Friday, November 18, 2005


We do, that's who!

Yesterday, for the first time in almost a year, R decided to browse profiles of sperm donors listed with the bank we plan to use (not definite, but nearly) while I sat at the other desk and worked. She'd break every couple of minutes to read a snippet from someone's profile or to ask if I preferred red hair over blue eyes because she couldn't find a donor that had both.

But really, does it matter? Does it matter if the donor has red hair or black hair or blue eyes or brown eyes? Because our baby, no matter what, won't have my blood and won't look like me. Hell, the baby might not even look like Rachel. So, why do I care? Are physical attributes that important?

Once upon a time I didn't think they were. We'd selected a few browser profiles we liked based on family histories (but then how accurate are they?), IQ facts (anyone could lie), etc. But once we viewed photos, it was all over, because photos don't lie. That may sound shallow, but I'd like for my baby to not be crossed eyed with a hairlip. And if we have to pay big money for a donor, well then we might as well pick someone who is at least average-looking, right?

I used to care about the donor's listed occupation, IQ, biography, reasons for donating, etc. but I've come to the conclusion that most (not all) of these donors are full of sh-t. Most of them are young, as young as 18. And when an 18-yr-old writes about "donating to help families in need", I find myself thinking 'what crap. you are just immature, donating for beer money, and you don't understand the ramifications of what could happen when/if your baby shows up at your door 18 years down the road'. Additionally, is the sperm of a smart man who holds a highly respected, well paying job so much more desireable than a man of so-so intelligence who is employed as a janitor? Because when it all comes down to it, you never know what you're going to get and I think what really counts is the way we raise our child.

The truth is that no matter where our baby comes from, I will be happy, honestly. But in the meantime, it's hard to make these decisions.


Trista said...

Picking a donor is hard. I had wanted originally for us to pick someone who looked like me, but then thought to myself -- anyone who looks like me but is not from my family only superficially looks like me and those qualities may not be passed down. In the end we decided to focus on qualities we wanted our child to have and picked a donor in part on them. Of course, our situation is a bit different because we have a known donor, so we got to pick based on our personal observation rather than his own desciption.

Still, it didn't hurt that he is one of the best-looking men I have ever met. I mean, that's important when you're being honest about wanting a cute kid. But his looks (though important) were secondary to his character.

Lois said...

Good luck with your choice of swimmers! I know how hard it can be. My partner and I are moms to two amazing boys, that sort of look like both of us but thankfully it turns out that our donor may be a hottie. I hope your TTC phase is a short one and I check back soon to hear about a little one in the making!


J said...

We're having the same questions about sperm. I'm thinking as long as the eye/hair/height stuff matches....I'm not so concerned about how many advanced degrees the donor holds. My dad never even finished high school, and he's one of the smartest men I ever knew. And produced three kids, all looking towards advanced degrees.
Good luck!

Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

I can't even tell you what a relief it was for us when we finally picked the sperm. We're both so happy with the choice, and ultimately for all the hours of searching the bank, we just kinda knew when we first "saw" our donor. It actually came when we listened to his audio interview. He sounded so gentle, and ultimately that mattered quite a bit to both us. Who cares if he's good looking and smart if he's cruel underneath it all? Also, we didn't make this decision until we absolutely *had* to either-- It's an odd process, isn't it?