Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why do I do it?

It's exciting that the summer of 2010 is turning into the summer of donor conception entering the mainstream.  Elizabeth's study was only the start.  With 3 (yes THREE) Hollywood films out this summer that deal with donor conception: "The Back-Up Plan", "The Kids Are Alright", and most recently, Jennifer Aniston's controversial "The Switch".......with all these movies and our plight hitting the news due to MDND, suddenly everyone wants to talk to us sperm donor kids!!

Not that I'm complaining's just being in the media is very emotionally draining.  The stress of talking to complete strangers about very personal things, only to know that what you say is going to be published/broadcast across the country --- well, lets just say it's very intimidating!!!  So having had so many media interviews in the past month, I feel like I've told and retold my story over and over again, only to have it usually "modified" for sensationalism by America's mass media market.  Unless you're on live television, there is no way to control what you're saying and what will be published/broadcast.  Of course, points that I make because I feel that they are paramount are ignored, whereas comments made rashly or when emotionally-charged are usually used.  The rational responses that provide arguments for why donor anonymity is unethical and why donor conception practices in America need to be changed.....these comments are sadly often lost in favor of the dramatic or emotional or controversial.

Since the release of the AP wire article last week my email inbox has been inundated with responses from new-found fans, from recipient parents, from many adoptees across the globe, former donors, and those who had a bone to pick with me about my POV.  Some emails even bordered on stalkerish!  Of the handful of emails from those who disagreed with my views there was one that sticks out in my mind.  Mainly because this gentleman gave me a rational reason to disagree and when I responded he attentively listened to what I had to say and wrote back further more rational arguments.  We carried on an interesting back-and-forth conversation and while we agreed to disagree for the most part, by the end I actually won over his respect, and his mine.  For me, to be able to voice my rational responses to those on the other side, without being disregarded and violently attacked was a great experience and I thank him for the conversation.

So why do I do all of this?

I do it because I want my story (and views) heard by more than just my regular readers here on Cryokid that are most often affiliated with the donor conception or adoption triads.  I do it because there are so few of us in the USA who are willing to go out there and talk.  I do it because I hope that one day changes will be made to the practice here in America that will make things better and easier for future donor conceived children, and so they do not have to go through the pain that many of us adult offspring feel.

I don't do it to make others feel sorry for me, or to make recipient parents feel badly about themselves and the decisions they made.  I try to educate anyone who will listen, but I don't judge.  It's not my place.    I also don't do it because I hate my life or my family.  I don't do it because I only focus my energies on negatives and dwell on them.  I agree, there are many others who have it much worse than I do (for whatever reason).  I am not here to start a contest about whose life is I admit in most cases I would lose.

However, I do feel that any unnecessary harm done to another human being is considered unethical.  Yes there are children who grow up in abusive and neglectful families and my hearts go out to these kids.  It's not fair the life they have been dealt and our justice system sadly has its problems.  Yes there are children conceived in maybe worse-off circumstances, and that is not right either.  However, these are not intentional government-supported practices.  Donor conception is.  And while not every donor conceived child is "harmed", if there is any evidence that any donor conceived children feel this way the practice needs to be re-evaluated.

I believe in destiny, and I also believe that maybe my destiny is just this.  That I was put here to live through this circumstance to be a voice of reason, a voice for change, a voice for the offspring.  Yes, some of my blog posts can be emotional - this is an emotional topic.  Yes, sometimes I say things here which are fueled from anger or emotion are not rational.  Sometimes there are things I post that I wish I hadn't because people like to take them out of context (and accuse me of wishing I had never been born, for example), but to say that I regret them I cannot.  They are my words and my feelings, however I am feeling at that place and time.  Like any normal person I have times in my life where I am more emotional and dwell more on the negatives.  I also have times where I'm very happy and donor conception are not on the fore-front of my mind.  I DO in fact have a life :o)  Before I started Cryokid I was known for disappearing from the DC community for months at a time (at one point an entire year!), especially as a college student.  Being active in the community lends itself to constant rumination on all things DC and it's not always healthy.  Since blogging here I feel compelled to write frequently, however there are times when it is much easier to simply repost something from someone else (newspaper article, commentary, blog post, etc).   This is my emotional downtime.  It's when I focus my life on other things - friends, family, work, and other pursuits.

So, that is why I do this....this being Cryokid, talking to the media, searching, and giving advice.  This is what I am about, this is what my blog is about, and this is why I do it.


Tom said...

You're doing an amazing thing speaking out for our rights Lindsay!

Triona Guidry said...

Thanks for speaking out. Your reasons for doing so are much the same as mine for speaking out on behalf of adoptees whose records are sealed. It's hard putting yourself on the line like that (especially when talking to the media!) but your voice is valued and what you have to say is important. Most people don't even consider the rights of the donor-conceived, and a lot of the information out there is, as you point out, sensationalized. Our society needs to stop being so cavalier about the creation of human beings.

Lisa said...

I have been reading your blog for over a year. I don't think that you have to apologize for your emotions. They come from a true sense of the injustice that was done to you.
I think your reflections are a gift to everyone, not just the donor-conceived. You are helping people to understand a difficult reality and that will bring change!