What the fertile world doesn’t understand

This post has been a long time coming where I rail on those groups of people who come across as enemies of infertility. They are the ones who refer to infertiles as being bitter, entitled and selfish. They are the ones who had no problem conceiving their own children yet judge those who are infertile for the decisions they make to create their families. However, I’ve instead decided not to rail on them but to reach out to help them better understand where the infertile community is coming from. Because I’ve learned that ranting and attacking doesn’t make anyone want to listen to you or be empathetic to your cause.

When I first got my diagnosis of non obstructive azoospermia, I did a lot of research on donor conception. One of the groups I came across was one called the Center for Bioethics and Culture network. Their issues range from euthanasia, abortion, cloning and assisted reproduction/third party reproduction. They are against assisted reproduction, which is something that allows couples who are infertile have children. It’s something that their two heads Matthew Eppinette and Jennifer Lahl as well as other employees at their organization never had to deal with and are very uniformed when it comes to the emotional tool infertility takes on its victims.

Please don’t get me wrong, I understand where these groups are coming from. I respect that they have moral and ethical issues with assisted reproduction and I do believe we need to study the long term impacts of these procedures. However, where Mr. Eppinette and Ms. Lahl completely miss the boat is their lack of empathy for the infertile, recognition of the emotional pain infertility causes and why is infertility on the rise. The lack of empathy in their work is evident even though they try to go around it with things like we feel bad for those going through Infertility and will finish off the piece with comments like “Adult selfish desires trumps again”. So that also ties into their lack of recognition of the emotional pain that we go through. They don’t understand what drives individuals to go to the lengths they do to have children. People who have children will never ever understand it. But the least they can do is recognize it.

My biggest issue with this group is that for all the research that this organization does they to next to no research on the rise in infertility and the environmental factors that are contributing to it. Instead Ms. Lahl’s tactics are to shame those going through infertility such as she did in this piece. What she fails to realize is that the majority of people going through infertility are in their late 20’s and early 30’s not their 40’s like she would have you believing. I believe her organization if they truly care about the health of the human race should investigate the companies that pollute and add toxins to our environment that have contributed to the increase in infertility.

As I said earlier I respect this group’s passion I just believe if they were more supportive and recognized certain aspects of infertility that I would support their organizations cause. Their tactics of shaming infertiles don’t gain the support of the infertility community but instead anger it which will lead to both sides becoming enemies rather than working together.


41 thoughts on “What the fertile world doesn’t understand

  1. babyhopeful

    Infertility is the hardest thing my husband and I have ever experienced. You are totally right, people who have no problems really don’t get how hard it is. Emotionally, socially & physically (hospital appointments etc) it stretches you to the limits.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I don’t think they could ever fully understand it. But the least they could do is recognize it and stop judging us and the decisions we make.

  2. Pingback: “And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” ― Sylvia

  3. Pingback: “And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” ― Sylvia

  4. Pingback: “And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” ― Sylvia

  5. marilynn

    OK here is the challenge then as I know Ms. Lahl and am friends with some of the donor offspring in her movie Anonymous Father’s Day.
    The process called donor conception is nothing more than black market adoption and it hurts a lot of people. How can we end the process and hold people accountable as parents for their own offspring without offending people that are facing infertility. How can we get people to understand that they are not really treating infertility by “using donors”, donors are just having kids and are not raising them. You mentioned focusing more energy on stopping the causes of infertility and I think your on the money there. We should be more focused on stopping the causes of it than in covering it up by selling people on the idea that they can become parents by paying another person not to raise their offspring. The problem is only going to get worse if the response to the health problem is to manufacture orphans rather than do what you suggested Ms. Lahl’s organization do by focusing on the cause of inertility and stamp it out.
    Can you craft a sensitive statement that discourages people from believing that “using donors” is a fertility treatment to help them “have children”? If you can, I will personally share your idea with her and with some of the people whose father’s were donors from her movie and you might well have an opportunity to transform the way they communicate the need to stop the parental abandonment that has come to be referred to as a fertility treatment. I’m serious. The goal of the message from them is to stop the madness of parental abandonment under the guise that it is a fertility treatment, they are not trying to slam people facing infertility. Is there a better way for her organization and for donor offspring and those sympathetic to their loss of rights to prevent the future abandonment of parental responsibilities in the name of infertility treatment?

    1. Stephanie Blessing

      In case you are interested, there are people at the CBC who have dealt with years of infertility.

      I am a donor conceived person, and you are right in that I don’t know about infertility personally. I also don’t know about sexual abuse, alcoholism, infidelity, or murder personally. Having a personal experience with a given situation can be helpful in discerning how someone might feel in a particular situation, but it isn’t the defining factor in how to go about “fixing” a particular situation. I understand that infertility is a difficult thing to deal with. I also understand that my mother’s desperate need to have a child (which was “fixed” when she got pregnant via anonymous sperm “donor”) has now left *me* with pain that can never be fixed. Sure, I may find my biological father at some point, but I will still have gone all of my life until that point without him. And who is to say that if I ever do find him, that he may utterly reject me? Further damage and heartache. Where is the infertile world’s care for my pain?

      There’s a reason why I don’t generally play the “I’m hurt and nobody cares” card when discussing the ethics of donor conception…because nobody cares that I hurt. I’m a big girl. I’m over that.

