Woman’s Oblivious To The Fact That Her Brother Is Her Actual Dad, Mom Doesn’t Know How To Say It
We frequently see various family secrets and drama unfolding in movies or TV shows. But for some people, troubling family secrets are a reality that they don’t know how to deal with.
Today, we’ll talk about a woman who went online to seek advice on how to break the news to her 30-year-old daughter that her real biological father is her brother! That’s a story worth its own movie, right?
More info: The Atlantic
Sometimes, our family ties can be way more complicated than they might look on the outside
Image credits: Askar Abayev (not the actual photo)
This woman and her husband couldn’t have kids 30 years ago, so they asked one of the husband’s sons to be a donor
Image credits: Alex Green (not the actual photo)
Image credits: The Atlantic
Now, 30 years later, the couple is struggling to come up with a way to tell their daughter that her brother is actually her father
30 years ago, a couple got married and decided to have a child together. Unfortunately, the man already had 2 children and in order not to have more, he had a vasectomy done in the years prior and it could not be reversed.
So, the most common decision in this situation would be to use a sperm bank. But this couple wanted the child to be related to both of them biologically. And so, they came up with quite an unorthodox way to achieve this. The couple asked one of the man’s sons to be a donor. And he agreed.
Now, 30 years later, the couple is anxious about how they should break this news to their daughter. After all, it would disrupt her whole world upon being told that her father is actually her grandfather, her brother is her father, and so on. So, the woman turned to the Atlantic’s “Dear Therapist” column to ask for advice on how this secret should be handled.
Image credits: MART PRODUCTION (not the actual photo)
The Atlantic’s “Dear Therapist” column is led by Lori Gottlieb. She’s a writer and psychotherapist. Her book “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” is on the New York Times Bestseller list and is being adapted into a TV series. Also, her TED Talk was one of the most-watched talks of 2019. Lori also co-hosts a podcast of the same name as the Atlantic’s column.
Lori answered this anonymous woman’s plea for advice. She said that it was a good idea to tell the truth to their daughter. However, they should think very carefully about how to do it. After all, they would be exposing her to two major truths – her biological dad isn’t who she thought he was and her parents misled her for 30 years!
However, at least she’s going to hear this from them instead of, for example, taking a DNA test sometime in the future and finding out these disturbing results.
Image credits: Monstera Production (not the actual photo)
You might wonder if this kind of donation method from a family member is even that widely chosen, as it can cause such family drama. And we are here to answer that it is chosen frequently enough to have its own name. It is called “familial gamete donation.”
The professionals distinguish many advantages and disadvantages of such donations. For instance, this method is used to maintain biological relations between family members, either between parents and a child (just like in today’s story), siblings, et cetera. It is also quite a good opportunity for a person in a same-sex relationship to have a biological child.
Another distinguished advantage is that it is a bit cheaper than having an unrelated donor, as usually donors from family are seen as altruistic deeds. And even if the parents want to pay a relative who is donating, usually it’s still less than a donor agency.
And for disadvantages, the professionals state that sometimes a donor might feel coerced to donate, as they see their relative struggling to conceive a child in other ways. And then they donate out of pity rather than an actual altruistic effort.
Another disadvantage is essentially what the couple from today’s story is struggling with – the role of the donor in the child’s life. Since the donor is a family member who is closely related, they’re likely going to be in the child’s life in one way or another. So, it might become hard to decide what kind of a role they will play in a child’s life and if/how to tell a child that the donor is their actual biological parent.
Image credits: Anthony Tran (not the actual photo)
Well, as we can see, the professionals were quite on point when writing about the advantages and disadvantages of familial gamete donation, at least in the situation told in today’s story. Now, let’s take a look at how people online reacted to it.
A lot of them were confused as to why the parents waited 30 years to reveal this secret instead of doing it when the daughter was little. Some even thought that it should be left unsaid. And if they still decide to tell it, they should do it with the help of a professional counselor, because just as Lori Gottlieb said, this reveal can be quite traumatic for the 30-year-old woman.