One of the most challenging decisions of my life was selecting who would be the sperm donor to help me create my family. The search features on most sperm bank websites are set up to be very appearance-minded. What color eyes? What color hair? Do you have a height preference? After you have entered in basic search terms, a list of donors for you to consider appears on your computer screen.
More donor attributes are revealed: interests in athletics, literature, the ability to play the piano. After pouring over every detail, one or two donors will start to feel familiar, comfortable even.
I went through the process of looking for a donor four different times during my journey to become a mother. There was nothing romantic about finding a donor. There was never a moment where I felt a flutter and thought, “If only I was meeting this random grad school student for a date!”
If you asked me if I had feelings for the donor who ultimately helped lead to the creation of my amazing and wonderful son, I would say yes. And that feeling is gratitude. It’s more likely that my family would develop affection towards some of my son’s half siblings (who we’re only just beginning the process of learning about).
The idea that a woman would fall in love with her sperm donor or that a sperm donor would develop feelings for a woman he donated to sounds like complete fiction. Hollywood has dabbled within this farce a couple of times. In 1993 we watched Ted Danson discover he was the sperm donor Whoopi Goldberg used to help create her family in Made in America. Comedy antics and a bizarre love story followed. In the 2010 film, The Kids Are All Right, the children of a lesbian couple, played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, track down their sperm donor. Of course he and Julianne totally hit it off … uh.
According to the Sidney Morning Herald, Hollywood is chasing down a story in Australia about a woman who fell in love with her sperm donor.
Aminah Hart has become a bit of a celebrity in Australia after her story aired on a TV special called How I Met Your Father. In the special Hart talks about how she was a single woman who wanted to become a mom. She requested profiles from her clinic. The sperm donor profile that stood out to Hart was from a man who said he was, “Happy, hardworking, down-to-earth, and he had four healthy children.” She thought, “Happy and healthy — there are two things that have alluded me.”
The events that followed unfold like a fantastical story. Hart became pregnant and delivered a healthy daughter. Her daughter didn’t have the same West Indian complexion, which made Hart remember how deeply she had desired a connection with her own black father. When Hart went out to find her own father, she had discovered he had died. Worried that her daughter would never get to know her biological father, Hart decided to reach out to the donor agency to request contact. The donor agreed. They all met up. Then Hart and the donor fell in love.
Because of course they did.
Hart’s mother boasts, “It’s a bit of a fairy story really. But it’s real, so that’s good. It’s not just a dream, you know?”
This is not normal. While I congratulate Hart and the donor on their love story, seeing it elevated as a fairytale is bizarre. There are around 30,000 children born every year thanks to sperm donors. As the mother to one of these children, I can tell you the love story is with our children, not their donors.
So here are 5 reasons why I will never fall in love with my son’s sperm donor:
1. I have no plans to search for him. If anyone is going to seek him out, it will be my son.
2. IF we dated and then broke up, that would be a disaster for my son. (Ugh — so weird to even say, “IF we dated.”)
3. Hopefully the donor is happy with his own family.
4. I don’t want to be a part of a made-for-TV movie (at least not about this).
5. He’s short.
I do wish Hart and donor, Scott Anderson, well. However, I urge everyone who is following their story to recognize this is not something people who used donor sperm are looking for.More On