      I am against donor conception DESPITE my experience with my dad – the man who raised me. I loved him as much as any daughter could love her dad. But determining right from wrong based upon emotion and experience is dangerous. There has to be a standard of what is right and what is wrong, no matter the circumstances. Otherwise we find ourselves living in a relativistic culture where right and wrong is defined by how one feels at a fixed moment in time, and following that logic, why have a court of law to hand down punishment for wrong-doing if there IS no wrong-doing?

      Like you said, focus on the the factors that cause infertility. I’m pretty certain that we can all agree with that.

      1. gsmwc02 Post author

        Thank you so much for providing feedback. I’ll be sure to add your blog to my resources page as I believe it’s important for anyone considering using donor sperm to build their family. Infertility is so mentally and emotionally draining on couples that it’s easy to forget that the baby we desire will become an adult some day and how the decisions we make can impact them. Hearing your voice is so important for future generations.

        If what you are saying is true about the CBC and them having employees who have gone through infertility, I find their lack of empathy and compassion towards infertile couples even more disturbing. I would think those employees who have gone through infertility could influence their research and publications regarding infertility. I know some critics of theirs focus on their religious background but that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t discriminate against someone because of their religious beliefs. But I do have an issue with a group that IMO does not discuss the emotional impact of infertility, the societal pressures and stigmas that the childless face and that not all infertility is the result of people being too old to reproduce. In our case if we tried to have children in our mid to late 20’s or 30/31 when we actually started trying the results would have been the same.

        Again I thank you for your feedback and wish you the best on your journey.

      2. gsmwc02 Post author

        BTW Stephanie, I do care that you and others have been hurt and will always have hurt. Regardless of whether you or others care about the hurt of those in the infertility community, I never like to see another person or group of people suffer. I truly do wish you the best.

      3. My parent's donor is my father

        I am also ‘donor conceived’ and I agree with Stephanie. And I too would never want to replace any person who I loved/loved me in my life. But I do not support the practice. I wrote two “anonymous” submissions to the Anonymous Us Project (anonymousus . org – remove spaces to link) that I thought you help to explain a little:
        The Dream
        Regrets and Redemption – Truth from the Hereafter

        I am in a white space. On one side of me all the people in my life who have passed away, who I loved and grieve for, forming a half circle around me, radiating pure love and acceptance. My mom, my dad, my mother’s mother and father, my dad’s mother and father, and my step-father. But the circle isn’t complete. The other side of the circle is still empty. We are waiting for someone.

        Then, a man walks towards me out of the mist. I know that he is my father. He’s smiling and radiating the same pure love and acceptance as my known family. We hug for the first time. I feel euphoric. My father’s mother and father follow, then their parents. The circle closes around me. We all embrace. No one’s love or relationship or rights trumps another. I am finally complete and I feel, for the first time, a sense of calm. All the grief, at last, is gone.
        The gift of family
        My father in law gave his children and grandchildren the most wonderful and meaningful gift this past Christmas, the story of his genealogical family from his mother’s side and the beginning of his own autobiography ending when he met my husband’s mother. Beautifully written bound and presented. He left it to his children and grandchildren to continue to write the story from their own perspective.

        Why does genealogy, mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins of the shared dna kind matter? Because they ground, bind and root us to people and history. Their stories matter. We build our stories from theirs and pass them on to our own children.

        I do not need to have blood ties to my husband’s father’s family genealogical history to call them family. But I am a part of my chidren’s genealogical history and so too is my parent’s donor, including the rich history of all the many people whose life both his and ours traveled through.

        The greatest gift I’ve been given from my donor conception experience is how precious family is. My parent’s donor is my father. He matters. There really is no such thing as a donor in relation to his offspring.

      4. gsmwc02 Post author


        I am very aware of anonymous us and the work that Alana has done. In fact I have her site linked in my resources page for people who visit this site to utilize.

        Thank you for sharing and providing your feedback.

    2. gsmwc02 Post author

      LOL, little do you know that I’ve tweeted Ms. Lahl on a number of occasions and gotten not much of a response from her. And her organization actually follows me on twitter where I promote my blog. If she and her organization cared, I think I would have received feedback by now. From my standpoint they don’t care. They are choosing to focus on the end result of donor conception not what leads people in that direction. Much like you they don’t get the emotional and societal impact of those who are physically unable to conceive a child. I believe they have good intentions but are ignoring the environmental causes of infertility as well.

      I don’t really give a fuck whether you will support or not support my cause. Just understand that attitudes like yours that attack those who are unable to have children due to infertility will be ignored and people will continue to pursue third party reproduction and do everything possible to adopt babies. You don’t get that if societal attitudes change and the infertility community receives the support needed that the demand for third party reproduction and domestic infant adoption will drop and your issues will become non issues because one group of people will not being choosing these methods to build families.

