Monday, December 23, 2013

Do you want to know?

Watching Generation Cryo tonight has made me curious about what other SMCs think about their donors (if you used an anonymous or "willing to be known" donor). The information I have about him is the profile information and two photos, a toddler aged one (that does look a lot like Bumpus) and a school-aged one where he looks about four or five (where he looks dramatically different - which makes me wonder how different B will look by then, or how different Theo may look). He did not have adult pictures or videos or audio tapes, but I wouldn't have accessed those even if I could have. 

Why? I don't know. It kind of gives me the creeps. I mean, I chose to procreate with a complete stranger, and one who is fifteen years younger than me! My sons' father is someone I have never (and may never) meet, someone I have never even seen. The adviser at the clinic once told me a story about how she and this particular donor (I guess she gets pretty chummy with them) had a conversation about how he always strikes out with women and she told him he needed to work out a little to "bulk up" (apparently he's a bit of a bean pole). This story makes me feel oddly warm towards him and also (again) a little creeped out. In three months I will have had two children by this awkward, skinny 20-something guy who can't get a date. If he were one of the young guys I know in the dance scene I'm sure I'd feel motherly and protective towards him. Sometimes all of this stuff is just too weird!

One of the SMCs in my group has an adult photo of her donor on her phone that she proudly shows us (he's freaking hot), and last time I saw her, she said she had (somehow) found his Facebook profile (!). She said she was a little bummed out by it - I forget why, maybe he was kind of a party boy...? But it did make me wonder, if someone said to me right now that they had my donor's Facebook page for me, would I look at it? I definitely wouldn't, for fear of being somehow disappointed by it. That and I just don't want to know.

I can wait eighteen years before anything more about this person is revealed to me, if it ever is. At least by then he'll be a man and not just "some kid". And I'll be in a different place, too. But right now knowing about the donor kind of makes me go, "ewwwwwww". 

How do you all feel about knowing about your donor? If someone offered you access to more information, would you take it?


  1. When I was pregnant, I ordered our donor's Lifetime photos so Elena could have them. Photos from baby to current. It took me weeks to open them because I was afraid I'd think he was ugly or an ugly baby & didn't want this to cloud my thinking if my baby. Eventually I did & was surprised that he looked exactly like the type of guy I would date. His current photo of course. But I really don't want to know anything about him. I'd rather leave that up to Elena. As a baby I saw so much of him in her. It was funny because she does look so much like me & my family would go on & on but I knew she looked a lot like him too.

  2. I feel a weird sort of obligation to my child to collect as much info on the donor as possible, but that doesn't mean I need to read it. For example, I have the recording of the audio interview, but I've never listened to it. I did choose an "open ID" donor, but I haven't decided if the fact that the donor is willing to be known is something that I want my child to know.

    18 is such a big, change-filled, important age in a person's life, I'm not sure I want to pile on top of that some idea that it's the magic age when my child will get the opportunity to learn more about this mysterious person. It seems like a lot for an 18yo to deal with. Still, I'm not sure it's something I can keep a secret from my child either. I may just tell my child that I hope he/she waits till he/she is 20 to contact the donor... just to get through the initial shock of college/being out of high school, first. I just don't know.

  3. Nope, no interest at all to learn anything else about him other than I know now. A childhood photo, family health history and personal profile. I don't think of him as a father in the least, we don't even use that word around here for him. We use the word donor, leaving it all clinical-like. Everyone is different though and I totally get how others may think differently on this topic.

  4. Different situation here because I adopted, but I found my son's birth mom on Facebook before he was born and I have no self control. I check her page at least once a week. So far it has only led to feelings of jealousy and abandonment on behalf of my son, as she is not in contact with us but does regularly see other kids of hers who were adopted by another family many years ago.

  5. I would. I guess I am more in the curiosity boat. And I am not sure that anything I could learn would make me feel disappointed (unless he was a complete a$$ or had huge health issues that he lied about). Like the dad on the show said, without this man, I wouldn't have my amazing children. For that, and that alone, he pretty much gets a free pass from me.

    Since my children are also biologically related to the embryo donor, it's great to be connected to her and her immediate and extended family. While I am not sure anyone else sees it, I see a lot of Ashlynn in a cousin and my kids definitely share their risk taking behaviors with their full bio sibs.

    I am looking forward to April and getting to see many of their donor sibs and their families. It will be interesting to compare our kiddos to see what commonalities they have and what clearly came from the donor.

  6. I'm more in the same boat as Jen (above). I'm curious, and for some reason, it really doesn't creep me out. I'm in contact with about 6-7 donor sibling families, although we haven't met in person. I do think we will someday. I know a lot of people like to leave this stuff up to the kids to decide their level of interest, saying it's "her story to tell". But I see it more as OUR story... I mean, I chose to have a baby on my own, I chose the donor, etc. It's both of our story - together. So, I feel like if I choose to have us meet her donor sibs - and same could potentially go for the donor - before she's old enough to make the decision, I don't see that as a bad thing. When she'd old enough, if she decides she no longer wants contact, then so be it. But it doesn't bother me to know, and I'm curious, so yeah, I would take more info if it were offered to me. I just hope I wouldn't end up disappointed and sorry I'd chosen to see/read it!

  7. I would love to see pictures of the donor as an adult (and of baby #2's egg donor as well), but I'm not sure I'd want to know anything else about them. I'm a little disappointed as well that I've only been able to find one other donor family, and neither of us are good at keeping up with correspondence.

  8. I listened to my donor's interview and have the lifetime photos. I don't think I want to know too much more - he's ID release. I think it's because I only see my boy as mine and although he really doesn't belong to the donor. I think it would make that connection weird and I really wouldn't want this person to have access to my child sense this is not a relationship. I guess in some ways it might help to know somethings to help Foxie as he grows up but not everyone no matter what the situation knows everything about their parents.

  9. Through a complex series of events where I had to switch donors at the 11th hour, I ended up with an anonymous donor instead of a willing to be known donor -- the sperm bank lab manager screwed up.

    I was pretty devastated by this, so as a result, I would leap at the opportunity to find out more about the donor. But only so I could have the option to offer it to C later on.

    For me, I have no desire to see an adult photo. I have a childhood photo and he is sweet and innocent. I think I'd be skeeved out to see him as a hairy man.

    I would, however, be very interested to find donor siblings. I signed up for the DSR but it's a small bank and I don't know how many folks who chose a purely anonymous donor would want contact with other families. I'm disappointed about this.