As I say different perspective to your situation, but you have Joined FF, a huge community of experience and tales to tell, some relationships survive here some dont either post or pre tx, however as a Man  with this diagnosis, you WILL find support here and you Will find a handful of other men posting ( Tony the site founde, Big Andy a Volunteer to mention 2!) so please read, research and ask questions to those who have gone down the DS route before you ask if they felt the same - ask how they feel now,
  having said all that only you know what's best for you, your relationship and your life,
if its not for you its not, and nobody will hold that against you, not here anyway  ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^

~Dizzi~
 

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whatever happened to 'in sickness and in health, til death do us part?'. marriage is a commitment. sure, infertility sucks. Be upset about it. But you can't just abandon your wife because your pride is hurt. That sucks even more.
 

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Hi Mike
I can't begin to understand what you are going through, or your situation.
It is a different situation, but I do know that when I was very sad and angry finding out my fertility issues, I did a bit of behaving like an idiot in our relationship so that DH could go and find a beautiful fertile young woman instead of me.
I won't sugar coat, so I will tell you straight, as I listened to him and stopped feeling sorry for myself, I realised that I was worried about my own issues rather than his. It was actually selfish of me and to do with my own ego and not his wellbeing. I do think you are in danger of patronising your wife by thinking you understand what she needs. Perhaps you need to remember all of the amazing things that you are to her. You are also in danger of running away when she needs you most.
I tell you this with no sugar coating in case it helps. Of course, it is different situation, and you will know what is right.
YB




 

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My DH took being infertile very very hard. And he already had a child with someone else! In a relationship that ended before the pregnancy became apparent with a very acrimonious split after a short reconcilliation to try an raise the child together. I came into the relationship when the child was 3 and DH had been alone for 2.5 years struggling with CSA, court for access and bitter doorstep arguments. Horrenous. Really horrendous.

DH and I got married and started trying for a baby ASAP. We had a lot of stressful things happening one after another for 5 years so we put our lack of success down to that and shift work. When we went to the doctor I was convinced it was only me who had a problem - because he had a child!
How wrong can you be - the sperm analysis came back 0 sperm. Biopsies turned up 0 sperm and his FSH level was 37. No hope at all. We were tol only option was donor or adoption or split up.

He wanted to adopt or split up. I wanted to use a donor. We had all sorts of counselling and he was a closed book. I wanted to use a donor because I wanted to experience pregnancy, have a new baby from an embryo, to see the scans, to nurture, to birth and breast feed. Adoption is a wonderful thing, but you don't get a new born and there may be abuse issues for the child and attachment issues etc. I of course wanted to have my DH's child, but as that was not possible I looked to the next avenue of possibility and that was to use a donor, but raise the baby from an embryo together. The donor is not at the IVF, the donor is not at the 8 week, 12 week or 20 week scan. The donor is not at the birth or helping with the baby, watching the first smile, first laugh, first word, first tooth, first steps. The daddy is.

My DH, like you could not see that. He went into melt down of grief and took me with him.  We were in stalemate for a few years. In the end he said he had enough and I said fine and we separated. I started treatment alone and divorce proceedings. I was too old by then to faff about trying find this ''real man'' you describe, I had no time left already being 37 so it was going to be a donor anyway and me a solo mum.

DH went off for 3 months (we still lived in the same house but separated) and eventually spoke to some friends who thought he was mad. He came back to me an we went for treatment together. I lost the first baby at 17 weeks an I think he was just as upset. Then the frozen embryo did not take. He held the next full IVF treatment at arms length. I got pregnant again and he came to the scans. Everything was perfect that time and we now have an absolutely beautiful and sweet little boy who has an likeness to my father. So if anyone asks he takes after my Dad.

DH is still struggling a little and makes comments sometimes, but deep down I am sure he would not want to be missing this. As the baby gets older and plays more and talks more DH is getting more into it. I think he still keeps a little distance because people and pets he becomes attached to do get taken away and he finds that devastating. He worries about rejection in the future and does not seem to realise that the more you love and nuture a baby the less likely they are to reject you.