      1. marilynn

        I am greatly encouraged by your last paragraph. Are you saying that if the infertile community felt more supported by society in general they would not try to get parents to abandon their children so they could raise them as an infertility treatment? That’s really getting to to the bottom of this. So then what your saying is that you do think its wrong for people to abandon their children in the name of fertility treatment you just don’t think it will stop happening until the infertile community is addressed in a more respectful and understanding way? So again, Greg I’m asking you to share with me what that message would sound like. Tell me how the message would have to be phrased in order to be totally respectful to people experiencing infertility to get them not to encourage parental abandonment as a treatment for their infertility because obviously it does not work or cure anything. Clearly it only causes more pain more heartache. You obviously see that this does not help infertile people have their own children, it helps them obtain children that will grow up without the rights of normal people. So again, I’m asking you to show me and others how to discourage people from wanting others to abandon their children to solve their problem of childlessness. What is the right way to say it? I’m being nice. Your having a fight with me when I’m not fighting with you. i’m trying to learn something valuable from you. How to prevent parental abandonment while being encouraging and empathetic to people who face difficulties having children – like I do, like you do like millions of others do. We want people facing that dark and difficult time not to look to people who they call donors tfor children because donors are just men and women paid to give up their children and that is horrid reprehensible tragic and far worse than any pain of childlessness as their children loose real live family, not just the dream of family. Obviously the loss of reall family an real rights is far more tragic than coming to terms with never having a family to begin with. Lets put this in perspective so that the infertile community is not instigating family separation.

      2. marilynn

        BTW there is no such thing as family building. Its just a buzz word for raising other people’s kids. Makes people feel better. It’s not real. Joining families, that’s real. Coming together growing together totally real.

      3. Karthik

        I agree with you. Your below line is exactly correct. ” They are choosing to focus on the end result of donor conception not what leads people in that direction”

    3. marilynn

      Hey Greg
      Stephanie is one of the Stars of Anonymous Father’s Day Jennifer Lahl’s movie. She stopped by because I wrote her. So in case you think nobody is interested in your opinion – I’m telling you, we are all on the edge of our seats. I really care what you think. What’s it like to not give a fuck Greg? Must be really liberating not to care how your actions impact others.

      1. gsmwc02 Post author


        I am saying that if the stigmas, societal pressures and outcasting that the childless face did not exist that those facing infertility would likely not pursue or would be more ethical in pursuing the types of alternative parenthood that they do today. In addition if there are advancements in medicine and prevention of infertility there will be fewer people that will be unable to conceive children. I just believe those two things will be easier to change than making changes to the law with how long it will take to influence politicians to change the laws.

        My advice to you is to stop telling those dealing with infertility that what they go through is silly compared to the type of grief others go through. Never ever say ones grief is worse than another’s. Grief is different in each persons case. Saying someone’s grief is worse than the others dismisses that persons grief. Respect and be empathetic towards those who are infertile. Don’t give them advice on what worked for you or what you would do in their shoes. Stick to the perspective of the donor conceived child and what they go through w/out referring to the people who raised them. Don’t refer to the non biological parent as a stranger or make them sound insignificant. Get rid of bullshit terms like “real family”. No matter how you try to spin it family is defined not only by DNA. And don’t shame those dealing with infertility because they desire to become parents. Look at Stephanie’s comment that she loves her dad (the man who raised her) but still objects to third party reproduction. I thought she is a great example of how to approach someone who is dealing with infertility in a discussion about adoption and/or third party reproduction.

        You are wrong about family building. Anyone who tries to have children is building a family. You tried to build a family with your ex husband and then it was separated in your divorce for example by using your logic. You are responsible yourself for separating your family by using your logic. For those who pursue non conception versions of becoming parents are building families. That doesn’t mean someone like an adoptee loses a family it just means they have two sets of families. Hopefully each has a present role in their lives. Just because one family is a DNA/blood stranger doesn’t mean they are bond strangers.

        What actions have I taken that have impacted others? And as I’ve told you I’ve personally contacted the CBC and Ms. Lahl and received no feedback from them or seen anything in their work that tells me my voice was heard. They follow me on twitter where I promote my blog so they have to be well aware of this piece and my stances on these issues. If they cared or felt these were an important issues to their cause I believe they would either be researched or there would be a publication on these topics. I’m not looking to be personally recognized all I am looking for is to the issues that impact the infertility community be addressed. I’m more interested in global change than personal recognition.

  6. marilynn

    Steph and My Parent’s Donor are personal friends of mine, they stopped by because I asked them to check out your blog and comment. You were gracious to them I am trying to read and understand your suggestions to me such that I might garner similar politeness from you. I see that you are running a good resource here for people facing infertility. I know that you have your own reasons for not rearing donor offspring yourself I would just like you to be open to learning about all the other reasons not to do it so that maybe you could be considered an advocate of the donor offspring that you are being so polite to.

    You mentioned that adopted people don’t loose a family they have two families. You are on to something there. Unfortunately they do legally loose a family and there are laws that we should be looking to change in order to make adoption as ethical as possible. Currently adoptive parents in totally ethical adoptions have to do damage control until the laws are changed. Most adoptive parents these days are on board with the idea that they are bringing a unique individual with a family of their own into their family fold and they try hard to be respectful of the individual they are adopting and that is perfect. Some day the laws will change and there will be less adopted people angry at loosing their kinship in their bio family cause it really does not need to happen in order for them to be loved and raised by adoptive parents and have a permanent lifelong position in both families.

