Finding My Biological Father

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Messages
4,270
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
So, I was conceived through artificial insemination, with the donor being anonymous. My parents tried to have kids but couldn't (they were married in 1973, I was born in '79), so they finally decided to try the route of using a sperm donor. Artificial insemination wasn't new at that time (in fact, I suspect it's been done, if even in crude fashion, for a long, long time in one form or another), however, it wasn't very tightly regulated then, like it is now. My mom heard about the fertility doctor through word of mouth, and went to see him. From what my mom has told me, he was known as somewhat of a maverick around town, and liked to do things his own way. Unfortunately he died a few years ago, closing off a potential course of research for me. The way it worked was, the donor provided the sperm, and my mother was called to come to the doctor's office immediately for the procedure to be performed. My conception and subsequent birth was Mom's 2nd attempt; the first ended in miscarriage. All I know about the donor is what I've been told by my mother, which is, in turn, what the doc told her, which is that the donor was a resident physician at a local hospital. Apparently, professional, highly-educated people were, and still are, today, used as donors more often than not, for reasons that are obvious. Medical students are a natural choice - they're interested in the science of it, and spend a lot of time at the hospital, where the "donation" would be facilitated. Let's say he was ~ 26 years old in 1979 - you can do the math - that makes him around his early to mid 60s today, if he's still living. My "Dad", who raised me (not sure what technical term to use for him - I guess you could say he adopted me) passed away in 2002. It's a dream of mine to make contact with my biological father. I think it would be so cool to meet him and see what he's like. It's also very possible that I could have half-siblings, if he has kids of his own. Not only that, but I could potentially have MANY half-siblings out there, depending on how prolific a sperm donor he was. I think it would be the coolest thing in the world to get to meet family members I never knew I had, especially since we have a very small family, and practically no one in our family (except my 1st cousin) enjoys the things I do (distance running, bicycling, motorcycles, working on cars and bikes and airplanes, etc.). It would be fascinating to me if I were to meet my biological father and/or half-siblings, and they were interested in some of the same things. I'm well aware of the possibility that that might NOT happen, but, if it did, and it was like, "click"...THESE are my people...they're into all the same stuff I am... How neat would that be? So, last December, I decided to join the DSR (Donor Sibling Registry), which is a registry with the purpose of connecting donor offspring with their donors, and/or half-siblings. No results yet, but I'm hopeful that something might come of it one day. There are many success stories posted there. My hope is that the donor would hear about it, want to make contact with potential offspring, and join (there is a cost to join). Or, it's possible that a half-sibling who's also aware of his or her origin could join and find my posting (which includes the city where the procedure was performed and the doctor's name). When my mom and dad chose this course of action to have kids, the plan was for me (and, later, my younger half-sister) never to find out about our origins. But, family secrets have a way of getting out, and, eventually, my sister and I found out. There are all sorts of possibilities with this. I'm sure there are many I haven't even considered. For example, it's possible that my donor may not want to establish contact. There are many reasons for this - I'm sure you can think of some, yourself. My hope is that he shares my intense curiosity, and that, one day, it gets the best of him. smile I recently decided to have my DNA analyzed by 23andMe, for obvious reasons. It only took 1 month to receive the report from the time that I ordered the saliva kit. I got the results back earlier this week, and it is fascinating. 23andMe has identified over 1500 of their members who are 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and more distant, cousins of mine. Many even share segments - in a few cases, multiple segments - of identical DNA, meaning that we both inherited those DNA segments from a common ancestor. There's also a feature that, for every match shown, lists common matches (people that we are both related to), as long as I have enabled sharing of that information, and the other individual has, as well. Something else that's cool is that I can list my family surnames, and I can set my profile to allow others to see those surnames, as can they, with their own profiles. I've already found at least one person who listed my mother's maiden name as one of her family surnames. You can also send people messages, and I've already messaged my top 5 matches - my 5 closest relatives. Haven't heard back from any of them yet, though. Something else that is extremely fascinating to me about the 23andMe report is that it provides maternal and paternal haplogroups (I've always been interested in human genetics and anthropology, migration, origins of people groups, etc.). It is showing my maternal haplogroup, derived from mtDna (mitochondrial DNA), to be "V", which is one of the more rare maternal haplogroups - found in highest concentration among the Saami people of northern Scandinavia (59%) and, perhaps even more interesting, the Basques of northern Spain and southern France (10%), whose language is not really related to any other modern language. My paternal haplogroup is R1b1b2a1a1d, a sub-clade of R1b1b2, which is apparently very common in Western Europe and the British Isles, as well as here in North America, due to immigration. What I can derive from these haplogroups, as far as my tendencies, preferences, predisposition to any inherited disorder or communicable disease, etc, (if anything) is very interesting. Any genetics/anthropology buffs here? One thing I've wondered about is obtaining a list of the men who were resident physicians at the hospital at that time. I might be able to track him down that way. So, a few questions for y'all. Did any of you ever donate sperm? Were you ever asked to? I know there are a lot of guys who are in their 50s and 60s, married, with kids, on BITOG. Imagine that you donated sperm for the purpose of artificial insemination, when you were in your 20s, before you ever got married and had kids. How would you feel about establishing a relationship of any degree, with your donor offspring? Why would you be open to it, or, if you wouldn't be, then, why not? I'm just brainstorming here. If anyone has any ideas about how I could go about finding my donor or potential half-siblings, please post up. I'd also love to hear from any of you who have similar stories to mine, or, if you are the parent of a donor-conceived child.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,638
Location
South Florida
The guy that donated the sperm was the guy that inseminated your mom. Guaranteed. He was a "maverick", he lied about the "resident physician" description. Probably liked the idea of spreading his seed across the land.
