Six Mothers Bring Together Seven Children With Same Sperm Donor: 'They Can All Become Lifelong Friends'
"I want to make sure that [Presley] knows where he came from, the process, and the siblings that he has and so they can all become lifelong friends," Kenyea Jones said
Twenty-month-old Presley Jones is an only child born to a single mother, but, as he learned recently, he has a huge family. Presley and his mom Kenyea Jones recently met up with seven of his diblings – donor-conceived siblings – in Niagara Falls.
“I’ve always wanted to be a mom,” Jones, 44 told Detroit’s Local 4. “I knew it was going to happen, but it didn’t matter to me if it was through adoption or if I gave birth to a child.”
When she felt it was time, Jones used a sperm donor, became pregnant through in vitro fertilization, and gave birth to a son, Presley.
“People think it’s brave,” she added. “I don’t think of it as me being brave, I just think of it as me wanting to have a child, and that’s the process I decided to go through to have a child.”
The sperm bank Jones used gives its clients the opportunity to connect with other women and families who have children from the same sperm donor through a closed website. Jones and five other mothers connected online and shared photos of and stories about their seven children.
The group decided to get all of their children together for a weekend in Niagara Falls.
“We are going for a diblings reunion,” Jones told the news station. “I want to make sure that [Presley] knows where he came from, the process, and the siblings that he has and so they can all become lifelong friends.”
At the meet-up, Holly Brown explained that she and her partner Annette Jaszko were inspired to meet as many diblings as possible after learning that their son Griffin, 2, had at least 17.
“I said, ‘Can you tell me how many other live births were from this donor?’,” Brown recalled. “It was kind of curious, I was scared to get the answer because, again, this is not part of how I imagined this was going to be, that there would be other live people, real people that we would be connecting with. And she said ‘There are 17 other births.’ Eighteen, you know, Griffin makes 18. And I was at work and I almost dropped the phone. I couldn’t believe it.”
Another mom, Nathalie Vallee, admitted she was initially hesitant to attend the meeting with her partner Jennifer Havens and their two children (both from the same donor), Emmett, 2, and Maggie, 5 months old.
“It was so new – you knew there [are] other kids out there that have the same donor,” Vallee said. “But you kind of just want to not think about it. But then we kind of warmed up to the idea when we saw the pictures of the kids and the conversations, and it just kind of came about.”
All of the moms were eager to discover the diblings similarities, having already established before meeting that their children were all very social.
“We just talk about their personalities, watching them grow and develop and just trying to see if they have the same eyes, the same nose, the same type of personality, and just getting to learn more about them,” Jones told the news station. “So far, I’ve seen the hair color, the eyes. It’s funny because they’re all at that age they have a little ‘no no no’ stage, a little tantrum stage, and they all sound the same. I was like, ‘Oh, Presley does that, so I’m glad to see I’m not the only one.’ ”
“I thought it was cool just to see that they really looked alike,” Vallee added. “For me it was just nice to see their faces. To see, OK, that’s true, that’s- what feature of Emmett is actually from the donor.”
Presley’s grandmother, Dorothy Jones, said she hopes the diblings will grow up close, despite their geographic separation.
“When I see him playing with those other kids and he’s running and jumping, it’s like they’re all friends,” she said. “They’re going to be all friends and hopefully as they grow, we can see them grow and they can communicate with each other.”