Friday, January 5, 2007


Did you read my earlier posts wondering why people contacted me who in no way fit my stated recipient criteria? The part that bugged me was when they either ignored the fact that we were looking for Jewish lesbians or pretended they were suffering from worse discrimination in adoption/fertility treatment than that faced by gay couples.

One nice family who I would not otherwise have considered took the opposite approach. Details have been changed for privacy:

Hi there.

Well, I'll just throw this out there, because, erm, nothing
ventured, nothing gained, right?.... We are a Catholic straight married couple, pretty much the opposite of what you requested. We are also not infertile. Our son has autism and is high-functioning and bright and wonderful, but as autism is an incredibly heritable disorder we are not able to have biological children. We also have other boys who are neurotypical (uh, the disability community's PC way of saying "normal").

We are a loud, joy-filled, happy family. Mom and Dad both have IQs over 130 as well(in fact, we met in the gifted program in school). Our children would welcome another sibling, we have long
felt that our family is not complete. I know it might seem selfish for us to long for four children, but there it is. We LOVE having a large family, we love the noise and the bounty and the bigness of it all. I had homebirths and breastfed and nourishing and nurturing my children has been a most precious stage in my life. We are interested in a semi-open arrangement, with letters, pictures, visits, etc according to the donor parents' comfort level.

If you are interested in talking further, please contact me by email. If our stats are pretty much a conversation killer, contact me to let me know! Thank you for your time and consideration.

This was the best embryo request I had received to date. It was perfect. The recipient started out by acknowledging that her family did not meet our preferences. Yet she creates common ground by discussing the gifted program she and her husband attended together (I had listed my IQ and my sperm donor's in the relevant section of the embryo listing form). Since I attended a gifted program as well I wondered which one they were in and what their take was on that kind of experience for children.

I loved it that she had such good things to say about her son with autism. Her family sounded great and I enjoyed her writing style. It communicated that she felt weird about asking for the embryos, and why not? It's a weird interaction. She bravely points out that her family's striking dis-similarity to our donor criteria might mean we had no interest in considering her embryo request.

Strangely, this well-written proposal did make me consider her, despite the fact that her "stats" on paper should have been "a conversation killer". Because of my experience working with people who have severe disabilities I deeply respected the decision of this woman and her husband to stop having their own biological children. They sounded like great parents in general.

This was going to be the trickiest request to date. My wife and I discussed how to handle it. I'll let you know what we decided later.