    The part I think would be helpful for you to understand and educate others on as an advocate for infertile people is that legal kinship is lost twice as bad for donor offspring because their original birth record is lacking the name of their bio parent and in some cases a non bio parent name is added without a court approved adoption. They are indeed separated from their bio family physically and legally. When they reunite on sites like the DSR or FTDNA their kinship is not legally recognized and won’t be until and unless the laws are changed. People raising donor offspring need to understand that telling them that they are the offspring of a donor is different than telling them they were adopted because people don’t typically give their children up for adoption to provide children for adoptive parents, they given them up because they are unable to raise them. This means the child is not viewed as property by the relinquishing parent – they did not sell them or their parenthood, they did not gift or trade them or their parenthood either, they simply could not raise their child for whatever reason and an adoptive family had to be sought out. The adoptive family typically does not view the adopted child and parenthood as something they were given as a gift, or purchased or traded for. They made themselves available to adopt a child or infant whose parents and family could not care for them. They had nothing to do with why the child separated from their family. They will be raised separate even if they see their family so there is some physical separation. With people whose fathers and mothers donated gametes it was done as a service to provide a child as a gift to people often unknown people so it can and does color the person’s view of the people raising them, even colors the view of the rearing bio parent and of course there is the loss of rights to deal with.

    I just think you might feel its an acceptable alternative for getting to raise kids because your right now being bombarded with marketing information by companies who stand to profit from your decisions. I just think you have established a strong voice. You have a certain level of empathy for donor offspring and the confusion they might have in their back grounds. I’d hate to think you’d believe that this could be solved by ending anonymous donation. Sure if ending anonymous donation were coupled with a requirement for them to be named parents on the birth records of their offspring in order that their offspring be treated equally with other minors who deserve court approved adoptions where effort is put in to vet instances where bio parents are compensated for relinquishing their parental obligations – yes ending anonymity would work. If coupled with being held accountable for offspring as parents and then having to follow the same rules everyone else follows when they don’t want to or cannot raise their offspring.

    It’s OK to say that some currently legal methods of obtaining children to raise are unethical. You are in a good position to educate people on ethical choice making since you are infertile yourself. I felt or still feel my own struggles with infertility allow me to say I get it I understand and I chose not to do this to someone – you point out that I lack the cred because I ultimately was given real treatment for infertility that solved the infertility. This is where the money should be spent right on cures? Anyway, since you have not been cured, your voice is then more powerful and convincing than mine. I have an agenda a simple one, that people be treated fairly at birth and have equal rights. This is not an agenda that hurts people who are infertile. I hope you can see that and I hope you can also see I’m trying to listen to you and learn from you and bring to you some of the more active donor offspring advocates who are in Lahl’s movies to listen and talk to you. I think you have clout. You could gain so many donor offspring and adoptee advocates with this blog. We really should be focusing on how to cure infertility I got lucky.

    We cannot begin to cure infertility in people young like yourselves if we continue to record them on birth records as having been healthy enough to have produced offspring. Nor can we understand who is fertile and who is not by hiding the identities of the individuals producing the most offspring – hundreds of offspring. Get mad that your tax money goes to pay for medical research on heritable diseases and birth defects using information collected from falsified birth records. All that does is undermine the results of medical research that we all pay for and creates a false belief that the under-served infertile community is healthy and needs no help. The only help the infertile community appears to be receiving is in covering up their need for a cure. Not talking about being just too old but people of prime child bearing age such as yourself. What’s happening environmentally?

    I’d like to get along with you. I’d like you to give a F what I think. I’d like you to not see me as insensitive to anyone when all I want is to see the people I help get their equal rights at no cost to the equal rights of people who are infertile. I’m truly sorry for giving you the impression I’m an enemy to anyone that cannot conceive children. Nothing I suggest as changes to the law would interfere with their rights or freedoms. If there is a more sensitive way to express that teach me because I’d like to learn.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author


      My objective here is to be a resource for those who are dealing with infertility. I’m not ever going to advocate for infertile couples to only do certain things to build their families. I’m not ever going to judge them for deciding to build their families in ways my wife and I decided not to. I have no right to do so. So you will never get me to encourage those going through infertility to not do something. I will just put information out there and let people make their own decisions just as you did in your infertility journey.

      We are hardly being bombarded with information from companies “who stand to profit” from our decision. We have yet to really research adoption agencies in our area. And my wife and I are educated enough to not be influenced by groups or people. We are smart enough to make our decisions. The only thing I am being bombarded with is people like yourself whose child stand to profit from our tax dollars if we remain childless.

      Birth records have nothing to do with curing infertility. There are plenty of people who are infertile whose parents were obviously fertile. Nice try though.

      1. marilynn

        Exactly what do you think I’m trying to say with the birth record thing? Do you realize that it appears that infertile people are fertile and need no help, like people who have medical histories and fall into advanced age groups or are in particular professions say for instance or live in certain regions who may well be suffering from infertility and impacted by environmental conditions who are being recorded as being fertile. Birth stats are a sign of the nation’s health fertility is a sign of the nation’s over all health and millions of people who cannot conceive children are being recorded as biological parents with their full medical and social histories en toe so that maybe it looks like people who live near toxic waste dumps are totally cranking out kids (extreme example). But history taken about the bio father includes heart and diet and a host of info some of which might actually unbeknownst to him or medical researchers be causing infertility but they’ll never dial into that because on the record it looks like they are just fine. The people who have the most children whose info really should be tracked tightly with their children because that is the advantage of not being an only child…anyway they appear to not be having any kids at all. The fertility rate is actually dropping in the child bearing age groups (on the record) and rising in non child bearing age groups.

