Generation Cryo TV Series

As big of an advocate of the infertile community and the issues that impact us I am, I am also very interested in the children who grow up in families via adoption or third party reproduction. The only way we as a society can learn as to how to better parent these children is by hearing the voices of adults who were children in these families. So I was very interested when I saw that for once MTV wasn’t doing one of these trashy shows like “16 & Pregnant” or “Teen Mom”. Instead they were going to do a show on a group of donor conceived children siblings who are in search of the man who donated his sperm that conceived them called “Generation Cryo“.

The group of children come from all different types of families. Bree, who is the main character of the show has two parents who are lesbians. She is the child who is really driving the search for their sperm donor. There are two other families who had an infertile father. Though one of the couples was actually able to conceive a daughter after they used the same donor sperm to conceive their son. That was an interesting situation where I would be interested to know what their dad’s diagnosis was. And finally there were two other families with children whose single mothers used the same donor sperm to conceive their children.

The level of interest in finding the man responsible for donating the sperm varies in each child. Unlike donor conceived children in the past all of the children on the show were told of their conception story at a young age and for the most part are comfortable with it. Though the main character of the show appears and one other child appear to have some hurt over their conception. The main issue the show is bringing awareness to is not only donor conception but more specifically anonymous sperm donation.

As a viewer I really feel for the kids that have an interest in who was the man that makes up 50% of his DNA. I don’t think it’s right that they should have to go through an extensive search to find out who he is. But on the other hand thus guy donated his sperm under the agreement that he would be anonymous and not responsible in any way for the children that might have been conceived from his sperm. It’s a very emotional show on an emotional topic.

The parts of the show that hit home for me were the segments involving the infertile dad’s and how much they care for their children but at the same time still hurt from their infertility. I have to admit there were times during these segments that I teared up thinking about my own pain. It was a reminder that regardless of whether my wife and I become parents the hurt will always be there for me.

Overall the show is very well done. MTV deserves a lot of credit for putting together a show like this and not making the show trashy like they’ve done with other shows. I think it’s an important show for people to watch. I hope it doesn’t become a show where people turn to hate and judge infertile couples, same sex couples and single women who choose to build their families this way. Instead I hope our society first learns that changes are needed to how sperm is donated, second that they empathize and support these donor conceived children and third that they realize the demand for children for those who for whatever reason are unable to conceive a child.

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19 thoughts on “Generation Cryo TV Series

  1. My parent's donor is my father

    There are two ‘infertile’ dad’s (in the first 2 episodes) who have very different approaches but yet similar. The first dad, father of 2 ‘donor’ conceived children, was very openly pained and hurting about his infertility and seemed very threatened by having his children express any interest or connection with their biological father. His children’s disinterest (at least publicly) are obviously a result of wanting to protect him, out of love and loyalty – because they are very aware of how passionate and sensitive their dad is. The second father, to a donor conceived son and natural conceived daughter, was much less pained. He seemed more stable and supportive over it all. Do you think that was because he actually proved to overcome his infertility by conceiving his own biological daughter? Or maybe he just has a different level of emotional intelligence? But his ‘donor’ conceived son is obviously affected by his non-biological relationship with his dad, perhaps because of his sisters biological relationship with their dad? I got the impression that this boy’s aversion to his ‘donor’ conception status and ‘donor’ family connections are related to this.
    In this trailer for Generation Cryo:
    (http : //www . thewrap . com/mtvs-generation-cryo-can-16-half-siblings-find-sperm-donor-dad-video/)
    The first dad very passionately and emotionally said “This guy ain’t family, he ain’t family” and the second dad in the second episode also said that his son’s biological father wasn’t family. This really bothered me….I think everyone could learn a lesson from the words of the siblings in support of each other “I’m here for you every step of the way, we’re your family” and they are family because they share the same biological father. Yes, he too is family. Embrace each other!

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I am not sure but that’s a great question about the reasons for the two dads having slightly different feelings. You could be right that Jesse’s dad because he was eventually able to conceive a child is more comfortable with Jesse meeting the donor than the other infertile dad. But it’s hard to know for sure. Everyone processes things differently, plus you don’t know if either went for therapy prior to deciding on donor sperm.

      It is interesting how different the non biological parent approach is compared to the biological parent. Even in the case of Bree, her non biological mom was more reserved about approving her search than her biological mother. So it goes just beyond the non biological parent being infertile. In Brees case her non biological parent just doesn’t have the equipment to conceive Bree with her biological mom.

      Reply
  2. My parent's donor is my father

    I just wanted to add another observation, I think dad number two told his son that the ‘donor’ is not family because he felt that that was what his son needed to hear from him to help his son feel more connected to his dad (and feel equal to his sister who has a biological connection with their dad). I think dad number one told his children that the ‘donor’ is not family because he felt that that is what he wanted his son/daughter to believe because of his insecurities and so that his feelings wouldn’t be hurt. His children are put in position of protecting the fragility and insecurity of their dad. It’s a role reversal. As a member of the male infertility community, this is something to think about.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I agree with you in both cases. I felt bad for Jesse and how his sister gives him a hard time about not being biologically connected to their dad. That wasn’t right.

      The societal pressures and stigmas of being childless and an infertile man come into play with dad number one. When you have people like Marilynn who believe that only the people who conceive children are parents it encourages the insecurities in infertile men like you see in dad number one.

