For those that don’t know, O.prah’s show yesterday was about sperm donors, but she kept calling them ‘fathers’ or ‘sperm donor dads.’ Viewers heard about the experiences of: donors who’ve been contacted by children born from their sperm, single moms who conceived via donor sperm, and children born from donor sperm. Two mom families were not even mentioned! Over all the parent perspective of why donor sperm was used was completely missing. It would also have been nice if at least one sperm bank had been represented. But now I may be asking too much for talk show television.

I really appreciated two of the three donor’s perspective on their role in the kids’ lives. They were open to being contacted yet wouldn’t push a relationship. One of those two went so far as to say, he’s not the kids’ father, he only has one child, the child he had with his wife. (This is how I hope Mr. E’s donor feels, when and if he looks him up.) At the same time, that donor appreciates the need that some donor babies have a need to connect with their donor to fill in the missing pieces. (Precisely the reason we opted for an ID release donor) The third donor proclaimed himself ‘dad’ and the family is very happy with how the relationship has developed. Different strokes for different folks, I’m glad it’s working for them.

The donor babies (adults now, of course) profiled ranged from those who’d been able to locate and meet their donor to those desperately wanting to meet their donor, but have no avenue to do so, and in my opinion, are understandably upset by this. Their experiences of learning they were donor babies also varied with respect to age and circumstances around finding out. One woman was close to 30 when her mother told her. The kids that have meet their donors – or in one case, not the donor, but a half biological sibling, seemed to be at peace with the process, while the others really struggled. They felt strong that they should have access to the donor. Can’t say I disagree, but that’s probably evident by our decision to use ID release sperm.

Also profiled were the mother son duo who created the Don.or Sib.ling Reg.istry. A and I had planned to register once Mr. E was born, and we did so after the show. No matches on there currently. Hopefully some day we will connect with other babies from our donor – we know from our sperm bank that at the time of his birth there were seven other boys and six girls born from the same sperm. We have more vials in storage, as other families may too, so this number could increase. (Sadly, our donor is sold out and not donating anymore, so we’ve only got five shots at a sibling with the same donor.) The power of connection really hit me while watching the show and I am more thankful than ever that we’ve already begun to establish a relationship with two of his half bio siblings.

I enjoyed the real life part of the show – how donor sperm has impacted the lives of those profiled, but it would have been a richer show had more perspectives been included.

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