TangledWebs UK

A group challenging donor-conception practices in the UK and internationally

This is my truth

Last year my sister called to tell me she was pregnant. She did not tell me the pregnancy was the result of egg donation. This is deception, because the relationship with the child is from the start based on certain premises which are false.

When the truth came out, it was emotionally crushing for me. I had feelings for the child based on her being the natural grandchild of my deceased father. I felt disappointed and manipulated and I am furious. It feels like a death to me and I am grieving. It was a very cruel type of deception. My sister said she wanted me to ‘be an aunty’, but somehow it is ‘not my business’ to know I am genetically unrelated to the child. My mother kept my sister’s confidence and colluded with the deception. This has damaged my relationship with my mother.

I don’t love the child and I feel no obligation to be in her life. If, before going ahead with donor conception my sister had asked me what I thought I would have been honest with her. I would have told her it is unethical. I would have said that the pain of infertility is not solved, just displaced onto the very person you claim to love most in the world and have a duty to protect. I would have told her I want no part in this plan and I will conscientiously object and will not play along. But of course I was not consulted and I never had a chance to express my thoughts and feelings. I did not choose this, and I will not be manipulated by lies into accepting it.

During this whole process my sister was blind to my pain whilst making demands that I be sensitive to hers and at least to ‘respect’ her decision. My sister had demonstrated a total lack of empathy, unable to acknowledge and respond to the pain donor conception causes. My sister has acted as if the pain of infertility is credible but the pain of being a deceived grieving relative counts for nothing. I am now estranged from my sister. In a desperate attempt to ‘make normal’ my mother has started to say the child looks like my grandmother. I cringe and feel embarrassed when I hear this attempt to lie to the world, and I am worried for my mother’s mental health.

It is painfully obvious to me that my sister has carried another woman’s and her husband’s child, a disgusting act that could never happen in nature. Donor conception aims to reduce the pain of infertile people. It is obvious to me that donor conception is not in the best interest of the child created or the wider family. My sister cannot hear any criticism of donor conception. This child will most likely have a very hard time getting her feelings validated by her ‘mother’.