Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Ways to uncover the truth

The more I think about DNA matching to find possible half siblings, the more I realise that this is unlikely to happen. Although the database at UKDonor link may now be quite large, there is not much likelihood that many people on there will be of my age.

I have thought about a few ways in which discoveries might be made. It is unlikely that I shall be able to carry out much of this work myself over the next few months for health reasons but I can make a start. I suppose the first is to try to reach out to any people born in the 1940s who know they were donor-conceived to approach UKDonor Link with their DNA. Frankly any people in their 50s or 60s who don’t already know are probably better off not finding out now as it causes so much turmoil and many of the people who could help their understanding could be dead or very old.

So if you do know you were donor conceived but haven’t done anything about it because you thought you were alone, please be aware there are lots of us out here who would love to help.

Secondly, after my fruitless attempt to get help from Professor Lord Robert Winston, I have regained the confidence to retry the official route. Consequently, I have written to my MP, Chris Huhne. I think the human rights aspect previously tried may be exhausted but on a practical level, the numbers of people who are going to need to know their genetic background for medical purposes is going to escalate rapidly over the next few years and I have requested his help on this basis.

The last is more ephemeral. Like many donor conceived adults, I have tried to isolate those physical and mental traits which I inherited from my mother and her family to build up a picture of my paternal inheritance. As I don’t think my father was English I have tried to explore ethnic facial characteristics. What a minefield that has been! At every stage there is suspicion in case I am in favour of eugenics or am in any way racist. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I can build up a picture of a nationality, I may (or other family members) be able to do some sort of paper research into records of the period. It may be truthful that the clinic records were deposited in a skip, but often other records remain and despite the medical profession’s lack of help, it may be possible to locate them.

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