We were given the news that my wife’s sister had just successfully given birth. The sister in law ( not catholic) had told us that conception was by IVF, however, not that donor eggs or sperm had been used.
We suspected it had been, for a number of reasons, but as well, a “feeling” that we weren’t getting full disclosure, and we have now found out from my mother in law that it was indeed the case that a donor egg had been used.
My wife is very upset - firstly being very freaked out at the idea of a relative carrying a child with whom the mother had no blood relationship, but equally at being lied to - the presentation of the child as a blood relative. Her sister did not tell us that donor material had been used, and there seems to be a general attitude amongst the donor-material community that family do not necessarily have a right to know ( and in some cases that the child doesn’t) whether or not they are related to it. The assumption is that they don’t need to know, and that this deception is perfectly fine and a “right” of the donee “parents”.
I understand the church’s teaching on assisted pregnancy - both the fact that it was IVF and that donor material was used, make this wrong.
I can also see this as wrong from a number of other perspectives. I believe children should where possible be raised by their genetic parents in a marriage. Sometimes people make mistakes, and a situation occurs where a child has to be adopted ( I was one of them). And that is perfectly fine. Given the circumstances, adoption is the best solution in those cases. However, with donor eggs, the intention from the beginning is to raise a child apart from its genetic parents, and that intention must surely be wrong. Added to which not telling the child of its parents and half-siblings, and preventing it from finding out, to me feels like a violation of a basic right. I know from experience the particular feeling of separateness one experiences through not knowing any blood relatives, and experienced it most of my life, despite having a very good upbringing from my adoptive parents, who I love and continue to have an excellent filial relationship with.
I have not been able to find anything more generally on the internet about extended family members and Donor-material children, and dealing with these kind of issues,
However, my wife feels that she is unable to send flowers, congratulations etc to the mother because that would be tacit approval of what she has done.
At the same time there is a blameless child who is going to be raised to think of us as Uncle and Aunt. And that too is a consideration.
However, we don’t know if the parents are planning to tell the child about their parenthood. We both strongly believe it is their right to know as soon as they are old enough. Otherwise they are living a lie all their life.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone in a similar position, or anyone who has a view on how to handle this. Also if anyone knows of any forums or sites for people in this particular situation.