Sperm Donor Dad Meets "Children"

Not sure if this is a good idea ....

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/14/us/14donor.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin (external - login to view)

By AMY HARMON (external - login to view)
Published: February 14, 2007

There is no established ritual for how an anonymous sperm donor should contact his genetic children. But for Jeffrey Harrison, Valentine’s Day seemed as good an occasion as any.
Hello, I'm Your Sister. Our Father Is Donor 150. (external - login to view) (November 20, 2005)

“It’s a short life,” he said, “and these children need to have some kind of resolution. I thought I could send a little valentine, kind of, to everyone, just saying hello.”
Mr. Harrison had been thinking about getting in touch since reading in an article in The New York Times 15 months ago that two teenagers whose mothers had used his sperm to conceive were looking for him. The headline, “Hello, I’m Your Sister, Our Father Is Donor 150,” made him choke on his coffee, said Mr. Harrison, who made $400 a month donating sperm under that number twice-weekly during the late 1980s.
But California Cryobank, the sperm bank that had promised anonymity to its customers and to Mr. Harrison, proved unresponsive to his repeated requests for assistance. Besides, he had misgivings. What if the girls were disappointed by his humble circumstances?
Once one of the sperm bank’s most-requested donors, with a profile that described him as 6 foot and blue-eyed with interests in philosophy, music and drama, Mr. Harrison, 50, lives with his four dogs in a recreational vehicle near the Venice section of Los Angeles.
“I make a meager living,” Mr. Harrison said, taking care of dogs and doing other odd jobs.
Still, he said he thought he could explain to the girls why he had taken an unconventional life-path. Their grandfather was an Ivy League (external - login to view)-educated retired financial executive, he would tell them; their grandmother was a former volunteer president for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Six weeks ago, Mr. Harrison logged on to the Donor Sibling Registry, the Web site devoted to facilitating connections between donor-conceived offspring, where the two girls, Danielle P. and JoEllen M. had initially found each other. Four more teenagers from his sperm samples had since surfaced, he saw on the logs.
How many could he handle, he wondered?
As Valentine’s Day approached, though, Mr. Harrison resolved to get in touch with them all.
Last Saturday night, Mr. Harrison e-mailed a picture of his birth certificate to Wendy Kramer, the founder of the sibling registry, to confirm his identity. Several dozen donors have contacted offspring on the registry, Ms. Kramer said, but none have been brave enough to come forward with such a large group of teenagers.
“You don’t know what to expect,” Ms. Kramer said. “How do we define this family, and what are we to each other?”
Danielle and JoEllen called Mr. Harrison together the next day. The moment that had preoccupied their fantasies for years began in a more prosaic fashion than they had anticipated. But they said they were not disappointed.
“The first thing he said was, ‘Holy moly,’ ” said Danielle, 17, who has spent several hours on the phone with Mr. Harrison in the last three days. “He’s sort of a free spirit, and I don’t care what career he has. I got to talk to his dogs.”
Mr. Harrison met a third daughter, Ryann M., in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. His other newfound offspring, who live in Colorado, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, are busy marveling over their shared love of animals and the distinctive forehead evident in the pictures he has e-mailed.
That's one ugly child sharing the bench with the daddy... too afraid to even face the camera...
I don't think this is a good idea either.
Last edited by marygaspe; Feb 14th, 2007 at 05:35 PM..
I've met my genetic mother. It was a good thing for me and for her. I don't know if this is too different. As long as everyone involved is willing, I don't think it's any of my business.
Libra Girl
I'm just wondering about the possible genetic repercussions of this.. if he was donating monthly, at a rate of twice a week, and already has fathered several children; multiply that by God knows how many other donors that did/do it regularly, weekly or monthly... many of these children may be destined for for future incestual relationships, albeit unknowingly, and beget genetically deficient offspring. Just a thought...
As long as he supports his children if the recipient parents fail in their duty that might be some compensation. We are living in weird times and they're going to get weirder. A father is a father is a father. His duty doesn't end with a tube and a handshake with Mr. Twinky.
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDBView Post

That's one ugly child sharing the bench with the daddy... too afraid to even face the camera...

from the back you can see the resemblance lol
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

As long as he supports his children if the recipient parents fail in their duty that might be some compensation. We are living in weird times and they're going to get weirder. A father is a father is a father. His duty doesn't end with a tube and a handshake with Mr. Twinky.


I don't know for certain the circumstances this man's donor obligations go as far as financial responsibility.

I think when donors are recruited they sign a release form regarding any future information-sharing about them as "donor fathers", have no obligation for future care, they list possible inherited features if significant to the child, and most of them remain completely anonymous.

It's a matter of money not love. That's what makes me think it is not a terrific scenario for a child to know he or she was partially created by a dad who just jacked off into a receptacle....

I know that's a clinical way to look at it....but somehow I think we humans have the entitlement to believe our parents had a few moments of "love" even if it didn't last beyond the act itself....

I know I know....life isn't like that at all....but I wish it could be.
Curiosity, you're right. I'm sure waivers are in place. But, seeing how we, the possible future caretakers of such children were never directly consulted on this issue, I will always remind the state of the duty of fathers, be they the regular or canned variety.
I must have lived a sheltered life. I always thought that sperm donors were selected from the cream of the crop so to speak. Here we have an itinerant gypsy who lives in his car with four dogs.....and they paid him to donate. God help us.
I have heard of one "donor" situation which seemed well thought out and planned with special care for the future of the child (as it turned out children - twins - or multiple doubles)...

Two gay men were partners who wanted a child and the sister of one of the men (who was a mother herself), volunteered. I think both men donated sperm and it was blended or combined or whatever magic they do these days.... and she became pregnant with twins... one from each father's biology.

Talk about mad scientists.... and it sounds like that now that I am typing it.... but the two men were over the top with love for these two new little girls they were now caring for and at least there was great love among them - even the surrogate mother who came to visit often to see what she had been a part of.

I think the only unhappy creatures in the new family were the dogs who lost "attention" for a while...
I don't understand the big problem people have with sperm donation. What is a woman supposed to do if her husband is infertile?

Similar Threads

Sperm donor liable for child support
by Kreskin | Apr 28th, 2008
Popular Science "Cellphones Kill Sperm"
by Karlin | Jan 10th, 2007
Sperm Donor "Dad" named Anonymous
by Curiosity | Dec 18th, 2006
no new posts