      2. gsmwc02 Post author

        I think you are attempting to further outcast the infertile community by treating them as second class citizens. It’s disgusting and disturbing.

      3. marilynn

        So you’d advocate that black market adoption is a perfectly reasonable way to react to infertility when ethical legal adoption is an option too?

      4. gsmwc02 Post author

        And you are advocating those who are unable to have children should just suck it up and live childless outcasted and enslaved to our child filled society?

  7. marilynn

    Also since you keep picking on me for being divorced you should know that I am not divorced, I’m separated. You should also know that while divorce separates children from their other parent physically part of the time, it does not separate them from them permanently unless there is a restraining order and its for their own safety. Also you should know that it is nothing like the separation that bio parents cause with abandonment at birth coupled with not being named on a birth record because their offspring is not legally separated from the family there is no loss of kinship or support rights.

    Thoughtful parents who separate or divorce don’t try to poison their children against the other parent because they want their child to have a good childhood which means a good relationship with both parents if possible. It may not be easy for parents to keep the bad mouthing to themselves but its important not to make the child feel that half of who there are is a source of irritation to each parent. I try hard to conceal from my child the adult reasons for our separation. It’s hard because she was around so much fighting. We separated because of his drinking and he’s now in recovery. I never speak badly of him or his family even when I know they might speak badly of me. I try every day to point out great qualities in her that she inherited from him. I call her paternal grandparents with her weekly just to have her say hello and I want very much for her to think she has the very best father in the world and for her to know that we both love her very much. It is a source of great sadness to me that we have had trouble living together peacefully. I admire couples with strong marriages such as you’ve explained yours. I look to things they do and am always willing to try anything. I’m an old fashioned girl despite my liberal beliefs. I don’t think divorce is wrong it’s just not for me not yet. It’s not all him, I share the blame on many issues, maybe I drove him to drink but he was driving my daughter drunk so there is a time to say let’s chill you know?

    Peace to you Greg. Nobody wants their marriage to fail. It’s much different than wanting your kid to be abandoned by one parent much different. Separations should always be mindful of maintaining the child’s connection to both sides of the family. It’s a shame when parents fail to do that. I agree

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Wouldn’t it make more sense for couples to make sure their marriages are stable before having children so they aren’t subject to family separation through divorce? Seems pretty selfish that unstable couples use having children to save their marriage. I’m just using your logic here so I think you should rethink your arguments if you believe I’m wrong on this.

      1. marilynn

        Huh? What makes you think we had kids to save our marriage? Had I said that here or in another comment? What is driving your comment about people having kids when their marriages are not good? They are married they are committed and there you go. In our particular case he did not feel up to the pressure of leaving his youth behind. Having a baby was something he was super into before she arrived. He’s since developed into an attentive father but it was kinda rough there for a while. Though he always loved her he just could not take the pressure

      2. gsmwc02 Post author

        Many married couples who are going through rough times think that having a child can save their marriage. Then they have the kid get divorced and the child suffers. The sad thing is that most infertile couples wait to have children and are responsible yet nature screws them. But that’s the way things work. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be responsible because irresponsibility is what gets rewarded in life.

      3. marilynn

        Also have you no response for the fact that divorce does not legally separate children from either parent their legal kinship remains intact? The emotional issues from spending time with each parent separately are no doubt difficult for kids and parents should feel a certain amount of pressure to find every way to avoid that but their legal rights are not severed as they are when one reproduces with someone they are paying to have abandon their parental responsibilities. Doesn’t that difference make any sense to you? And why are you so hell bent on picking on me about my marriage I’ve never once picked on you or any infertile people.

      4. gsmwc02 Post author

        I’m not picking on you, just using your own passive aggressive logic of going after a group of people. Doesn’t feel so good now does it?

  8. marilynn

    I’m listening to your advice but have a question. When you said for me to “stop telling those dealing with infertility that what they go through is silly compared to the type of grief others go through. Never ever say ones grief is worse than another’s. Grief is different in each persons case. Saying someone’s grief is worse than the others dismisses that persons grief. Respect and be empathetic towards those who are infertile.”

    I think you are talking about when I have on several occasions responded to posts about the grieving process people go through before what they call “moving on to donor egg or donor sperm”. Infertile people are often counseled to “grieve the loss of their biological child” by those who profit from selling them parental abandonment as an infertility treatment. They are even given the suggestion of having some sort of formal good bye ritual to the biological child they were never able to have so they can move forward and accept raising a child that is donor offspring. My response to these suggestions is to remember that if they wind up raising donor offspring, that the donor offspring will be grieving the loss of their real living bio relatives, not just imaginary bio relatives that they wish they could have been raised by. I do think it is important to highlight for people that the child they grieve never getting to raise is someone that was never born and does not exist and that if they go ahead with raising a person who is the offspring of a donor they will be encouraging someone to abandon their offspring which will cause their offspring to legally and physically be separated from half possibly all their biological relatives creating real loss and separation from living biological relatives that exist and nobody is making up any rituals for them to come to terms with their loss and nobody is explaining to them why they had to loose all that bio family at all just to get loved and raised by whoever is loving and raising them. I think it is important to highlight the difference between wishing you had a bio child to raise and having a bio parent that is not raising them. There is a bio parent and bio family they are kept from that really exists so the loss is really a loss – they have something they are kept from. Maybe I should not say one pain is greater than the other. I’ll learn from you on that and change the way I respond to these kinds of posts about grieving loss of the bio child never born. But tell me if you find it offensive to remind people that the pain they feel over not having a bio child at all might easily be matched by the pain a person feels not being raised by a bio parent they have that does exist or kept from a bio family that does exist. Is it OK to point out that the loss of an imaginary person hurts imagine the loss of a real person might hurt at least as much?

