Saturday, December 27, 2008

Should We Look For Our Sperm Donor?

There is a post on the Yahoo Donor Sibling Registry discussion group about a family that learned that their donor had died. They had been excited as they were making plans to meet and recently learned of his passing.

Makes you wonder, whether despite the legal contract I signed not to look, whether we should be looking. My first responsibilty is to my own kids not ethically whether I must uphold the contract. Should we look now? Just to locate him so we know where to go if the kids are interested to know. If we wait we could lose their opportunity.

9 comments:

Betsy said...

Wow, that's a really interesting question, and I would be asking myself the same thing. I really admire that you always consider your children first, regardless of what it might mean for you.

Good luck to you as you grapple with this decision. I'm not sure what I would do in the same situation.

Ryan said...

I would say not to look for him at this point. They may never have the desire, which alone is not enough reason to abstain from searching, but...

Life happens. Sometimes, someone we want to have contact with dies. You can't prevent that, it's a risk all of us take every second.

I just think it's more important for the children's desire to be the impetus behind the search. Not fear that the donor may die or desire to "preserve the information".

That's just my $.02, though. Feel free to ignore my rambling if you desire.

Lindsay said...

Wow Eric, that's a tough decision, and terribly sad for the family that discovered the donor had died (I hope there were other paternal relatives the children could get to know though).

I really do want to truly thank you for always putting your kids first and foremost in such decisions - unfortunately many of us are not so fortunate to have parents like yourself.

I would see if you can even locate the donor....with information given in recent years it's definitely easier than it is for us "oldies", but it takes considerable sleuthing for anyone. If you can, then once he's found he would be there if/when your kids wish to know about him.

I think if anything, you will have the peace of mind, rather than this fear that you may lose the chance to find him.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

That is a tough decision! I haven't given much thought to that aspect of things yet, but I'll add it to my list of ever growing concerns for my son.

damianhadams said...

Unlike Ryan, I would be leaning towards searching. Even though they may not have the impetus now as Ryan said, they may do so at a later date. And then if you do have some information it would be a lot better than none and "sorry he passed away". If they want it then at least the information is there and you did everything you could. Given from what i have seen of all your blog work and also as a father I would imagine that it may be painful for you in the future if the worst case scenario does come to the fore and then knowing that you did not do everything that you could (particularly seeing that you are addressing this question now).

Ryan said...

I dunno, Damian. As a dad myself, I want my son to run the risk of losing things, even people. I'm more the "don't shield them from the pain of life" sort... except when the "pain of life" is a knife-wielding sixth-grader.

Still, you all do make valid points. I'm just saying that just because another donor died doesn't mean that Eric's children's donors will die and that shouldn't be the impetus behind searching the guy out. As a DC kid, I don't think I'd want my dad actively searching for my donor on my behalf.

As always, I'll point out that I'm an odd one.

DI_Dad said...

Thanks folks. We have not decided how to proceed and like our "non-decision" where we continue to pay fees (into perpertuity it seems)to the cryobank to hold vials of the donor's sperm I am betting we will keep debating this internally (until the kids actually ask us to look) for lack of actually making a real decision. I continue to be interested in your thoughts so if you have additional comments don't let me stop you. Perhaps they will push me into actualy making a decision yea or nay.

Vinnie said...

I think the question whether to search can be distinct from the question whether to contact. I have not really started, other than some googling, etc., but I may search now because the donations took place only 6 or 7 years ago. It may become harder later, and my son might feel shortchanged that it wasn't done when it might be fruitful. On the other hand, information only gets easier and easier to find these days, so perhaps that fear is unfounded. Inertia may decide for me, which is not entirely unlike what Eric said. Oh, and we have unused vials in storage, too, so I wonder how long we've got until we have that decision made for us also (40 and 38).

Ryan said...

*sigh* Vinnie brought to mind a point I had forgotten. By the time I got around to looking for my donor, the clinic had moved and could therefore claim that they had "lost" my records. Annoying.