Only you can decide what is right for you, but what I would say is that it takes a couple of years to complete a grief cycle properly and you are grieving the baby you cannot have at the moment. Once you have grieved properly, you might be able to see that there is a baby you CAN have.
 

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Hello

You mentioned in your post that if you were to have a baby through donor sperm, then you'd look at any of the child's achievements as being thanks to the donor.

We have three children conceived through egg donation.  They are young but when they do things, I do often find myself wondering whether their actions/looks come from dp, or me, or our donor.  Or indeed whether are unique to our children.  When I was pregnant with ds1 and his twin, I could hardly bear to think about our donor.  As son as he was born, my feelings on her changed to an acceptance of her part in our family.  We'll never know her, but without we'd not have children.  And nowadays I just feel gratitude towards all the women who have donated for us over the course of five donor egg cycles.

Your feelings may change similarly.  Or not.

Have you and your wife had counselling?  Should you leave her, then perhaps counselling will help her to deal with the devastation this will no doubt cause her, and will perhaps lessen the feeling that you are making unilateral decisions about your marriage.  It may also help you see a rounder picture of donation and assisted conception, even if it doesn't change your mind ultimately, and again this may help your wife come to terms with your decision.



 

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Also why can't your child's achievements be down to you?

Do you think DNA is the only thing that makes achievements?....... or is it reading to your baby while it is still in the womb, showing him/her how to draw their first scribbles turning them into a house, taking her to ballet classes and sitting outside the door week after week encouraging them to go even when it is cold or they are tired, is it putting ear plugs in and listening to the screech of the violin at 7am everyday while they practice for the recital, is it getting the video camera out and filming the poetry reading at the school play and beaming with pride when it is word perfect after all the practice you put in together?
Is it providing a loving home, security to thrive, good food in the belly and happy fun times where learning just happens at home or on family days out?

DNA is a very very tiny part - it is how you nurture a child that makes all the difference. If the same child was in an orphanage in Romania would it achieve as much? No - the child has DNA, but no nurturing.

Parents nurture a child.

 

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Mike... where have you been getting your info from?! Are you a committed reader of a certain right wing daily paper?! You've had some very gentle, concerned replies here but I just want to say get out there and talk to people, do some proper research and then think about how you feel. If you are still determined to leave your wife at a time when she needs a loving partner the most, please point her in the direction of the incredible single women on this site. She'll get plenty of support!
So much more I could say, but I think that's probably enough  ;)
Txx
 

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Hello Mike, I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. ^hugme^ You sound very upset and angry and have every right to be. It's a horrible thing to have to face.


My husband had the same diagnosis in 2009. We were told he would never father a child. The one thing I wanted more than anything was to be a mother and now I was being told it wasn't going to happen. We were both completely devastated. But I can honestly tell you the thought of leaving him and finding a man who could get me pregnant, never entered my head. We have been together since we were teenagers (just like you and your wife); we have weathered many many storms together and this was just another hurdle we had to get over, albeit the biggest and hardest of them all. But I didn't marry him for his sperm count, I married him because I loved him and wanted to spend my life with him and this hadn't changed. Sorry I know you said not to go on about love, I'm just telling you how it was for me.


There was a time when my DH said he couldn't bear the thought of another man making me pregnant. I guess he shared a lot of the feelings you are experiencing now. But this "disability" as you call it, is absolutely not your fault and there is no reason you should feel humiliated by it.


Fast forward 3.5 years: My DH and I now have a little boy conceived with donor sperm. He is the most amazing beautiful child and has completely transformed our lives; he is the most wonderful thing ever to happen to us. My DH often says he would like the opportunity to reassure any man thinking of becoming a "DI Dad" that he does not regret it one iota. It sounds like a cliche, but Zac's daddy is the man who was there when he was born, the man who reads him a bedtime story every night, the man who takes him out on his bike on a Sunday. The man who Zac calls "Dadda". The sperm donor is simply a wonderful generous man who made it happen for us.


