Kianni Arroyo has been meeting her donor siblings since she was 15 (Image: Kianni Arroyo WS)

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Growing up, Kianni Arroyo knew her family looked different to others. Instead of having a mum and a dad, Kianni had two mums.

“I saw a bunch of other kids with their dads and I thought, ‘why don’t I have one of those?’ and started asking questions when I was about four years old,” Kianni, 23, told The Mirror.

“My mum said she wanted a baby so badly so she went to the doctor for help. Then she picked out a special seed and the doctor planted it in Mummy’s tummy.”

As she got older, Kianni, who lives in Florida, USA, started to understand she’d been conceived via sperm donor. Although content with her childhood, she often wondered about who her donor was.

“I used to make Father’s Day cards for my donor because I didn’t have a dad. I never did anything with them,” she recalled.

Kianni Arroyo knew from a young age she'd been conceived via a sperm donor
(Image: Kianni Arroyo WS)

For years, Kianni’s donor had a private profile, meaning children conceived from his sperm couldn’t know anything about him. But after seeing Kianni in a promotional video for the donor company Xytex, he changed his mind.

“The company told my mum they thought I was the first live birth to come from my donor’s sperm,” Kianni, who is a paramedic, explained.

When Kianni’s donor made his profile public, it meant she could make contact with him when she turned 18.

“I started searching for him just before I turned 18 because I wanted to meet him as soon as possible. As the first born from his sperm, I knew I’d be the first child he met.

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“I’m a ball of energy and I always want to be doing something. When I was younger I picked up surfing and painting but no one on my mum’s side of the family does that stuff.

“I had a packet of information about my donor which said he was artistic and athletic and I realised it came from him. I wondered what else I’d got from him,” she said.

But while she waited for her 18th birthday to come around, Kianni found another way to connect with her roots – by finding her siblings.

She signed onto a register with the sperm bank which marked her down as the offspring of her donor’s sperm and hoped others would follow.

Kianni and her half sister Maggie have formed a close bond since they met for the first time
(Image: Kianni Arroyo WS)

When she was 15, a family made contact with her – the mother had twin girls who shared a donor with Kianni.

She said: “They came to Florida on holiday to go to DisneyWorld and I only live 30 minutes away, so I decided to go and meet them.

“They were only three years old so they didn’t really understand who I was – they just knew I was ‘sister’.

“They were joined to my hip all day and it was an amazing feeling to experience being a real big sister. I grew up as an only child but after I met them I realised this was what it was like to have siblings.”

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As time passed, Kianni met about 10 of her siblings while she counted down the days to her 18th birthday – when she’d finally be allowed to meet her donor.

When the day came around, she realised how many things she’d inherited from him and they got along well. Now, she meets him once a year.

“It really helps me learn more about myself,” she said. “It’s so nice to have contact with him, not so much as a parent, but a friend.”

Meanwhile, Kianni’s donor register kept growing, and she realised there were dozens more siblings out there than she’d previously thought.

Kianni arranges group trips with her donor siblings and when the coronavirus pandemic eases, they're all planning a reunion
(Image: Kianni Arroyo WS)

“I think there are 63 that I know of, but there will be more we don’t know about,” she said.

Among the brood are several sets of twins and one set of triplets. Whereas most of the siblings are in the US and Canada, Kianni has discovered some younger siblings on the other side of the planet in Australia and New Zealand.

The youngest children are three years old and, whereas Kianni always thought she was the oldest, she’s found a sister who appears to be four months older than her.

In her home state of Florida, Kianni has 12 siblings – some of whom she meets up with often. Some of her sisters even made it to her wedding. But now life is getting back to normal after coronavirus, she’s on a mission to meet even more.

Kianni's donor sibling Maggie managed to make it to her wedding
(Image: Kianni Arroyo WS)

“I’ve met 20-23 of them so far and I’m planning to meet a lot more. Next month we’re having a family reunion for the first time and about 25 kids are going,” she said.

She’s started an instagram account, @donor_siblings, to keep in touch with the brothers and sisters who want to get involved in the network and posts photos from group meet ups as well as updates on big events in her siblings’ lives.

“Not all of them are interested in being in contact and have met up once before going back to their own thing, and that’s cool. At least I got to meet them in the first place,” Kianni said.

Laughing, she added: “There are so many to keep up with anyway!

“I feel like it never stops. There was one year where I found 10 siblings, just in that year. My theory is they may not have known they were conceived via sperm donor and they’ve come out of hiding as they’ve got older.”

As Kianni eagerly waits for her family reunion, she’s excited for what the future holds and the siblings she might meet along the way.

“The pandemic has stopped us from meeting for a long time because everyone’s scared to travel. But soon we’ll be back together and we’ll have plenty of reunion photos!”