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Adoptive vs Birth Family
Wondering497 posted:
Our only daughter, adopted by us and now 19, told us that she is going to be a kidney donor for her birthmom. She had been removed from her birthmom at 3, adopted by relatives, removed from them at age 12 and adopted by us. She said her birthmom (BM) is going on dialysis and that only she and another sister have the 0+ blood to be appropriate kidney donors. She said the drs said she has a 50% chance of surviving the donation due to her health but she is determined to be the donor.

Since reconnecting with her birthmom several years ago, she has been very protective of her. She has talked about taking care of her younger sisters if her BM dies. We have no contact with her birth family although we have met BM and others when giving her rides, etc. Since she turned 17, we only see her when she wants money, rides, a babysitter for her 6 mo son or other help. Since 17, she has lived with BM and others rather than us, preferring to be in charge of her life rather than live under any rules or expectations.

As you can imagine, we're extremely worried about her. I imagine at 19 we have no say about whether she does this. Is there anything we can do to feel better about this?
MrsCora01 responded:
Wow, you are certainly going through a lot emotionally right now. I'm sorry to say that something just doesn't ring true about this whole kidney donation thing. There is no way the transplant center would on the one hand tell her she has a 50% chance of survival and then allow a donation. It's just not possible. Potentially donors are tested 7 ways from Sunday and have to be in excellent health in order to donate. This includes not only physical health but mental health as well. There is no way any legitimate transplant center would take a kidney from someone when there was a risk. My cousin almost wasn't allowed to donate to me because she had gained a few pounds (she had to quit smoking in order to donate) and they had a weight limit that they strictly enforced.

Please don't worry about her health as far as a donation goes. Transplant centers take great care to make sure the donation is safe for all involved.

MrsCora01 responded:
One more thing. If you want to educate yourselves about living donation, check here at the Living Donors Online forum. They will be able to give you all sorts of information about the process and the risks. As I said, it is a stringent process and the centers make sure that donors are well looked after and all risks are minimized.

nansterdee responded:
I agree with MrsCora01...I received a kidney from my cousin in 2003, and am doing well...However, it took the team a year to fully test her and approve her for donation. I was told that they would not risk the life of one to save another..and rightfully so. I took your letter to mean that your daughter's birth mother only had a 50% chance of surviving the donation. In that instance, the rules would be the same. If the doctors didn't feel that she would survive the donation, they would not subject a healthy person to donating a kidney...I'm sorry that you are going through so much emotionally....but please be assured that no transplant team would allow a donation from someone not healthy enough, nor would they transplant into someone that they didn't feel would survive...Best wishes to you and your family...

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