A Missing Side, with Missing Pieces by Joëlle

I always knew that my mums went to a clinic and that I was conceived through artificial insemination with the help of donor sperm.

My mothers were always really open about my conception, and that is something I appreciate. That way I could form my own opinion about my conception story and the industry around it, and I could talk with them about it. That is something that I would advise other parents to do also. Don’t wait for children to ask questions, just start to tell them their story so that there is an opportunity to ask questions. Children sometimes don’t think that they can ask something if it’s not talked about. So I would advise you to prepare yourself for any questions you could get.

As a young child, when I got my first laptop with internet access, the first thing I did was start to google. I wouldn’t say I was a smart child but I was a child with a lot of questions. Like, why does it get dark when I go to bed? Why are we here? And so came the time that I started to google “donor child” or something like that. Can you imagine a 9/10 year old child googling something like that and discovering a whole other universe?

Okay, that didn’t happen. But what I found out was something that I never knew before. I had landed on a government website where the rules were written down for donor conceived people. It said that I could meet my biological father when I turned 16 and that before that I could get a donor paper with information about him, when I turned 12. That was something my mums never told me before. When I found this information I asked them if they knew that all this was possible, but they didn’t know the details. Yes, they knew that we could meet him, but when? They didn’t know.

And from then I saw him as a real person, even though I didn’t know him. The only thing I knew about him before getting the donor paper was what features he had. That was because I had got his big brown eyes and my sister got his blond hair. But because of the donor paper, I knew what he looked like, what he’d studied, that he had no children of his own. But the important thing was where he lived! He wrote the city down and it was the city my mothers are from. That was really crazy - they could have walked passed each other ages ago without even knowing it.

What is more crazy is that I knew what his job was and were he worked! He just wrote down the place he worked in his bio about his life. I still don’t know why I didn’t go there to look for him, since I found it hard not knowing who my biological father was. Okay, it’s just crazy to visit a workplace and say, ‘’Hi, I am looking for my dad. He does x job here,” or, ‘’I’m looking for a man who does x job and was a student at x. I would like to ask him something.’’ I don’t know if I’m happy that as a 13-year-old teenager I didn’t go to his workplace. I mean…

A few months before I turned 16, I started to join DC community groups in my own country (the Netherlands). Coming into contact with other donor conceived people was something that had never happened before. I got to know a few people that were conceived through the same clinic. They sent an email to the clinic to ask for more information about the donor, and also about siblings. My parents always said that the donor was specially chosen for them, which would mean that I could not have half siblings. And since I knew from the donor paper that he didn’t have children of his own I had no hope of having other siblings besides my little sister, who I grew up with.

In part 2 of my story, I will talk more about it. Spoiler: I do have half siblings! I am going to talk about my relationship with them and about the relationship with my donor father.

Do you already want to read more about my story? You can follow me on social media, where I share my DC journey.

Website: http://MissingSide.nl
My podcast: https://anchor.fm/missingpieces
My DC YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBQcaS7xAsCBY_NCRsv3S4ueqomKVb-_
My DC YouTube channel DCP United: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB7UqVwh-Her-thv6FMtbUA/featured

Personal story category: