Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Awesome: Don't trust sperm banks, sperm donors, or your child's future sex partners

Or, so this New York Times article suggests.  From the publication that has brought us inspirational articles on how the Israeli government supports artificial fertility in a way American culture emphatically does not, and how all these ladies lucked out and didn't have to use lame-o donor sperm at all:

“They think their daughter may have a few siblings,” Ms. Kramer said, “but then they go on our site and find out their daughter actually has 18 brothers and sisters. They’re freaked out. I’m amazed that these groups keep growing and growing.”

The article explains that some donors have been found to have as many at 150 children.  I say that, having been in the midst of a new round of donor-shopping before stopping by the Confessions of a Cryokid blog for a broader perspective.

FUCK perspective.  I don't want to hear about this shit.

I guess that's what happens when you broaden.  I don't want to read the Cryokid blog anyway-- we haven't figured out how to make a Cryokid yet, so it seems premature to worry about its identity crisis.  That's an asshole response, but, lord, what else can we do?  How are we supposed to have a baby together?  Are we going to find a guy in a club, invite him over, and cross our fingers?  Does that happen in a hotel?  Our bed?  Do I watch?

There seems to be a big shift lately from coverage of women trying to get pregnant to the men with cups at the other end of the clinic (or, in this case, the lady with the egg).  I guess I'm supposed to be curious, but I'm not.

I pushed Heather to reject a donor when I suspected we knew too much about him, and now I'm terrified that not knowing the man with the cup means that there have been 500 other cups and 100 other babies.  Does that mean 200 step-parents for our little one?  Will we feel like just one couple in the genetic assembly line?  Will our child?

Or is it a sense of community?  Heather and I aren't great with community.  We like to hang out at home together, with only a weekly or semi-weekly interest in socializing.  Do we have obligations to the other children-- and parents-- of our child's donor?  How seriously do we take BioDad?

When our friends Mamie and Whitney talked us through our first round of donor selection, they said that it didn't really matter.  By the time we got into the process, the guy with the cup seemed a long way away, they said, and they were totally right.  That baby has the facial structure of one mom and the coloring of the other, and there's no moment when I see him that I think of his donor.  I imagine that being true for us, too.  So, good.  We'll focus on the bigger task of getting pregnant.  (Heather just had her first blood test last week and is due in a couple weeks for the next.)

The only question is whether the donor selection is going to reassert itself.  Or just when.


  1. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog. We used a sperm bank and are completely satisfied. Yes, our kids have half-siblings, but that has actually been a positive experience as we've gotten to know some of the families via Facebook and e-mails. We have met one family in person and plan to meet others. We have happy, healthy children and we don't care how many half-siblings they may have out there. Good luck with your making a family, whatever way you choose.

  2. Thanks for the comment! At first I felt a little defensive, but I gave what you said a lot of thought and it actually turned me around on the issue, so thank you for the nudge. I needed it.