The Missing Piece: Donor-conceived sisters find each other

Michigan

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Two teenage girls find out they’re both donor-conceived children, coming from the same sperm donor.

Kaelee Tanis from Newaygo found out in 2018 that she was donor-conceived. Brenna Weissert, Kaelee’s half-sister, also found out she was donor-conceived that year. 

“I was downstairs just looking for a stamp and I stumbled across a folder with my name on it and I was curious so I opened it,” said Tanis. “I see paperwork from a cryobank and right away I think I knew what it was.”

“I was watching a documentary on TV about donor conception and I asked my mom, ‘hey are you my biological mom?’ just as a joke,” said Weissert. “She’s like ‘yea, of course I am and I was like what about dad and she was like, go ask him’.”

Tanis and Weissert came from the same “donor dad,” a sperm donor, that helped two couples create families.

“I found the donor sibling registry which, is where you put in your donor number and you can connect with siblings on there,” said Tanis.

“Finding out I have one and then like maybe like 30 others is really cool, she’s definitely my favorite though,” said Weissert.

There’s comfort now for the girls, in knowing the truth. Although, knowing there could be 30 other half-siblings out there is a hard void to fill.

Weissert told 24 Hour News 8 there’s at least 26 confirmed donor kids like them from the same donor dad and then there are unrecorded.

“It’s kind of sad to realize I don’t know how many of them are going to be told and how many of them we’re never going to get the chance to meet because their parents refuse to tell them,” said Tanis.

The girls have a message for future donors: “They (donors) just need to realize by doing this, they’re creating a kid, and if you’re OK with that you have to be OK with they might want to know who they are someday,” said Tanis.

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