DH may not be Zac's genetic father but there is no doubt he is his daddy in every possible way. And if Zac achieves great things in his life (as I hope he will) it will be down to me and DH who supported him and nurtured him along the way. I don't believe it will have anything to do with the sperm donor who lives many miles away and has never met us.


It sounds from your post as if you are relatively early on in your journey and it is natural to feel shock and anger and hurt, all of which come across in your post. But please do not do anything you might regret, such as leaving your wife, who is likely to be sharing all those emotions, at a time when you are probably not thinking clearly. Please take some time to come to terms with things, and talk to your wife to find a way forward. I wish you all the best and if you want to talk more about it, please PM me - I can even get my DH to give you his perspective if you like, seeing as he has been in your shoes in the recent past.  ^hugme^ ^hugme^ ^hugme^
 

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Hi Mike
I'd just like to support what Carrie Lou and many other women have said in response to your very sad story. I too am the mother to donor conceived children, two of them in fact now aged 29 and 26. I married my husband because he was a wonderful, generous, intelligent and thoughtful person. I wanted his children so that they could inherit his wonderful qualities. But when it was shown that he was infertile the last thing on my mind was to leave him and find someone else who could give me children. He was the man I loved and we wanted to raise children together, realising after the initial shock and grief, that genes have little to do with how people turn out. The most important thing that anyone can pass on to a child is good values, high standards in the way we treat others in all aspects of life. This my husband has done brilliantly. Our children, who have known about their donor conception since they were little, feel loved, respected and valued and are doing well in all aspects of life. They have a lovely relationship with their Dad and do not regard their donor as a father, just a good man who helped to give them life.

My husband and I helped to found the Donor Conception Network twenty years ago so that there would be somewhere where men and women who found themselves needing donor conception would have somewhere to turn to for support. You would be very welcome to contact the Network [email protected] to talk with other men in your situation who have found a way through it that doesn't involve leaving their partner. Have a look in particular at Letter from Walter to would-be DI Dads http://www.dcnetwork.org/letter-walter and the For Men section http://www.dcnetwork.org/men

No-one said this road was easy - it isn't - but my husband now says that having to face the reality of his infertility and then becoming a dad by DC is the best thing ever to have happened to him. He feels more of a man and a person in general for having faced and gone through it all with me, his partner, than if he had avoided all the dilemmas and difficulties by not agreeing to donor conception or by leaving. Our daughter is also very clear that her dad is the very model of a real man.

Give yourself time, don't leave your wife when she needs you the most - do research and explore more. You may come to different conclusions if you do.
Wishing you the very best
Olivia

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whatever happened to 'in sickness and in health, til death do us part?'. marriage is a commitment. sure, infertility sucks. Be upset about it. But you can't just abandon your wife because your pride is hurt. That sucks even more.
I agree! Your argument, I am happy to say, is a load of *#*#*! You are talking as if we are all animals - yes, animals might leave and find another partner but animals do not fall in love, get married, and make lifelong commitments - humans do. Donor insemination is not an easy decision to make - we decided that it was not for us after a lot of soul searching and, we were lucky in the end as we did not need it. You might decide that it is not for you either - but it is not a decision you can make on your own. I am sorry but your post seems supremely arrogant - you have decided that your wife would rather have *any* other man than the man she fell in love with and married - have you asked her what she thinks? I would be furious if my husband had presumed this. I am sorry you asked for straight talking and I know you are hurting but please, please don't justify your actions with bogus, "Darwin-style" arguments.
 

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Hi Mike

I can understand how hard it is for you to have been given this diagnosis and am saddened that you feel that the only viable solution is to end an othewise happy marriage with the woman you so clearly love.

Have you tried thinking about this if it was the other way round, and it was your DW that was in your situation? Would she leave you? Would you leave her to go have children with someone else? Or would you stay with her and have children with her by using eggs that someone has dontated, knowing that that child will be brought up in a loving and caring family with parents who love them and although only one may share genetic genes with the child, both would love just the same?

