I am a 17-year-old daughter of a lesbian couple. There is me, my biological mom, my other mom and her two kids from a previous marriage. My parents had been together about 8 years before I was born.
I don’t know my father, his name, heritage, or anything. I can only remember one time the topic of my father really came up in conversation. I was eight years old and I denied any interest in knowing about him. I was worried that my parents would think that I am ungrateful for all that they have done for me or that they would get the misconception that I thought they screwed me up.
So my father has never been discussed. As a kid, I figured I was a “test tube baby” (as if I understood what it meant), but now I have no clue. This induces a swell of paranoia about why is this such a big secret. For a while I was even considering the possibility that my Mom may have been raped.
I thought about asking my older siblings who were teenagers when I was born, or asking one of my aunts, but I don’t want to drag them into this. Besides, I am not sure if they could or would give me the information I seek. Maybe my family thinks — as I do — that the silence has been around so long that it is just easier to avoid talking about it. I don’t even like to watch movies with my parents about children reconnecting with their fathers because I know the chance of the topic coming up is extremely high.
I don’t want to have a long weepy conversation. I don’t want or need a relationship with my father, I just want a medical history and heritage to go with my features — things any person who does not have contact with a parent would want to know. My paternity is not essential to me living, however it is naturally an ever-pressing issue in my life — especially since I will soon be 18 and some of my friends are making me promise I find out.
I think your hunch is right on — there is no “secret” here, just a habit of silence. They assumed you would ask if you wanted to know, but if they brought it up first they worried they would make a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be. They forget to look at it from your perspective to consider how difficult it would be for you to break the silence, or how you’d worry about your questions hurting their feelings.
If your parents knew you were struggling with this issue — especially wondering if your mother was raped — I doubt they would want this silence to continue. But they have no way to know what you are thinking right now, so if you want the facts, you need to ask.
Asking for details about a donor (or other unknown biological parents) can be awkward and sometimes scary, not just because of being unsure of wanting the information, but also because of not knowing how your mothers will react to the fact that you are even asking questions about it.
Take a deep breath, tell them you love them very much and that will never change. Then say something like, “As I’ve grown, I have become curious about how I was conceived. What can you tell me about that?”
Chances are pretty good that you were very planned. You have every right to know whatever details they have. Your mothers might have medical records and other information about your donor — they might even know him personally. You might have access to additional information that can be released only after you turn 18. If they chose an anonymous donor, however, they might only know a few facts, like height and eye color. Be prepared for the possibility that even if they tell you everything they know, you might still have some unanswered questions.