About 20 years ago, my wife donated her eggs (with my blessing) to two couples so they could have a child(ren).
My wife and I have three grown children of our own. They’re unaware that we made a choice to donate eggs, but I’ve mentioned to my wife that they’re likely to find out at some point.
My son has already taken a DNA test so the information is out there. It’s only a matter of time.
To get out in front of this future discovery, I want to have this difficult discussion with our children (late-teens and early 20s). My wife does not.
She doesn’t want a relationship with any children resulting from the eggs she donated. I support that decision. My concern is our children.
At this time we still control the narrative and can make our intentions known ahead of time when one of their half-siblings contact one of them or our children discover a half-sibling on their own.
I want to have a united position with my wife, but disagree about not sharing this information, quickly, since it’s likely this donation will be discovered.
I don't want my children to find out years from now and be upset that they didn’t have a chance to have a relationship with their half-sibling.
Some options: 1. Respect my wife's wishes. 2. Continue raising this until she says to back off or agrees to tell the children. 3.Tell the children (privately) that somebody may eventually come forward who’s a relative of theirs. “Your mom and I don’t want a relationship with that person(s), but you’re free to and I encourage it.” Then share more information when that time comes.
Your son has already put the inevitable into play. And the science of using donor eggs is 20 years past your wife’s control.
DNA testing regarding health issues, ancestry searches for curiosity, plus increased involvement of donor eggs and sperm in conception, have all combined to make a search for half-siblings relatively normalized.
Ads for DNA-testing promise to help people find “genetic relatives.” It sounds easy and enticing.
I understand that your wife’s trying to protect her children as a family unit. The appearance of half-siblings in their life brings the unknown, which worries her.
She may (wrongly) feel responsible for the possibility of anything negative resulting from these connections.
That’s why telling your three children now and united as their parents in sharing this information, will strengthen their understanding of what’s likely to come.
Their mother’s long-ago donation was an act of great generosity, caring, and humanity. You are all lucky for her in your lives.
Just as any half-siblings were lucky to be born through her gift.
If she doesn’t want a relationship with them, that’s her choice. But she won’t be able to deny your children’s right to know them.
Help her accept that, and help prepare your family for that potential reality.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding gift-giving for destination-wedding couple who already have “everything” (March 19):
“What I’ve given, and the newlyweds have LOVED, is a photo book of the location wedding location and secretly having all the guests sign the book... to be presented at the reception or once we returned home.
“The couple love it because it’s small and doesn’t interfere with their deco, a great reminder (the other guests often write little notes etc...)
“The travel costs, time off work, etc. often make another gift beyond a guest’s reach. This has been, in my cases, a great alternative.”
Reader #2 – “Destination weddings have many perks for the Bride and Groom. Years ago the resorts would give the couple a totally free wedding if they had a certain number of guests. Today, there are many resorts giving the couple many differing perks for bringing in guests.
“One online site lists the “wedding” resorts and what they offer.
“Many couples are doing this now and their guests are the ones paying for it by paying their own way.
“The couple getting married don't have to be well-off to have a Destination Wedding since many of “their” costs are earned by the number of guests and their length of stay.”
Reader #3 – “For those newlyweds who want for nothing, I suggest giving a generous donation (within one's budget) to a worthy cause in lieu of gifts.
“It can be directed to a cause that’s especially meaningful to those on the receiving end.”
Tip of the day:
DNA science has brought remarkable health benefits, AND new realities of genetic relatives.