Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Donor Drama- Second Thoughts

As I will soon approach the time for the first insem, I decided to do a check in with my donor to be sure that everyone was on the same page.  I wanted to be sure that his partner was still on board and that they have had a good conversation about this, and about how she might feel if I got pregnant, etc.   Baby Donor agreed that this was a good idea, and we talked for the first time about some of the logistics of obtaining the sample, etc, in serious terms.  We've brushed over much of this before over the last 18 or so months since we began discussing this, but it was never entirely in a serious tone.  I mean, really, when you're talking about someone whacking off into a cup, you can only be so mature.  Well, at least I have limits.  Humor is what makes a very heavy, serious, topic a little lighter, and a little easier to discuss.  He always jokes about how I can only have the sample if it is transferred the ol' fashioned way, etc.  

The fact is, what makes him a desirable and perfect candidate, is the very thing that also makes him a liability and a this-isn't-going-to-work kind of donor.  He has a huge heart.  He's caring, and thoughtful and smart. So, here is what transpired: 

Me: So... I know you're super busy.  I just need to know if I should seek an alternative solution to my um... needs.  :-)  You don't need to explain your decision; I just need to know either way. I will not be upset, or hurt, or have any negative feelings.

3:41:14 PM: Baby Donor: I know you wouldn’t ... you’re too cool for that ...
 3:41:48 PM: Baby Donor: I have to be honest though, J... I am starting to have concerns... That I never considered before....

3:42:04 PM: Me: Totally understood.

 3:42:14 PM: Baby Donor: so daughter is 14

3:42:14 PM: Me: It's better to fully think it out now...

3:42:30 PM: Baby Donor: yeah ... and I never even thought twice about it .. until this past week
3:42:41 PM: Baby Donor: meaning , I never thought I would be concerned
3:42:51 PM: Baby Donor: ok so daughter is 14
3:43:06 PM: Baby Donor: and is the only thing tying me to this state....
3:44:04 PM: Baby Donor: am I the type of person that could do this ... and have no attachment / connection etc... I don’t think I am ...
4:09:12 PM: Baby Donor: so I started to think long and hard about it ... and I know what you are looking for.... I don’t think I can do it, there is no way I could walk away or not be involved in some sort of way ... It really wouldn’t be fair to you, me , daughter , or partner ... as soon as daughter hits college we are moving back south
4:09:46 PM: Baby Donor: I am so sorry.
4:10:18 PM: Baby Donor: not saying its 100% final ... and we can talk more ... but don’t want you to miss other opportunities /avenues

4:10:25 PM: Me: i totally understand
4:10:38 PM: Me: Well, I've been advised to never stipulate what the relationship will be once the child is born.
 Ideally, in my world where everything is perfect and blissful, I envision something like the role of an uncle.  However, I have no desire to try to co-parent with someone that is not my partner.  This sounds cold, but otherwise, things get much too complicated.
 Obviously, being advised not to stipulate a relationship has to do with intent and severing of parental rights. 
 So, I never pictured that you'd be in the day to day picture, but I did imagine that you would be present in some capacity and hopefully in an important way.  If you were to move out of state, hopefully the relationship would allow for it to evolve into something that could work.  One of the main points of my wanting a known donor was so that this would be a possibility, but it is something that I cannot promise.  Though, it is something that I do hope would eventually be comfortable for everyone. 
 Part of what makes you so wonderful and why I asked you, is your thoughtful and kind nature, but it's also the same part of you that makes you doubt your ability to have no connection/attachment.  I'm not really asking for no connection or attachment, I just don't want to share parenting with you or day to day decision making about the child with you. 
 My heart is open to the possibility to include you/daughter/partner/ in whatever capacity seems comfortable to everyone.  Like an extended family, but not like parents.
4:12:46 PM: Me: the severing of parental rights is a legality that is necessary for both of our protection, yours for financial protection so that i would never have any legal grounds for child support
4:20:10 PM: Me: I've always felt that if I was adopted or a child from a donor, that I would have a strong desire to know my roots.  I know biology is only part of the picture, but any child of mine I believe would want to know.  It's important for me to have that door open.  I know a couple of people that have wonderful relationships and have built wonderful extended families with their donors.  In my heart of hearts, I hope that's what would happen. (But these same people also stressed the importance of not putting that in the contract.)
4:20:45 PM: Me: I'm happy to let you continue to think on it.  I'll continue to keep my options open and we can revisit again when it looks like I'll be ready to try.
4:21:37 PM: Me: My cycle is all bizarre right now since the hemorrhage and I have some medical-ish things that need to happen first anyway.  so, my initial schedule has been pushed back. And honestly, I'm so touched an honored that you even considered it to begin with.

