From her own perspective: Life as a child of sperm donation

My name is Emma Groenbaek, and I am 23 years old. I am studying to be a nurse in Aarhus, Denmark where I was also born and raised.

My parents struggled to have children as many others do. They tried for 6 years with different kinds of fertility treatments and had given up hope, but one day suddenly I was on the way. Today they have 3 daughters. My two sisters are only 2 years younger than me and were made with the ICSI method. Therefore, they are not from the same donor as me, but from both of my parents. This was a new technology that became possible after I was born. It has never really been an issue in our family even though my parents have worried a lot. 
The twins are very different, one is studying medicine the other is an artist. But our genetics has never troubled them, and I have always been their big sister in both heart and mind.

When I was conceived, anonymity was the only option and therefore not a difficult choice for my parents. To me, anonymity has not been an issue. I have not felt like it was a problem as I already had my own family. I have never wished to know my donor or other children from the same donor. I had never even thought about half-siblings before I started to share my story in public. 
I’m very grateful towards my donor and the choice that he made to become one, but I do not want him to be part of my life. I wish him all the best and hope that he feels the same way about me!

When I was just a baby my parents made a children’s book. The book was about the story of me being a donor child. It was a very personal book with drawings and pictures of friends and family. My parents read it to me as a nighttime story as often as I wanted. This means that I heard the story a lot of times at a very young age and therefore have no memory of the day my parents told me that I was donor-conceived. It was a natural part of my story and our family from the start. I always felt very special in a good way. 

Emma Groenbaek was donor-conceived and talks about her childhood
My parents had waited for me for 6 years. They told me that I was the most wanted child in the world, and this was how I felt.
Emma Grønbæk
Donor-conceived

I have therefore always known that I was donor-conceived. It is something that we have always been very open and talked about in my family. I’m sure this is one of the reasons why I feel so comfortable being donor-conceived. It has never been an issue in my family and has never caused any trouble between me and my parents, not even in my teenage years.

As I grew older my conception wasn’t something that occupied my mind. In everyday life, it pops up when you least expect it, but I didn’t give it a lot of thought in general. 
I always tell people close to me that I am a donor child, and Then one day a nursing friend came to me for advice. She knew that I was donor-conceived with an Non-ID-Release sperm donor and wanted to hear how this had affected my life, as she was planning on using a donor. This was when I realized that my life and experiences could benefit other people, and this is when I started to share my story.

I feel very normal and a have great relationship with both my parents. I am just as connected to my dad as the rest of the family and we always have a great time. He loves a cup of coffee at a café and here we have many great talks.
I feel pretty lucky that I got to be a part of his life. He waited for me for 6 years and has loved me from the second I was born. He is always there for me, and that is why he will always be my dad.

You can seek inspiration and tips on how to talk to your children about having used a sperm donor in this article.

You can read more about Emma at her blog, right here