I am Donor Conceived

Welcome to Abandoned by Default, my blog about navigating the world as a person conceived via anonymous sperm donation. I have known I was created in this way since I was 7 years old, after my parents separated. My dad never knew that I knew, and he passed in the summer of 2012. His family still doesn’t know that I know. At this point, I have mostly shared this info with everyone in my life except my uncles on my dad’s side, who I pretty much rarely communicate with. I talk on the phone with one of them semi regularly, and I consider him my family still.

I have actively avoided dealing with this part of who I am until I was 33. It started with a DNA kit that someone got me as a Christmas present. It sat on my desk still in it’s shrink-wrap for about two weeks before I finally sent it off. The things I knew and the things I would let myself realize were not really coming together. I knew I could find half siblings, other close relatives, and even my biological father. There was absolutely no way my brain was going to let me entertain these thoughts, until, I sealed the box. At this point I felt one quick wave of emotion. Probably the first of its kind. I let myself imagine finding a half sibling, someone who maybe has the same features that never matched my family. Someone who has the same personality traits that never fit in at any family gatherings. I felt tears welling up in my eyes… took a deep breath, and moved on with my day.

Sending that package, I had no idea it was just the beginning… A year and a half later, that little DNA kit brought me 11 half siblings.* But it’s done so much more than that… I am now aware of deep pain that was hidden away under the surface all of these years. Pain that was preventing personal growth… Pain that has interfered with relationships… I was hiding from others, but mostly from myself.

Although every donor conceived person’s experience is unique I believe that many of us who feel pain share a core emotion that is hard to put into words. For me, connecting with others in my position has helped me immensely. I hope with this blog to try to put into words some of the feelings that have no words, to share my experiences, and to provide a snapshot for those outside for what some of us are going through. That all said, I believe if we go deep enough, we can all relate through human emotion, regardless of the context.

“There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.” 
― Douglas Coupland

* Edit- This post originally stated I had found 14 half siblings which was a typo, this was meant to be 11. (the current count is 12, not including myself, or my bio-father’s own listed children on his donor profile)

4 thoughts on “I am Donor Conceived”

  1. Hi. I just read your blog post. I host a Podcast called “Cutoff Genes” and am currently exploring the differences and similarities between the experiences of donor conceived versus adopted people. May I quote some of what you wrote and give out your url info? If not- may I just quote you as a “donor conceived person”.


    1. Yes for sure you may quote and share this blog. It’s brand new, but I hope to have new content every week. I see that you have an episode referencing how they caught the golden state killer, which I will be checking out soon! I am basically, on a much smaller scale, using the same method to try to find my bio family (GEDmatch).


  2. If your still searching I help people whose parents were donors find their family. Poke around I’m legit, free and I have a pretty good collection of ftdna results and i have been pretty successful in building out trees of matches to triangulate position. Also believe it or not everyone seems to share relatives if they are not actually related to one another. That means that one donor offspring knows about his mom’s side of the family very detailed can be the exact information another needs because their missing parent happens to be related to some random relative of someone else I’m helping. It’s been a real trip to see that work over and over again. And some donor offspring – famous are actually related to one another distantly. I’ve helped pretty much everyone whose been vocal. message me your results and the donor sheet info if you want. It never hurts to have someone else try. Or not but good luck to you!


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