      Reply
      1. My parent's donor is my father

        The adults have all the power. Always and forever. No law will ever change that. I respect and admire Marilynn’s perspective and advocacy but I don’t agree that the laws of man will change or will do much to change the human condition. I believe in love and truth. Every thing in life is either a gift or a lesson, if your lucky the lesson is the gift.

    2. My parent's donor is my father

      Oh my goodness. You need a hug. I’m not going into that rabbit hole. Don’t let these internet discussions upset you so much. It can become toxic. I know. I understand. Love to you!

      Reply
      1. My parent's donor is my father

        My dad’s cancer that he died from was a life lesson that turned out to be life gift in lessons.

      2. My parent's donor is my father

        And later learning about his infertility…I’ve been down the rabbit hole and I’ve found my way back. That’s already TMI…but wanted you to know that I really meant, I know, I understand.

      3. gsmwc02 Post author

        Oh no, I wasn’t implying that you meant that it’s a gift that people are made to suffer and die in painful ways. There are those (I get the impression Marilynn is one) who do make those comments and feel that way but I didn’t get the impression that was your intention at all. I actually felt you had good intentions with your statement and wanted you to expand upon the concept. Your comment by no means upset me. In fact I really enjoyed your response in using your dad’s situation as an example. You are absolutely right about the lessons part.

        I have taken my infertility as being a number of lessons on a bunch of different topics. Sure I would rather have not learned those lessons and been born fertile but I do recognize the lessons that I have learned.

        Thank you so much for stopping by and contributing on my blog. It is greatly appreciated and I hope you continue to follow and contribute. Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season. 🙂

      4. My parent's donor is my father

        Awww, THANK YOU!!! 🙂 Very sweet. Please, don’t let yourself get so angry at Marilynn though. I get it that she’s pushing your buttons. But there is a lot of wisdom she has to share. And much to learn about how you respond to her approach vs. to mine. The combination. Lessons! Priceless. Happy happy holidays to you and yours as well! 🙂

      5. gsmwc02 Post author

        The funny thing is that I have pushed a lot of buttons of others in these types of discussions. So I am essentially getting a taste of my own medicine.

        I think the biggest difference in how I’ve responded to you vs her is the approach each of you have had in these discussions. You have been friendly compassionate engaging in discussion from your perspective vs attacking a certain group of people. Whereas she has her agenda and is insensitive and dismissive about the other side of the story. A person is more likely to engage with your approach than hers.

  3. marilynn

    I see a problem with this series treating the abandonment of these young people as a fertility treatment or as a way to build a family. They were abandoned by their fathers. That is a big freaking deal. It makes no difference how much anyone else wanted them. It makes no difference how much someone else wanted to be their fathers – they were abandoned by their fathers in order for them to be raised by someone else. We need to be more logical and realize that parents abandoning their children is not fertility treatment and its certainly not a method of conception for people who cannot have biological children. It is not family building but family separating. There is no way to do this and manage the damage by ending anonymity because the bottom line is that people still have to be abandoned by their parents or at least one parent. We need to end parental abandonment in the name of fertility treatment. It treats nothing. It damages everything.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      If you actually have watched this show it has little to do with infertility and everything to do with the issue of anonymous donors. As I said in the review only two out of the five sets of children were from infertile couples the other three were made up of same sex couples and single moms who used the same anonymous donor.

      So your infertile hating agenda doesn’t really apply here.

      Reply
      1. marilynn

        I agree 100% that the show is about anonymous donors. I was just pointing out that having anonymous donors or any kind of donor abandon their biological children and parental responsibilities is treated like some kind of treatment for infertility like it’s totally OK if it were only not anonymous or if they are only told early. Neither of which address the worst problem which is that they are being abandoned at all and worse as some kind of fertility treatment. I don’t know why you see that as me hating infertile people. I don’t want to see them bilked into believing that paying someone not to take care of their kid will make them the parent of the other person’s kid. Socially for sure but the kid will still have another family they deserve to be part of and who’d want to feel guilty for wanting them to be raised separate legally and physically?

      2. marilynn

        If you think about it the fertility industry trying to convince people that its perfectly OK to pay someone to create and not take care of their child is the infertile people hater to point a finger at. They take their money, get them to go along with stuff they know in their head sounds wrong, all they have to do is tell early.

        Did your adult with parental authority or teacher level authority ever tell you you would not get in trouble if you just told the truth about something? Member how you might have mulled this improbable offer over in your head? Like really I can tell you the whole truth and I won’t get in any trouble? Like I can do whatever stupid kid thing I want if I tell you the truth about when I’m busted I’m totally off scott free? And they’d assure you that they just wanted you or your classmates to tell the truth? It’s like that.

      3. gsmwc02 Post author

        The fertility industry has taught those going through infertility that their grief is real and not imaginary like you believe. That REAL GRIEF needs to be dealt with regardless of how they choose to proceed with their lives.

      4. marilynn

        Good point I forgot and you are making this very good point that a woman married to a woman is not necessarily infertile, she is a woman and as such can’t get her partner pregnant – not infertile. Also a single woman has no infertile partner, she’s just single, no infertility there. But I was calling it a fertility treatment anyway which is to say a treatment to fertilize a woman’s eggs, fertilization treatment medical treatment to help get her pregnant like its some sort of baby making hamburger helper.

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