Every day is a winding road. So says my fellow Missourian (and single mom) Sheryl Crow, and I gotta say, when I got up this morning I did not expect to be sitting here tonight writing about sperm. But I’ve gotten quite an education on the subject today, and here I am.
Right. Okay, then. Sperm.
Turns out, it’s really easy to get. And I don’t just mean from the random pervert on the street. I mean from legitimate cryobanks. And by easy, I mean it kinda seems like— and this is from a couple hours of internet research, so take it for what it’s worth, but it kinda seems like I could have a couple squirts of the stuff delivered in freeze-dried vials by sometime next week. And—get this!— there are DIY impregnating directions right online.
Talk about romantic. Not.
Still, it does make a girl think.
Especially given the other juicy tidbit I learned today, which is what sent me down this particular winding road. This morning I was perusing a newsletter from a great organization called Single Mothers by Choice, and one piece mentioned “identity release” sperm donors, which I’d never heard of before. So I looked it up.
And it’s BRILLIANT.
Basically an identity release sperm donor agrees that a child can have access to the donor’s identity once the child is 18. How cool is that? Now everyone is different, and I’m sure some people are thinking—yeah, not cool at all. But I think it’s pretty fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that it removes one of my greatest hesitations about using a sperm donor, which is that it just doesn’t seem fair to keep that kind of information from a kid. Wanting to know who you are and where you come from is such a basic thing, so fundamental to who we are and how we perceive ourselves—for better or worse, I think it’s important for a child to have access to that information.
Since I was already looking into the identity-release issue, I also checked on the general requirements for donating sperm. Turns out, Mr. Random Pervert On The Street need not apply. Donors have to be between 18 and 35-38, and healthy. They have to complete medical, genetic, and psychological testing. And they have to have attended or be attending college (or be able to show a certain level of success in their chosen career). Each cryobank has its own specifications, but if that’s the low bar, that’s not bad.
And when you’re shopping for sperm (which I did tonight, solely in a browsing capacity), you can get a pretty decent amount of information on these guys. I’m not just talking age, height, and weight. I’m talking career, heritage, hobbies, hair color, eye color, blood type, a detailed medical history, as well as their written answers to a series of questions like “what are your goals and ambitions?” and “what are your special interests and talents?” And someone from the cryobank interviews the guys and writes up an assessment. Sometimes, you can even get photos.
Is it the same as meeting someone face to face? No, certainly not. But I would not have seriously considered sperm donation before today. And now that I’m at the end of today’s weird and winding road, I can honestly say that internet sperm browsing could be significantly more promising than internet dating.
Is it weird that I have a little bit of a crush on donor 36514?