Monday, October 03, 2011

Review: "Style Exposed: Sperm Donor"

I watched the "Style Exposed: Sperm Donor" episode yesterday evening. I enjoyed watching it. From a posting by Wendy Kramer of the Donor Sibling Registry, to the Yahoo DSR Discussion group, the continued showing of this episode on Style has yielded more donor signing up on the DSR than I believe usually do in a single year. Which has resulted in numerous matches between donors and offspring.

There are only 4 more scheduled showings of the episode on the Style Network. The last one this Friday at 1:00 am. [UPDATE: watch it here above or here]

Certainly seeing Adriene's and Kris's meeting and connecting was great to see and feel a part of. Watching Adriene talk with her dad and mom about her feelings for her dad despite his not being her biological donor dad was very touching and comforting. The connection she felt for Kris, her half sibling, was palpable and rewarding to see. You could see the joy in Kris's face having Adriene there for her big day.

The other half of the episode involved watching Ben Seisler, former donor, from Boston address the fact he has at least 74 offspring and balancing the concerns and fears that his fiance was herself having. At the same time he himself was dealing with his own thoughts and concerns meeting for the first time with two children conceived from his sperm.

He seemed like a man who honestly was trying to find his way. As he said to his fiance there is no guide book for this. The concerns I have for them is how does he balance his desire to provide info to these families and balance his life as a married man. There is a danger that this could create a divide in his marriage.

At the same time a number of these donor families, if Ben allows more to meet him, will want him to be a presence on some level in the lives of their children. It would appear so from just this one family. Not all will want contact but even if a few do it will be something he has to address if he plans to on treating these kids as clinically as he intended to before he met family one.

My own thoughts are the episode was a positive step to getting the stories out there and certainly it encouraged more donors to step forward. Will more donor family stories follow? Certainly the DSR hopes so and so do I. But will the general public, and advertising sponsors, have a desire to see a periodic series? I am not sure they would.

There is no guide for this.


Jessica White said...

Sounds like it was an interesting program (we don't have TV or I'd watch).

I think navigating the relationship questions could become very sticky ground...particularly for those conceived by single moms.

Bea said...

Sounds like a very constructive series.