Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Commence Operation Known Donor

Of course, Operation Known Donor comes with its own set of problems....

1. Legally, it is far riskier than using an anonymous donor from a bank. An actual person who has participated so much in the creation of a life needs to be trusted to give up parental rights to free Dyke Two for second parent adoption later.

2. In terms of health, it is also far riskier. HIV and hepatitis both can be transmitted through semen, as can all of the STDs that are not life-threatening. Banks carefully test the specimens, and freeze them for six months of quarantine before testing the man again to make sure that he is not HIV positive or carrying hepatitis. There is no way to do this with a known donor and fresh sperm.

3. Finding a willing man can be difficult.

Dyke Two and I went back and forth a lot regarding the first two issues, and finally determined that we wouldn't want a donor who we couldn't trust regarding parental rights or safe sex practices, so we needed to wait until we found a potential donor who we felt we trusted on these two fronts.

This led to many crazy conversations between us and some of our closest friends as we bandied the names of various men back and forth. It seemed that everyone had an opinion and suggestion of a man to consider. When Dyke Two asked her doctor for the name of an OB, he too jumped into the discussion with two different men he thought would be good donors. When I asked my union guy for advice on which attorney to use to draw up paperwork, he offered me a couple of names too. For a while there, we were watching strange men at the gym, and thinking of which of them we should approach and ask. When we saw the ads in the paper for egg donors for the local hospital infertility clinic, we contemplated running our own ad.

Thankfully, that phase ended in about two months, as we settled in with a short list. Once we had created our short list, we decided that Dyke Two should be in charge of finding the sperm for us. After all, I had chosen who I wanted to raise a family with, and my genetic material is here for better or worse. Since she cannot give us any genetic material, it felt right for her to decide whose sperm to use. I have ultimate veto power if I think the donor she has selected is a jackass, but unless my feelings are overwhelmingly negative, it is her final choice.


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