"I got my mind set on you, I got my mind set on you
I got my mind set on you, I got my mind set on you
But it's gonna take money, a whole lotta spending money
It's gonna take plenty of money, to do it right childAnd while as donor-conceived adults our goal is not to "get the girl", that same sense of determination has pushed a growing number of offspring to take a stand --- regardless of time and money involved in our search. Whether it's Olivia Pratten taking on the province of British Columbia and WINNING (thankfully not in a Charlie Sheen sort of way....), or the less-heroic of our ranks attempting the impossible in other ways, we are fed up and we're doing something about it!!
It's gonna take time, a whole lotta precious time
It's gonna take patience and time, mmm to do it, to do it
To do it, to do it, to do, to do it, right"
Last Monday I reported submitting my DNA to the FamilyFinderDNA database. Today Girl Conceived blogged about her entertaining breakfast of coffee and DNA scrapers (though I sure hope she was not drinking coffee before scraping!!!) for the same test. Several close DC friends have already received their results from FTDNA, including Stephanie Blessing, Damian Adams, and several others who I will not mention for some privacy reasons. Elizabeth Marquardt even blogged this afternoon on Family Scholars this recent "outbreak" of DNA tests among offspring.
And to top it off, yesterday a former donor added his information to the AmFOR Donor Offspring Registry with the note that he has added his DNA to the 23andMe database and hopes to find his biological offspring using their "Relative Finder" program (similar to FTDNA's FamilyFinder database).
My first reaction to this is the ironic juxtaposition of our biological fathers' sperm (genetic material used to create a new life) contained in small vials to be removed indefinitely from its roots, and our spit (also genetic material, that is it contains our DNA) contained in small vials with a hope to be reconnected to those very same roots...that were both unceremoniously disposed of in what were likely similar 1mL vials.
My next observation is the fact that this process, these results, this knowledge, is all something that we as donor-conceived adults are posting to the World Wide Web where it will likely be perserved indefinitely (or at least until December 21, 2012!! You never know, maybe computers won't be able to function beyond the Mayan calendar - flashback Y2K). Therefore it's something that will eventually become knowledge for the masses. Knowledge for the infertility industry, for lawmakers, for current and future recipient parents, and for former, current, and future donors.
Regardless of where you live, what the law dictates...anonymity is dissolved. It was dissolved as soon as some novel teenage offspring had the brilliant idea of looking for their donor on MySpace and then MySpace's successor, Facebook. It was dissolved as soon as Ryan Kramer traced his donor using FTDNA's Y-DNA test. And it will be further dissolved as more and more donor-conceived adults submit their DNA to databases such as FTDNA, 23andMe, and more.
What makes these tests so perfect is that unlike traditional paternity tests, the donor does not have to consent to his DNA being used. It's not, at least not in the legal sense. But in the ancestral sense his DNA is alive and well in his close relatives. And it is the genealogical inquiries of those relatives that will drive donors out of their cloak of anonymity once and for all. Donors cannot control what their 2nd and 3rd cousins do....heck, most likely they don't even know who their 2nd or 3rd cousins are!!! But for genealogy buffs, not only is their the possibility that they share the same surname (especially the case with Y-DNA tests), but they may even have elaborate family trees discovered and can point you right to the guy who went to X University for medical school, or at least identify family members who lived in the location that you were conceived in at that time.
So former, current, and future donors and recipient parents --- you have been forewarned. Any promise of anonymity by your clinic or sperm bank, take with a grain of salt. If you truly never want to know your biological children, DON'T DONATE!! Parents, if you choose an anonymous donor because you do not want your child to know their biological parent. DON'T USE A DONOR!!!
Because the donor-conceived children of today and tomorrow are going to have technology on their side.