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Susan grew up thinking she knew both of her biological parents. But when she was 27 years old, her mother told her the secret she had kept since 1967. "I felt lied to. It seemed like a big secret. It was hard for me to imagine why you would keep something like that secret for so long." Susan says it had never crossed her mind that she might not be related to one of her parents. "I happen to look a lot like my mother, and it absolutely never occurred to me," she says.

Susan says her mother had several reasons for waiting 27 years to tell her daughter the truth. "At the time I was conceived, the doctor specifically told my parents not to tell me and not to tell anyone, to pretend that this had never happened," she says. The father she grew up with was also a consideration. "My father was very ashamed of his inability to have children at that time. It was very hard for him, and he just didn't want anyone to know, and my mother respected that and kept the secret."

After years of silence, Susan says her mother chose what she thought was the right time to tell her daughter the truth. "My father and I were no longer in contact. My parents had gotten divorced," Susan says. "A little late, in my opinion, but she felt like it was the right time."

At age 39, Susan says she would like to meet her biological father. But because she was conceived in 1967, before sperm banks were common, she says it would be very hard to find him. "My mother was told that they were using a dark, eastern European donor that would match my father so it would be easier to pretend," she says. "That's all I know."
FROM: The Ultimate Reunion: When Dad Is a Sperm Donor
Published on March 14, 2008