Baby Donor: J , ty for being so understanding... and Like I said .. its not a "NO" ...lets keep discussing and thinking  etc... so that when we/you are closer we can figure it out
4:51:11 PM: Baby Donor: I just wanted me some J...
4:51:13 PM: Baby Donor: lol
4:51:14 PM: Baby Donor: :-)

4:51:15 PM: Me: I think that sounds like a lovely plan.
4:51:17 PM: Me: lol

4:51:43 PM: Baby Donor: totally teasing .. and please don’t think i am brushing you off ... etc.. definitley not the case .. work stinks fro me now

4:51:44 PM: Me: This is not your everyday situation, it requires lots of dialogue

4:51:48 PM: Baby Donor: amen

4:51:52 PM: Me: and humor
4:52:50 PM: Me: And as I said before, it's best to discuss these things now rather than later.  I mean, we can only do so much preparing, but it's good to talk through them in the abstract as preparation, vs. trying to navigate it blind, later.
4:53:34 PM: Me: And I never for once felt as though you were brushing me off, you're a thoughtful person, it never even crossed my mind.
4:53:48 PM: Me: And I value, so much, that you can be honest.  It's the only way this would ever even work.

4:54:12 PM: Baby Donor: agreed... and ty

4:55:03 PM: Me: Thank YOU.

After this conversation, I felt deflated and yet glad to know that he has put real thought into this.  I also realized that I was way more attached to having him as the donor than I realized.  While I would rather know these things now, before there is a baby to consider, part of me is truly crushed.  I understand and respect his position, but I am also saddened by it.  I'm buoyed by the thought that he is still open to the idea, and still processing things.  But I'm crushed to think that I'm back at square 1.  For so many reasons.  It's difficult to pick a donor, there is much to be considered.  

  1. What kind of person are they?  
  2. What's their sexual history? 
  3. How many partners have they had? 
  4. How many serious relationships?  
  5. What's their current partner's sexual history?  
  6. What is their medical background?  
  7. Will they be willing to get testing done -- both for STD's but also DNA tests for genetic diseases?  
  8. Are they fertile?
  9. Would they be willing to submit to a sperm test?
  10. Are they willing to terminite parental rights?
  11. Do you see this person as someone with whom you can speak openly and honestly?
  12. Is this someone that you can trust ?
  13. Is this someone you would like to see in your extended family?
There is a lot to go through before you get to that first insem.  

I went to see a psychic a couple of weekends ago.  She told me to trust in the Universe. I'm trying, I'm REALLY TRYING, but there is so much riding on this.  I really, really, really, want to work with this donor.  Maybe all of this is because Mecury is in retrograde... I should never have addressed this now... or at least that's what the astrologers say....

How did you decide on which donor to use?  What was your process? I'm curious -- for both known and unknown donors, how did you go about making your donor selection?  I've looked into some banks, but it feels strange to me.  It feels like I'm picking my baby out of a catalog. It feels a little bit like shopping for a shed-- with little more to go on other than features and maybe a photo or two, it ends up feeling so shallow.  The essays and voice clips just don't seem to be enough for me.  And then I get hung up on whether or not I'd even want to be friends with this person, never mind put their sperm inside of me.  

And then... there is the issue of cost.  I cannot afford sperm bank sperm. I simply cannot... and I still really would like to use a known donor.  I want my child to have the opportunity to know its roots intimately if he or she desires. A sperm bank just doesn't provide for that opportunity. 


  1. i'd be happy to talk to you about our process of choosing a bank donor, why we went that way, all that, but...

    i think the key is in your last paragraph. you want to use a KD, and if that's important to you, i'm not convinced you should give up on it. for us, it was not desirable to do that (or not desirable enough to overcome the things we did not like about it, like having to settle most of the things on your list for ourselves), and if someone had told us we had to, that would have been really, really hard to deal with. i'm sorry that things are rocky with your first choice right now, but i hope that you can find a situation that works and gives you what you want.

    if you do decide to consider the bank route, i really am happy to tell you about our thoughts and how we chose. drop me a line.

  2. Jenny - not sure if you're into this kind of thing at all, but I'm happy to do a tarot reading for you and see if it helps provide any direction. Been awhile since I commented - I think I originally found your blog through MDC many moons ago. :-)

  3. Hi Bionic! Thank you so much for always taking the time to post such thoughtful responses. They are always so helpful to me.

    I'm curious, did you at all consider a known donor? Did you rule it out simply because there was no one you felt comfortable asking? Or did you rule it out for other reasons?

    It truly seemed an impossible task to me when I requested packets from a few banks. Short of throwing all of the numbers in a hat and picking, I just couldn't get connected. I found myself getting hung up on eye color and hair color and it just seemed ridiculous. So, I would really be curious to hear how people did come to their decisions.

    I have one other person -- a friend of a friend -- that I've been encouraged to contact, so I will see where that leads. In the meantime, it will give Maybe Baby Donor some time to think and me the opportunity to feel like I'm DOING something about it. I'm a do-er. If I'm not DOING something, I go crazy.

    If email is easier, you can contact me at

  4. Hi Jamey!

    I will take all the help I can get. :-)

    Btw, do you have a blog? I have trouble keep real life people's names matched with their blog persona. :-)

    Probably did find me on MDC :)