48-year-old Uffe was donor-conceived: "I have always had a father, even though we do not have the same genes"
Uffe is 48 years old, a father of two, and the manager of a communications agency.
”I grew up in a tight-knit family with a dad, mum and little brother. My parents have been married for 56 years, and my brother has his own family with three kids. My (“social”) dad, who today is 76 years old, works part-time at my company on the side of his daily life as a pensioner."
When were you told that you were brought into the world with the help of a donor?
“I think that I was around 9-10 years old when my parents told my brother and me that our “dad” was not our biological dad. They told us that when my dad was a teenager, he got mumps on his testicles and thereby became sterile. That was why my brother and I were brought into the world through the help of an anonymous sperm donor. I remember that when I first received the news, I was a bit upset and confused about it all. But it quickly passed.”
What was it like growing up as a donor child for you?
”I have never tried anything different. But I have always had a good and safe childhood with two parents, that have really cared for my brother and me. I have a theory that as a child I may have received a little bit too much attention, maybe that’s because my parents had to jump through some extra hoops to have me. I have not always been the best at putting my own needs to the side in order to give others space. But if that theory is actually true, I do not know.”
How have you spoken to your parents about it?
”We have actually never spoken that much about it – except from the time where my parents told us, which was around 1980. I also think that it is quite a sensitive topic for my dad. So, I have not really taken the initiative to have a lot of conversations about it.”
How have you spoken about the donor in your family?
”We have not actually spent a lot of energy speaking about the donor. In all seriousness, I do not think that I have spoken with my parents about him since I was 10 years old.”
Do you wish that your parents had tackled the situation differently?
“No not really. It is what it is, and I do not actually have the need to speak a lot about it. I have always had a dad, even though we do not share the same biological genes”.
Facts: ID Release and Non-ID Release donor
- ID Release means that when the donor child turns 18, they can get the donor´s contact details
- Non-ID Release means that neither the child, nor the parents can get any more information about the donor, than what’s listed in the donor profile
- Up until 2006 in Denmark it was only legal to use Non-ID Release donors, and therefore donor children did not have the opportunity to contact the donor
- Different regulations apply from country to country in terms of using ID-Release and Non-ID Release donors. In some countries only one or the other are permitted
- Today in Denmark it is now possible to choose individually whether you wish to use an ID Release or Non-ID Release donor
Has it had a big impact on your life, that it was a donor?
”No, I really do not think so. The topic has never been that consuming to me. I have never missed my biological dad because I have always had a dad.
The thought has of course come across my mind a couple of times in my life. That for example my personality does not particularly look like my mum’s or my dad’s. So apart from the environmental impact, I do not think that I have gotten anything from my biological father, who I do not have any factual information about, which there is something positive about.
Sometimes I may have filled in the gaps in my knowledge about my biological father with some wishful thinking. Then I have imagined that my biological father was a talented heart-surgeon or a clever professor at a hospital. I imagine that most of the donors back then who were donating at Rigshospitalet’s fertility clinic were medical students. My mum has told me that. But I do not actually know if it is true.”
Has your relationship with your parents been influenced because you were brought into the world with the help of a donor?
“No, I do not think so. But I have obviously not tried anything different. I do not know what it feels like to be able to mirror your own personality in your dad’s personality. My dad and I are very different, even though we have always had a good relationship.”
Did you know other donor children when you were a child?
“Only my little brother. I actually think that we have never had a conversation about how we are both donor children – and that we most likely are children from two different anonymous donors, because we look nothing alike.”
Have you ever wished to get in contact with your donor?
"If it had been possible, I think that I would have liked to have met him. But since it was only anonymous donors back then, and therefore it has never been an option, I have not spent a lot of time considering it."
Have you at any point wanted to get in contact with your donor-siblings?
"No, not really. I have never really thought about it actually."
Would you use a donor yourself, if it was necessary?
"Yes, I would, although it has thankfully not been necessary for my wife and me."
If you enjoyed Uffe's story about being donor-conceived, we can recommend you to read Verena and Enrico's story about how they used a sperm donor to get pregnant and fulfil their dream of a family.