February 19th, 2007
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Mr. Harrison had been thinking about getting in touch since reading in an article in The New York Times 15 months ago that two teenagers whose mothers had used his sperm to conceive were looking for him.

Since there is not much etiquette to refer to for sperm donors, this man arbitrarily picked Valentine’s Day to announce himself whose mothers had used his sperm to conceive. Hmmm, I do not quite know what to think of that! Apparently, he did announce himself to children that he already knew wanted to know his identity.

The term “dad” I put in quotes because I am not certain that I consider a sperm donor a father. There was no intention to ever be a father, right? Although I hate it when people refer to birth dads as sperm donors, (I think it is uncalled for, no matter what they may be like.)sperm donors are in a different situation. In this story a man who contributed sperm regularly for years finally decides to announce himself to some of the children who resulted from his anonymous contributions at a sperm bank.

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My son and I had a discussion recently about the whole sperm donor issue. Most of the adoptees that I know, and many birth moms hate the idea of the anonymous aspect of sperm donors since it deprives the child of knowing half of their identity. Anything that decreases the chance of an adopted children being able to find out about their parenthood does bother me.

However, my son said he felt that the anonymity is an important part of insuring that there are enough donors for women who need them. Of course, he then cracked a joke about my lack of fertility problems. He is right, of course, that I have never had any issues with being infertile and cannot totally relate to the infertility experience.

Did you know that there is a donor sibling registry ? The registry is how Mr. Harrison located two of the young women who were conceived via his sperm. Yipes, I do not know what to call him or them! Calling them his daughters seems not quite right.

This donor dad(?)had some concerns that he might dissappoint the children that he helped to create. Although he was a much sought after donor, at age 50, he lives in a mobile home (trailer)and walks dogs for a living. Adoptees sometimes worry about similar scenarios for birth parents.

4 Responses to “Sperm Donor “Dad” Meets the Children”

  1. The sperm donor did intend to father a child … in the noun sense, not the verb … since that is the only thing that sperm is used for. (Hair conditioner? I don’t think so.)

    What is the difference between a sperm donor and the guy who has unprotected sex with women he has no desire to parent (verb) with, aside from the entertainment aspect?

    The sperm donor is honest, as there’s no, ‘Sure I’ll still respect you, and I’ll call soon … honest I will’ when it drops the cup at the desk. The other guy can be a selfish git who could care less about the consequences of the pants party.

    And if bio connection is the be-all-and-end all of important ties to children, why shouldn’t cup guy be as vital as party guy to the resulting human? Is he not just as much a father as any with a bio link?

    And what about egg donors? If a child is conceived from a donor egg, who is more mother, the egg woman or the one who grows the egg but isn’t related to it?

  2. Jan Baker says:

    The point that I keep making about the bio connection is not that it is the ONLY significant connection, but that it is extremely important in most cases. The cup guy offered his sperm and nothing else. It is a given.

    True, a bio guy could offer little too, but there is more of a possibility that he might want to offer more. Many guys do step up to the plate once a baby’s on the way. The ones that do not may be jerks, but calling them “sperm donors” is just not something I care for. How would a kid feel about someone calling their dad that even if he is a jerk?

    Egg donors – sheesh! I don’t even have an interest in going there.

  3. But what if the dad IS a sperm donor? What does the kid call him then?

    And does calling someone something else change what they indeed are?

    I’m trying to imagine if I would feel better about a cup guy or a party guy for a father.

    Man! this gets complicated …

    I’m not asking for answers, Jan … I don’t think there are any; only more questions … just wondering out loud.

  4. Jan Baker says:

    Glad you aren’t asking for answers on these issues, because I wonder myself!

    Cup guy or party guy? What choices, eh? It definitely gets very complex. I just saw a “Close to Home” episode recently that had a surrogate mother story. It had me thinking.

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