Page 2230 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022

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these people was Anastasia, who has given me permission to share her story with you today. This is Anastasia’s story and these are her words:

My name is Anastasia. I am in my 30s and I found out I was donor conceived four years ago in 2018. I was born in Canberra in the early nineties. When I was six years old my mother divorced from her husband, the man who I had been told was my father, whom I never saw or heard from him again.

In 2018, I had been speaking with a sibling who had contacted our estranged Dad and had mentioned that I was a donor conceived person. While hearing this story I initially laughed it off because to me, it was a story that sounded so far-fetched and unrealistic.

While relaying this story over the phone to my mum, I found out the truth of how I came to be alive. I was 26 years old. I remember that night so vividly. A memory that is so uncomfortable and four years later still feels impossible to successfully emotionally navigate.

I can still feel the silence over the phone and I still hear the loudness of my mother repeating, “Please don’t hate me, please don’t hate me, please don’t hate me”. I still feel empty. I was in shock, and I am still in shock four years on.

I am a donor conceived person. My mother sought out this option when she was made aware that the man she married could not have children. My mother engaged in IVF treatment through a Canberra doctor, who was told at the time to keep it a secret. I would like to highlight that keeping such a secret from a child is wrong. I would give anything to know the origins of my life as a little girl.

Four years later, my relationship with my mother is strained. For long periods of a time I could not speak to her. Personally I have wanted to hear her simply say that she lied to me and this has not happened yet.

Processing this information as an adult has been tremendously hard. I have no psychological support. I do not even know where to turn to. I am scared to tap into the feelings of hurt because they wipe me out emotionally for weeks at a time. I have felt sadness about my existence and my place on this earth. I have felt like a secret experiment and less of a human being. Even though feeling these emotions, I still have so many questions. Who is my father? Was he a good man? Do I look like him? What is his background? Is he healthy? Do I have brothers and sisters? These questions consume my mind every single day.

I contacted the IVF clinic to find my biological father. The clinic took two weeks to find my mother’s file, and the only information they would provide was a piece of paper that had details of my donor’s blood type, eye colour, hair colour and if the donor had any children. I was told that any other information about my donor was confidential.

My mental health began to suffer, and I felt like there was a lack of support on where to go or who to talk to. I began to join groups on Facebook, and I tried to research on the internet. But all of this became too much to handle. I made the decision to pay for an American DNA Ancestry test, in the off chance that I might connect with a relative, or to find out something about my genetic history. I was matched to a first cousin, who was extremely helpful and put me in contact with his uncle, my donor.

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