    You rewrite the message in a sensitive way driving the point home and I’ll present it just that way next time the opportunity arises. I will listen to what you have to teach and alter how I approach others if it will be more respectful.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Those dealing with infertility who are unable to conceive a child have to grieve the loss of their biological child regardless of how they proceed. Even those who end up living childless have to grieve that loss. Whatever a person has to do to work through their grief before deciding how to proceed, I fully support. We didn’t ever have a ritual for our loss but I know it has worked for others.

      Maybe you shouldn’t shouldn’t say one persons pain is greater than another’s? No, you absolutely should never compare different types of grief. Yet, you completely dismiss the infertility loss by saying they are grieving something that is imaginary and doesn’t exist. You don’t get it. Your ignorance, lack of respect and compassion for those going through infertility is truly amazing. You say you are trying to not be an enemy yet your actions say otherwise. You are the enemy and will continue to be one until you change your approach.

      My advice to you is don’t bother referring to the infertility grief at all when talking about donor conceived children or adoptee rights. Just stick to the issues on the side of the children. You have far too much hate and lack any compassion towards those going through infertility to discuss their grief at all. It’s obvious you are a bitter angry woman who is hurting and needs help in dealing with your hate of those going through infertility. If you continue to bring up and compare grief no one who is going through infertility is going to listen or care what you have to say.

      1. marilynn

        Greg you are so wound up in what you’ve imagined me into you don’t even read what your writing you could not have a soul and have written what you just wrote if you were thinking because I have to believe you are not cruel enough to tell me that I don’t know what it’s like to grieve the loss of a biological child when I held my moments old child in my arms until he died. When I told the doctors to call any Catholic church despite my not having gone to church since I was 7 please bring me a priest he’s dying he needs to be baptised so we could have a respectful funeral for him. I know what grieving the loss of a real biological baby feels like and let me tell you its far far far worse than the anguish of a miscarriage for a child that was never born but had a slight start. It’s the tiny casket and the baby roses and picking out the headstone and the words to put on the headstone of the only child I was told I was ever going to have. Far too dangerous for me to go through another pregnancy. 13 miscarriages. If anyone knows what it’s like to grieve the loss of a bio child that almost was it’s me and I will not let you tell me and your whole blog that what I have to say is not worth listening to and that nobody would care. I lost 13 pregnancies and burried a son and was told that pregnancy was too dangerous for me. I almost lost Ruby twice once at 8 months with gallons and buckets of blood on Kaiser emergency room floor I thought there was no possible way could be alive but she was, I just had to stay very still and take shots in my stomache till it was black three times a day. They were mad I conceived again. My body
        was just not set up to bring a baby that would live into this world. Then I got real treatment from a doctor who was experimenting. Don’t tell me I don’t know what grieving the loss of an almost bio child feels like when I was pregnant and lost 13 of my bio children to miscarriage before I gave birth to one so week and sick he died at birth. You think I can’t possibly understand what it feels like to grieve the loss of a bio child that never existed? Are you totally high or just completely oblivious to what kind of a jack ass you’ll make out of yourself for saying that to me Mr. Infertility Sensitivity. If anyone has the belt notches and life experience and personal points of reference to say – loosing a bio child that was born is a million times worse than loosing one that never lived at all it’s me. You can say that everyone experiences grief differently and that nobody’s pain is worse than the next guy but any clod knows they’d not tell a woman who just buried a son in the tiniest casket in the world in the dirt and watched them shovel dirt on his casket nobody would be so insensitive as to compare their emotional loss at miscarriage to that nor would I ever compare my loss of a son I knew for a day with that of a woman that lost a son she raised for even so much as a year let alone to adulthood. My anguish my pain could never be as great as that of a mother who’d outlived her adult child with all those memories and all the people her child knew and left behind. My child knew nobody hardly even me he was just born, but he was born alive a fact that is very important to me. He lived. His name was Samuel Rex Huff and he is my son even though he only lived for part of a day. The misscarriages and the loss of the immaginary child after sam the one I thought I’d never had they were sadness over something that never was. Even with the miscarriage and I did loose something but it was not a child, I did not loose a living breathing person in their own right. I lost the hope of a person my imaginary vision of a person. I did not loose 13 children, 13 flesh and blood relatives. When I suggest that these fertility advisors put the loss in perspective I’m speaking as someone who knows the difference and has had to face life with the belief that she’d never see a child survive no matter how often she got pregnant its a freaking miracle she’s here against doctors orders with the help of one smart doc who treated me and my problem for real, not just having my husband fertilize some other woman’s egg or having some stranger carry some other woman’s egg and me pretending to be that kid’s mom because I happen to be married to their father and envisioned myself to be their mother. I got what you say you want to see more of – real infertility treatment. Not someone else’s baby black market adopted and taken from their family to asuage my feelings of loss over a baby I never had – heck even over the child I did have and loose how could I have the audacity to compare my loss of 1 person who lived barely a day to the loss of a person whose lost contact and legal kinship with half fully half of the people she’s related to? How dare I have that kind of balls to imply that I could ever match that child’s loss of people who are in all likelihood alive and there is no reason for them to be separate, no reason for the loss of kinship how could I compare that living breathing forced kind of loss of many people to my loss of one biological child that barely lived a day. I know my pain was the most horrible thing in the world with the loss of one bio relative my bio child. Imagine the amplifiation when you multiply the bodies.