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Messages
4,270
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
Originally Posted By: THafeez
Good luck with your search! I really hope you find him.
Thank you!
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
The guy that donated the sperm was the guy that inseminated your mom. Guaranteed. He was a "maverick", he lied about the "resident physician" description. Probably liked the idea of spreading his seed across the land.
That is possible. My mom has even speculated as much.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
43,672
Location
'Stralia
I hope that you find what you are after and that it makes you happy. You've learned more about your actual anscestry than most with the DNA thing. Like bubbatime has mentioned, I think the shortest route to the next most useful information would be to find a descendent of the maverick doctor...
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
2,724
Location
PA
If you can obtain photos of the hospital staff from 1979 you may see a man that resembles you at the same age...The hospital might have some in storage.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
2,724
Location
PA
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
The guy that donated the sperm was the guy that inseminated your mom. Guaranteed. He was a "maverick", he lied about the "resident physician" description. Probably liked the idea of spreading his seed across the land.
Medical communities are pretty tight knit. I doubt a someone would get far telling a local doctor that they are a local doctor. Just seems like a pretty stupid approach if you're going to make up a job. "hey, I'll lie and say I'm a doctor, I'm sure this doctor won't be able to tell I'm full of [censored]"
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
838
Location
One Step Beyond
john_pifer Good luck with your quest. When I was an Infant, my Aunt & Uncle adopted an Infant Boy. Of coarse he became my Cousin. I knew from an early age he was adopted, he was a good kid being raised by good people. Fast forward 20 some years. My Aunt was home vacuuming their house / with the TV on. See's watching the Noon News and the Reporter asks if any viewers know of a young boy who was adopted 20 some years ago and gave his date of birth. The biological family was looking for the adopted boy to get some medical information. My Aunt called the TV Station, who told her to call a Judge. The TV Station really felt this is who they were looking for. The suspension mounts ...... Long story short, my Cousin then met his biological family. I don't know how close he is with them, (I'm out of the loop), but I always thought that was a great story.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,638
Location
South Florida
Originally Posted By: Gasbuggy
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
The guy that donated the sperm was the guy that inseminated your mom. Guaranteed. He was a "maverick", he lied about the "resident physician" description. Probably liked the idea of spreading his seed across the land.
Medical communities are pretty tight knit. I doubt a someone would get far telling a local doctor that they are a local doctor. Just seems like a pretty stupid approach if you're going to make up a job. "hey, I'll lie and say I'm a doctor, I'm sure this doctor won't be able to tell I'm full of [censored]"
You misread what I wrote. What I implied was that the fertility doctor is the one providing the samples, and likely, he lied where the samples came from.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,638
Location
South Florida
My mom at age 45 was informed by her mother that her father, who had been her father her entire life, was not her actual biological father. Mom was devastated. She found her real father was still alive, so mom and I boarded a plane to go meet the guy. To say it was a disaster would be an understatement. Her biological father was receptive to the idea of having a new long lost daughter, but his family was very hostile and unwelcoming. They could not understand the idea that a daughter would want to meet her biological father. They assumed that she just wanted to work her way into the will and take a portion of the inheritance. Basically, it was a giant mess, and I bet if we could go back and do it over again, my mom would have preferred to just forget it and just go back to "her dad" being "her dad" again. She never talked to or saw her biological father again.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2015
Messages
5,755
Location
New England
Fascinating stuff, John...hope that you can find your biological dad. My mother was Norwegian and my father was Finnish, so I wonder if I might have some Saami in me...my wife and I have been talking about having our DNA analyzed. My mother-in-law just did it and was truly shocked by the results...it seems likely that the woman she thought was her mother, who died when she was a small child, was really not her mother.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
2,724
Location
PA
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Originally Posted By: Gasbuggy
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
The guy that donated the sperm was the guy that inseminated your mom. Guaranteed. He was a "maverick", he lied about the "resident physician" description. Probably liked the idea of spreading his seed across the land.
Medical communities are pretty tight knit. I doubt a someone would get far telling a local doctor that they are a local doctor. Just seems like a pretty stupid approach if you're going to make up a job. "hey, I'll lie and say I'm a doctor, I'm sure this doctor won't be able to tell I'm full of [censored]"
You misread what I wrote. What I implied was that the fertility doctor is the one providing the samples, and likely, he lied where the samples came from.
Oh, I'm sorry, yea I could see that happening. I wonder if his mom sees a resemblance?
 

john_pifer

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Messages
4,270
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
I actually remember what the guy looked like. Red hair, fair complexion. I have a half-sister who's 4 years younger. Mom went back to Dr. Alexander to have the procedure repeated for my sister. I went along for at least one of the visits, and met Dr. Alexander. I'm pretty fair-complected, but I really don't think the doc was lying about the donor, and I'll tell you why. First, it would be highly unethical. He may have been considered a maverick among his peers who was willing to push the envelope of what was considered to be the conventional wisdom, but I have no reason to think he was a liar. Second, using medical students as donors was and still is accepted and common practice in this field. Third, my sister was conceived through a different donor. This was done because I looked nothing like my Dad who raised me. He had black hair, dark complexion, full black beard, dark brown eyes - sort of Mediterranean looks, while I have blue eyes and was "towheaded" if you know what that means - very light, almost white, blond hair. Once, while we were on a boat in Toronto, some random guy made the comment that "there's no way that's your kid". In fact it was obvious - due to genetics. So, on the next go-round, they asked for a donor who was darker-complected. And my sister is a bit darker than me.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top