This is a personal story from January 2018 written by Brian.
I’m more of a face to face operator when it comes to describing stuff to people.
So hopefully my endeavours to write something down here will be fruitful insofar that it makes some sense to you guys, the readers.
After a considerable amount of time attempting to conceive, both my partner and I got checked out, and at the end of all the testing I found out that I was infertile. After counselling and rigorous investigation, we decided that we would opt for a known donor if possible.
Rob was the first and only person that we asked, and he agreed to donate. Naturally everyone spent a lot of time thinking through the idea and processing it before beginning to attempt conception. We asked Rob to get advice, both legal and otherwise, to make sure that he was perfectly comfortable with the arrangement. We proceeded and were successful, and in a number of months, the foetus that would eventually become our most wonderful and brilliant daughter Aoife began growing.
I count myself very fortunate in life to have a friend of Rob’s calibre. He has always treated me like family. I have much love for the man and am honoured to be called his friend. He is a confidante of mine and has always been a generous and loyal friend in good times and in bad. He has three children whom I have known since they were children; they are now young adults whom I also hold in very high regard. I could go on and on here in respect to Rob's and his family’s brilliance, but l fear I may embarrass them, so in this case modesty will prevail.
Aoife was born on November 16th, 2014, and I became a parent. I had never realised prior to becoming a dad how much time we actually spend just looking at our children, be they sleeping or whatever… and then as they grow, watching their moves and mannerisms. She has spent a lot of time on my chest sleeping or being carried about in a sling. I have been and am privileged to watch her grow. I have great pride in her naturally, but I also have pride in her genetics; every now and then I recognise little mannerisms of Maggie and of Rob too, and it always gives me a big smile when I spot them in her. I’m honoured to be the custodian of their spirits in her as they emerge, and I take great joy from it - it’s an added bonus.
Rob has been brilliant in relation to dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. Aoife is aware of Rob’s relationship to her. We celebrate Donor Day every year, and she sees him regularly. My relationship with Rob is still as strong as ever, and if anything has grown stronger.
Prior to Aoife’s birth, we attended a DCN conference in Leeds. I found the experience brilliant as we met so many different people from so many different walks of life who were so generous to share their experiences openly. This was brilliant for us and for me in particular, even just meeting men and women who had similar stories and being able to discuss stuff with people who knew where we were coming from. I also was really impressed by the community in general and all the kids who attended and the knowledge of facilitators who attended the conference; any insecurities or worries I may have had were washed away by the tide of good feelings in Leeds that weekend.
I hope this gives you some insight into my experience as the dad of a donor-conceived child.
My warmest regards to all,
* Names have been changed