        You’ve put me down dismissed me said that I could not possibly understand the pain of infertility or the choices that real infertile people are faced with or their pain of not getting to have a bio child – your just plain rude. I care about the rights of people that they be equal never once have I said anything that would leave infertile people treated unequally or that they’d loose any rights. I just want to spread info that maybe will stop them before they destroy someones family. You have been so freaking mean to me. I usually don’t get personally hurt but you win. You don’t care about the experience of any other infertile person but yourself ya’ll get carte blanch just pillage and plunder and take other people’s kids write your names on their birth records black market style – and you won’t judge anyone but someone who says its wrong. You got no problem judging me and what I should do and frankly I don’t think your qualified. You don’t know what it feels like to really be infertile till you’ve buried a baby and been told you’d never have another. So with that have a good day pretending to be thoughtful and caring.

      2. gsmwc02 Post author


        I said nothing about your infertility losses not being real. Please tell me where I’ve ever said your experience doesn’t count. All I’ve ever said is that your experience was different. That doesn’t mean more or less painful it means different. You dealt with miscarriages and still born deaths. I didn’t. You were able to eventually have a biological child, while I wasn’t. I’m not going to argue whose was worse. Neither one of us gets a prize for the toughest infertility grief.

        So you got upset for nothing because I’ve never said anything you accused me of. You took what I’ve said out of context and misunderstood them.

  9. marilynn

    You said irresponsibility is what gets rewarded!!Now you get it – people are rewarding men and women for behaving irresponsibly toward their offspring and having them with people they don’t know and when they don’t intend to take care of them themselves – they are getting rewarded with people saying they are giving a gift they get rewarded with money sometimes when all they are doiing is behaving irresponsibly so that someone else can pick up their slack and do their job for them. Now you get it. People are rewarded even praised for their irresponsible behavior. How can anyone be responsible by encouraging even helping to reward irresponsibility on such a massive level as having kids and not taking care of them?

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      No Marilynn, as usual you miss the point. My point is those who irresponsibly have children such as those with unstable marriages, those who are not ready to parent and those unable to parent don’t deal with infertility. Whereas those people who wait until they have stable marriages and lives being responsible are the ones dealing with infertility and unable to have children. Why is it that the drug affix with a bunch of children that aren’t being cared for can conceive another child while the stable caring responsible married couple can’t conceive a child? Does this make sense now?

      1. marilynn

        truly frustrating I agree. But children are not really a reward for good behavior so its not like when an irresponsible person has a kid that it is a reward. Kids are not really a reward to their parents anymore than parents are a reward to their children, its just people and who they are related to. I do know what you mean I’ve thought the same thing myself. You might like the movie idocracy it is a movie that deals with exactly that.

        When we think of kids as something that a person does or does not deserve based on good or bad behavior it turns the kid into something like property that people think they can earn or buy or that people think they can sell or gift. Infertility is not punishment for bad behavior, it’s not like people that have trouble conceiving don’t “deserve kids”. They come when they come, they are an obligation to care for and we discourage people who are young and unmarried and not prepared or are heavily addicted to drugs we discourage them from making babies before they are prepared to care for them. We encourage the very behavior that you say infertile people regret which is responsible thoughtful reproduction when we are prepared and in a good stable relationship with the person we are planning to reproduce with. It takes longer to find the right person emotionally and they might not be able to hae kids so people start the process over find new mates takes a while, stuff happens. It seems like irresponsible people have kids so easy I guess just because they are being so random about it and just deal with the fall out. And yes your tax dollars support their irresponsibility.
        It is not the kids fault though and not every irresponsible reproducer is an irresponsible parent. Lots of great parents did not plan to become parents when they did but they did what they were supposed to and raised their kids with love.

        So don’t you think its ironic that we encourage irresponsible reproduction by donors? And reward it not with getting to keep the kid but with money or praise? I mean what could be more irresponsible than having a bunch of offspring that you don’t raise and don’t even bother to give up for adoption, for their protection and to ensure the people raising them are not just people that wanted a kid that have money but are really OK people? And plus giving a kid up for adoption if your reimbursed for your time is being paid not to raise your kid and that’s pretty clearly unethical. So do you see why I thought you meant paying people not to raise their irresponsibly created kids was rewarding irresponsible behavior? I totally agree with you its just we are actually underwriting their irresponsibility.

      2. gsmwc02 Post author


        You still do not get my point because you are so focused on your agenda that you are having trouble opening up your mind. As I said to you earlier you hate infertile people too much to talk about that side of donor conception and adoption. Stick to the adoptee and donor children perspective and stay away from the adoptive parent and parents who use third party reproduction to build their families.