The easiest solution to you may be to run, but is that really what you want? Is that what your wife wants? I don't think so.

If you have a child conceived using donor sperm or donor eggs, the child is legally yours. There is NO legal rights whatsoever to the donor. You are not bringing up someone elses child, you are bringing up your child. Whether it has genetic links or not, they would be legally yours. Your name would be on the birth certificate.

When my husband and I were discussing the possibilities of using donor sperm, my DH was dead against it. Like you, he felt that the child would not be his, would be someone elses etc. He thought that you went into the clinic for the treatment and were given any old sperm that was donated and the child could be a different race to him etc. It wasn't until it was explained how carefully they match you to a donor that he understood the process and accepted it as an option should we need to go down that route.

When you go through treatment you are there for every step of the way, you are part of all of it.

And for the record.. sperm donors aren't alpha male cuckoos. They don't donate to 'show off' their fertility. Maybe you aren't aware but as well as a scheme where when a couple have IVF the woman can donate half of the eggs that are collected to a recipient who for whatever reason, cannot use their own eggs, a man who is going through treatment with their wife can donate sperm to couples like yourselves, who cannot use their own sperm. These are people who truly understand what it is like not being able to naturally have children because THEY themselves are going through fertility treatment. There are ofcourse people out there that also donate because they want to help people start a family and do so for many reasons.

Jenny
 

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My situation is different than yours, but I think we are all here because we can relate to each other in some way or another. Someone said earlier, infertility sucks... It does. There is so much pain that goes along with it. I felt like less of a woman because I couldn't give my husband another much wanted child. I've had to work through it and figure it out WITH my husband. Where do we go from here. DE, adopt, nothing??? We decided to move forward with DE, but it took a year to get here after 4 years of ttc. I don't think you should leave your wife either. I hope everything works out for you.
 

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I understand completely how you feel from the perspective of being told Donor Egg is the best way forward.

There is no way, no how, absolutely under no circumstances that I am going down that route. My husband agrees. It would never be our child so there would be absolutely no point whatsoever in doing it. I know plenty of people who say, oh but it's our child, but the fact is it isn't and that is a genetic fact. I know of people of both sexes who have used donors and some regret it deeply. Every time they look at the child they see no aspect of themselves in it and every negative thing in the child is because it must take after the donor. This sort of situation is not healthy either for them or for the children concerned (many of whom live their entire lives with their donor status is not revealed to them.

It's OK to say I don't want a donor child and I think it is what you need to do.

Oh and on the leaving your wife thing, stop talking rubbish, she married you because she wanted to. Sure if she doesn't want to be with you because you can't have kids then fine, she knows where the door is. Fact is perhaps she's happy to stay with you because she loves you. You can still look at other options like adoption which is what we are planning to do.

Do what is right for you. I think you've been very brave to be honest about how you feel. Do not under any circumstances go ahead with donor though it would be wrong for you and more importantly very wrong for any child you had. No child should have to live with a father who is abusive about their conception.

Good luck
 

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We were told that we needed de. At the beginning, I packed my bags and I was ready to leave. I couldn't give my dh what he wanted, so I was setting him free to go and have babies with someone else. Luckily for me, dh came home from work early and caught me just before I left. We had a very open conversation, sat on the stairs crying. He explained that he loves me for me, not my ability to have children. He wants to raise a chil with me, not another woman. It probably took me a good year to actually believe that. And after 6 failed cycles and stillbirth, he is still here by my side.
Talk to your wife. She married you for you. Find a solution together.

Xx
 

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Maisyz - I understand you have a very strong opinion on donor conception, but it is just that... an opinion. The genetic facts of donor conception may surprise you  :) There are many extremely positive stories of donor conception out there - stories of children and parents who are deeply loved and cherished unconditionally for who they are.
I wish you luck in your future path, whatever you decide to do.
Txx
 
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