Rosalind – Born 1967

Name: Rosalind

Born: 1967

Where conceived: Margaret Jackson clinic, Exeter

I was 15 years old when I found out I was Donor Conceived.

My parents sat me down and said, “We have something to tell you…”

I immediately said, “I am adopted aren’t I?….”

When they told me I was Donor Conceived everything slotted into place. I instantly understood. Mum looked at me nervously and asked me how I felt about it. I said, “but my dad is still my dad”.

As far as I was concerned that was exactly how I felt but I now had a deeper answer to a feeling of secrecy that I was becoming aware of. 

I’d always sensed there was something not quite right. My parents were wonderful and I feel very lucky to have been raised and loved by them but as soon as the words left my mouth I thought this is absurd because I look so much like my mum, how can I be adopted? It never occurred to me that it could be my dad!

I always felt more connected to mum. Whilst dad was very supportive in everything I achieved when I was growing up there always seemed to be something unknown about him that I couldn’t put into words.

My father had the onset of Huntington’s Disease and he was, what I can only describe as, a bit of a nervy/twitchy person, but a gentle person with a very kind heart and soul. 

Huntington’s Disease is an hereditary disease and every child has a 50/50 chance of getting the Huntington’s gene. Nowadays you can test for that gene but in the 1960’s, when my parents wanted children, you couldn’t. 

My parents discussed the fact that my dad’s mum had Huntington’s disease and they knew that dad had a 50/50 chance of getting it. It was decided that dad would avoid fathering children and that mum would conceive by sperm donation.

About a year and a half later, when I was 17, my mother died very suddenly from a massive heart attack and that was the end of my one biological connection. Two traumas in the space of two years.

Luckily my parents had mentioned to me that due to the nature of donation I might have half brothers and sisters out there that I don’t know about. It was more of a “check before you get married”!

Forty years later I am very grateful that they told me when they did and gave me as much information as they could. 

Towards the end of 2023 I stumbled across a TV documentary on the BBC called ‘DNA Family Secrets’. I watched a girl find her father that she didn’t know existed and I had a huge emotional reaction. I knew I needed more information about me and this spurred me on to take a DNA test.

At the end of 2023 I received my DNA results but I didn’t link to any half-siblings.

Earlier this year a neighbour of mine asked if I’d seen another programme called ‘Born From The Same Stranger’. I sat and binge watched the entire four episodes. It was amazing! Everyone was speaking my language, everyone had the same unanswered questions, who am I? Where do I come from? We all had a common understanding and I heard some useful information that connected the place to the name of the Doctor who helped my mum conceive. I practically leapt off the sofa!

Today, and after a bit more investigation, I understand that my possible donor has passed away. He also had a daughter who has subsequently passed away.

I am slightly sorry that I don’t have any living half-siblings. As an only child I was curious  to make a possible connection. However, I feel a large piece of the puzzle has been solved and for now I’m going to sit with it.






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