  10. marilynn

    Greg so your what giving me a dose of medicine you think I’m giving infertile people? By picking on my marriage? I never picked on infertile people. I’m not passive aggressive, I say what I mean. There is no comparison between divorce and raising donor offspring. How are they similar when in one case the kid really looses contact and rights and in the other it is just reorganized? This would be easier if you responded to facts instead of pretending I attacked someone. Being logical would help me respond to you also

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I’m just using your logic which as you are learning is difficult to respond to. I’m not trying to attack and upset you but to enlighten you as to what it feels like to interact on the other end of these discussions.

      1. marilynn

        Greg why do you think I hate infertile people? Please clip for me the attacks on infertile people so I can understand what words you’ve taken such offense to. Let it be a lesson to me. Also you have avoided responding directly or commenting upon the content the facts that I’ve written down and your reply is the same every time – that I hate infertile people. For the most part what I have to say deals with the loss of rights of people who are abandoned in the name of fertility treatment – how is that an attack on the infertile? You gave a very sound and calm commentary in another post about an adopted person or birth mother post on her blog where you acquiesced and agreed that infertile people should not obtain children to raise in unethical ways. So why are you pushing back so hard when its pointed out that gamete donors are abandoning their kids for money which is inherently unethical or when I point out the long list of rights that their offspring are denied which makes it even more of an ethical problem. You were willing to say you don’t advocate unethical means of obtaining kids run with that and expand your understanding of what it takes to get custody of another person’s child in an ethical way that won’t cloud the adoptive relationship with resentment. You by the way have not appologized for disregarding my understanding of what it feels like to grieve the loss of a bio child that did not make it. If you are going to bill yourself as sensitive to people who have suffered the pain of infertility and you have written the kinds of spiteful and dismissive things to me you have here and on daughter’s blog you just look like a hypocrite. I lost thirteen pregnancies and a son at birth and you’ve had the balls to tell me how dare I suggest that the loss of real bio relatives for the donor offspring is a far greater tragedy than the loss of a bio child that exists only in your mind or existed only for a day. I am qualified to say that because they grieve the loss of real people, real relatives that are hidden from them that they are legally cut off from. I’m one of the people in the world whose grieved the loss of pregnancy after pregnancy told to check out egg donation or surrogacy if I wanted to have a kid. I’m qualified to say that the loss of my bio son or all those pregnancies or the dream of ever being a mother just does not hold a candle to someone whose lost a whole half a family of living people. How could I live with myself for wanting that to happen to them? How could they possibly love me for real when I’d take away half their family so that I could get to experience pregnancy or wht its like to raise a child? It’s not their job to give me a pregnancy experience or let me raise them and play house like they were really my own child. It’s not their job to live life as someone they are not in order to be my plan “B” child.

        Stephanie who posted earlier describes being the child of a father who was a donor this way – she was her mother’s plan B child. What she really wanted was a child with her husband, Steph’s step father who she refers to alternately as her step father and as Dad.

        They loved her yes but they wanted her to be a different person, be her step father’s offspring so she was not allowed to just be herself and be loved and raised, she had a job to do which is not be her father’s daughter. They hid half her family away so that her mother and her husband could live life as if they’d had a child together. Legally he’s her father and even in thought he is her father but she knows her actual father is out there somewhere and so are her relatives. Being told early would only address one part of the problem. They’d still be telling her they did something bad, they wanted her father to abandon her so they’d keep her to themselves. They did not want her to think of him as her father or his relatives as her relatives. Telling does not erase the crime it just makes them aware of it. So its good to tell just don’t think it makes the act it self acceptable

      2. gsmwc02 Post author


        I think you have a lot of animosity towards the infertile community likely stemming back to your adoption and the societal stigmas that led to it. When you continue to say the infertile’s grief is imaginary and fake you are dismissing and mocking their grief. You see those who were infertile who decided to not be outcasted in our child filled society having contributed to what you feel are problems. I recognize that which is why I suggested that you stick with the child side of things because no one is going to listen to someone who consistently attacks and dismisses the pain one who is infertile goes through.

        I did not disregard your understanding of infertility. What I said was your experience with infertility was very different on multiple fronts. I never said yours was worse or mine was worse, different was the word I used. That is not disregarding it. Thus your perspective especially as an adoptee is very different than mine and others who did not have similar experiences. So I have nothing to apologize for on that end. Understand you are an expert on your own infertility experience and no one else’s. The decisions you made during your infertility journey that had a happy ending are yours and I don’t judge you for how you decided to proceed. Had you not been able to conceive and just lived childless I wouldn’t have judged you for it. Just as I am an expert on my own experience not yours. You on the other hand have and continue to dismiss the infertility grief by saying it’s not as great of a loss as other types of loss. Again my suggestion would be to drop that. It makes you sound very insensitive.

        How Stephanie views her conception and her family is her business. It’s not up to anyone to tell her how to feel. It’s not up to you to start up trouble and for you to encourage her to hate the parents who raised her. If she does that’s her right but it’s not up to a hateful vindictive person like yourself to encourage that.

        The crime that you continue to ignore is that insensitive people like yourself who use tactics of guilting and shaming infertile couples who pursue these directions to build their families are just trying to avoid being outcasted as childless members of society. Just because your circumstances ended up being different doesn’t mean that is how every infertile couple should proceed.

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