Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More Info on How We (2) Chose the Donor

Again Some of this was addressed in my earliest posts back in August 2005. The following is part of an email interview I participated in with a journalist friend Mikki Morrissette (note I have removed the actual names of the sperm banks):

2. How did you decide on the particular donor you used? DI dads tend to be interested not at all in the donor profile information. [According to the sperm banks] most of the interest in that detail comes from single women in particular (and to some extent wives) and that husbands tend to not want to think of the donor as a real person. I'd like to get your view as well on what you considered in making donor selection...did it feel threatening? Did you pore over the details, or tend to dismiss them? Was the ultimate goal simply to find someone who looked like you?

I will admit I actually was quite involved in the initial rounds of weeding through many of the details. After I narrowed down the available Jewish donors by blood type, heritage, and educational background we ordered the available detailed health and social bios as well as the voice recorded CDs where available.

At that point because there was no child I had no problem thinking of him as a real person. As a pretty active amateur genealogist I think I probably looked at the details much as I do when I find data on missing individuals in family trees. Without that background my reactions may have been different. I think as the donor would be 1/2 of what makes my kids I also took it extremely seriously.

The details actually fascinated both me and my spouse but I can see the sperm bank director's point. I will admit there were also a few wild conversations. One donor whose physical and heritage backgrounds came close to mine worked as a parking lot attendant and my wife kiboshed that possibility as this was not some part time job for that guy. Education was a big deal for us and we even selected a donor from Sperm bank DEF's premier education group which added to cost.

Our goal was not simply to find someone who looked like me. Although I believe the sperm bank now offers the service of comparing the social dad-to-be’s photo to the donor. Our main points as discussed above were religion, blood type, and education. We had intended to improve on my family’s medical history but the donor we chose has a family medical history no better than my own in the end.


ffmom said...

Curious as to why religion mattered so much to you. I originally had that criteria, but wound up using a donor of a completely different religion than mine. I let go of that, as religion is not something passed through genes, but rather a belief system to be taught after the child is born.

DI_Dad said...

We wanted the donor to share as many characteristics background wise to my background as we could. Religion, ethnicity, blood type etc. The idea was that while any kids would not have the direct connection through a biological connection that the backgrounds match where possible so that part of their heritage we would have in common (be it religion or ethnicity etc.) Hopefully that makes sense.