A donor's Blog
Posted on 05/16/12
Reprinted from a donor's Blog, with permission (this donor is posted on the DSR):
Back in 3rd grade, I don't recall 'sperm donor' being the profession I portrayed when I gave my 'career day' speech. Like many other eight-year-old boys, I envisioned myself playing first base for the New York Yankees.
I had little idea of what would ensue from my signing up with a sperm bank, but several years later, I can look back and say it's been a fascinating and exhilarating experience to witness what has resulted since this chapter of my life began.
In the summer of 2004, I was plugging away in a former life in the entertainment industry, and was simply looking for a way to keep my head above water while I was between jobs. I was 27, I had graduated from a very good college a few years earlier, but needed a little stability until I landed my next gig.
I never paid much thought to the idea of being a donor. During the unexpectedly thorough screening process that came courtesy of the sperm bank, I told a select few buddies about my new 'side job', and they did their best to keep a straight face.
While the jokes poured forth from my sophomoric friends, I realized that something significant was at stake.
I already had people close to me who were experiencing fertility challenges, and these people helped me to see the bigger picture of the service I was providing. One day, one of those friends was browsing a fertility donor community forum website called the Donor Sibling Registry, perused some of the donor profiles, turned to me and reluctantly asked, 'Are you, umm, uh, Donor 3***, by chance?' In addition to a match of my physical characteristics, I suppose that people who already know me can identify me based on my writing style.
Now that this strange new website had piqued my interest, I signed up on the DSR website, not exactly sure what I was looking for. When I typed 3*** into the Search box, I saw pictures of empty vials requesting more from Donor 3***. I wondered what made me so special. I reached out to a few members of the community, told them who I was, and they expressed tremendous joy that I reached out to them. I then discovered a collection of families with whom I now had ties that I would get to know through a blog they constructed for me. In this blog are pictures of the kids they created with my help, as well as bios on the family. But the most touching aspect of the blog is the heartfelt gratitude that is expressed by each family for my participation, and that's what gives me the drive to continue to do what I've been doing.
The sperm bank had retired me in 2005 after I fulfilled my initial vial limit. The following year, the sperm bank called me back for an abridged contract. Although I was gainfully employed with a great job at this stage, I was happy to oblige, as the demand instilled me with a sense of purpose, making me feel wanted - even if it was simply my genetic material that was the ultimate commodity. I suppose 'feeling wanted' is a constant motivation that drives me on a daily basis.
A year or so later, the sperm bank called me back one more time. I asked if getting un-retired multiple times was common. They said they've called a few donors back once, .but never twice. I asked what could be the reason, and they said it was probably because I was tall, Jewish, and an open donor (as opposed to an anonymous donor, which over 90% of donors at that bank happened to be). Clients typically prefer having the option to contact the donor down the road if/when the kid eventually gets curious about his/her biological father, and there is more general information available about open donors when prospective parents are narrowing down their choices to a short list.
When I shared this shocking revelation of my prodigious progeny with my friends, they asked if I was comfortable with all these little 'me's' running around? I shrugged and said, 'why not?' I figured, these prospective parents are going to use someone's sperm, they may as well use mine since I'm a caring, generous, fairly intelligent, disease-free individual. Not everyone shares my viewpoint, but I suppose that's why there aren't many people like me....at least not for a few years, anyways.