Second and last re-posting from my old blog. This one explains how I went about choosing a donor.
I've had several people ask me how I came to choose a donor and what exactly it entailed, so I decided to post about it.
My physician works with two specific cryobanks (sperm banks). So the first step was creating accounts on their websites. After checking them both out, I decided on one rather than the other based on a couple of things (cost, ID options, donor information, etc.). Then I began to narrow it down based on physical attributes. I’ve read on several occasions that when selecting a sperm donor you should remember that this is not someone you’re dating, but someone that is going to provide the other half of genes to your child. I took a different approach however. I wanted someone who I might have dated. I wanted the physical features that I am attracted to, to be a part of my future child. Height is a very big deal to me (I’m 5’9) and I wanted someone taller than me. I usually date guys that are around 6’2. I also tend to date men with a more athletic/slim build. Most of my dates were in the 180-200 range. So with those criteria in mind, I narrowed it down to men who were at least 6’0 and in the preferred weight range.
From there I narrowed it down based on the ID option. The ID option allows the child to contact the donor after they reach 18 should they so desire. In my research on children conceived with donor sperm, the main complaint was that they had no clue who their biological father was and would never have the chance to meet him. These children were conceived with anonymous donor sperm. With that in mind, I decided that I want my child to be able to contact their father should they so desire.
That left me with about 80 or so donors to consider.
After reading the profiles, I narrowed it down to about 20 that I liked and from there it became about medical backgrounds and just the overall gut feeling that I had. Two donors in particular stood out to me. My first choice was 6’2, 180lbs, clean medical history and was described very well by the staff (personality, manners, etc). My second choice was 6’0, 185lbs, clean medical history with the exception of both paternal grandparents having passed at a relatively young age (late 60’s – early 70’s), he worked in the psychiatric field and I liked that. It made sense that he would understand a child’s desire to meet him one day. However the medical history thing really did bother me. Both of my grandparents on my maternal side are living and both in their 80’s. On my paternal side, my grandfather passed away very young (mid 40’s) of a heart attack. However, my grandmother is still living and will be 80 this year. So with all of that in mind, I decided to go with my first choice. I purchased his baby picture (totally adorable) and ultimately decided to purchase his adult picture. To my joyous delight, he actually looks like someone I would date; great smile and facial features. And with a BA in marketing seems to be on a good path.
So all in all, I feel it was a great pick. A true testament to my belief of “go with your gut!”
The post above may make it seem like picking a donor was like choosing a dress for an event. Looking back at it now I realize that I didn't accurately portray the thought and consideration that went into it. It was a very tedious task for me. After all, you are choosing half of your child's makeup. But with donor conception you are limited in your decision making when it comes to personality types and such. However, from what I read in the donor's profile and what I heard of him (they have audio clips) I really felt that he was the right choice. He seems like an all-around good guy that has goals and ambitions. The staff described him as very polite and thoughtful and those things also played a role in my choosing him. All in all, it's going to be a "wait and see" situation. But I guess that's the case with all children. I've watched many a child over the years be raised to act, walk, talk, believe, a certain way and then completely walk away from all they've been taught and go in another direction entirely.