Tuesday, March 13, 2007


It looked like Erin and Jenny were getting close to having their first embryo transfer. We had to decide how open to be with them. They were coming to our area and wanted to meet us and the kids. We wanted to meet them too. There is just so much secrecy about donating the raw materials to help other people have kids. Our donor is anonymous. He was willing to provide an adult photo to the sperm bank but when he got married his wife nixed that idea and made him stop donating.

In the United Kingdom and Northern Europe advocates for people conceived through donor sperm were able to get legislation passed that guaranteed adults the right to know the identity of their donor. Not to contact him or call him "Daddy", just to know who he was. No more wondering if they carried the genes of the King of Sweden or Elvis or that homeless dude they just passed on the street.

What was the result of this new openness? A flurry of news articles bemoaning the sudden sperm drought throughout Britain. In parts of Scotland there is just one guy willing to be an open donor. He is now donating for entire swaths of that country. I read on another blog that one couple almost had to cancel their cycle ON THE DAY OF THE EGG RETRIEVAL because no sperm could be found (they scrounged some up from another clinic).

Why does everyone need to be so secretive? Who knows. What I do know is I was able to pick and choose from hundreds of detailed profiles to find the best donor for us. If the price of that is not finding out who helped us have our kids so be it. Anyway, chances are we will find out, just as soon as our son decides to submit his DNA sample to one of those genealogy databases. A teenager just found his donor that way.

Did we want to maintain our family's anonymity? As Jenny and Erin planned their trip to the clinic we had a decision to make.