Monday, December 18, 2006

"My father was a sperm donor" article

The Washington (DC) Post newspaper has an article published 17 December by Katrina Clark titled "My Father was an Anonymous Sperm Donor." The link is here. It is written from the child's point of view, and she makes valid points as she tries to solve "the puzzle of who I am."

She describes her search process:
I set out to find my own donor. From the limited information my mother had been given -- his blood type, race, ethnicity, eye and hair color and hair texture; his height, weight and body build; his years of college and course of study -- I concluded that he had probably graduated from a four-year university in Northern Virginia or the District within a span of three years. Now all I had to do was search through the records and yearbooks of all the possible universities and make some awkward phone calls. I figured if I worked intensely enough, my search would take a minimum of 10 years. But I was ready and willing.

A few days later, searching for an online message board for donor-conceived people, I came across a donor and offspring registry. Scanning past some entries for more recent donors, I spotted a donation date closer to what I was looking for. I e-mailed the man who had posted the entry. A few days later he sent a warm response and attached a picture of himself. I read through his pleasant words and scrolled down to look at the photo. My breath stopped. I called for my mother, who rushed in, thinking something was terribly wrong. "I think I've found my biological father," I gasped between sobs. "Look at the picture. . . .That's my face."

They matched DNA, and then she met him:

Even though I've only recently come into contact with him, I wouldn't be able to just suck it up if he stopped communicating with me. There's still so much I want to know. I want to know him. I want to know his family.

I'm certain he has no idea how big a role he has played in my life despite his absence -- or because of his absence. If I can't be too attached to him as my father, I'll still always be attached to the feeling I now have of having a father.

I feel more whole now than I ever have. I love our conversations, even the most trivial ones. I don't love him, and I don't know if I ever will, but I care about him a lot.

Now that he knows I exist, I'm okay if he doesn't care for me in the same way. But I hope he at least thinks of me sometimes.

Fascinating - read the whole article - a pretty sharp 17 year old young lady.

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