It’s awful. Shallow. Frustrating. Overwhelming. There are so many things to think about. There are a few things we knew, absolutely knew, when we started looking at donors. Unfortunately, there are about a million ‘qualifiers’ that we didn’t even know we’d have to filter through.
You start the search and you think, “cool, this is going to be so much fun.”. It’s not. First you have to have to decide what kind of donor you want, known or unknown. Then you have to decide if you care if your donor has a graduate degree, is working towards one, has been to college at all. Why this matters I have no fucking idea. Then race, which wasn’t so hard, we knew we wanted to have a mixed race baby, preferably with some Latino flair. Then it asks you about RH factor and blood type. Shit, I don’t even know my blood type, much less what an RH factor is. We select ANY for both categories and move down the list. Next you can decide that the donor is a certain height and weight. Easy enough. Weight we leave blank and for height we put in that he has to be at least 5’8″, short dudes are weird. Eye color, hair color, hair type. We put any for all of those categories, no big deal. But, that’s just the initial search.
It comes back and there are more than a dozen that meet the specifications we put in. Again, ugh. At first we thought we were going to have so much fun with this, it’s not like everyone gets to read the complete medical history, education history and personality test results of their baby daddy. It’s not fun. It’s awful. Because now, now we have to go through the dozen plus donors that meet our basic idea of what we might want out of a donor and WHAT IF WE PICK THE WRONG ONE. This isn’t a cheap process. More than that, we’re talking about creating a little tiny human. A HUMAN.
There’s a section on staff impressions, which I mean, come on, they all say the same fucking thing. “He’s personable, great smile, easy going.” It’s like reading your horoscope, it’s all so vague. I think, great, that tells me so much about this dude who’s baby juice I’m about to have injected into my vagina. It tells you what their occupation is, if they already have kids, if their donor sperm has produced kids, if they’re married, their interests, their religion, it goes on.
I suddenly become a judge mental dick. Eliminating donors because they put down that they like cats and comic books. Because, obviously, if my donor likes cats my kids going to like cats and I HATE CATS. They’re gross, they shed, they shit in the house. This will never work out, not possibly, not ever.
Then I take a breath.
I realize that I’ve lost my fucking mind and that just because Donor 477685 likes cats has nothing to do with my kid liking cats.
And so, there are still over a dozen donors to choose from. We’re screwed.
We put it down. Turn off the internet and leave it for a while. The sperm bank sends us an email a few weeks later and you can download childhood pictures and audio interviews for free.
Which, I mean, I understand it’s a business, but it weirds me out that the sperm bank runs specials. They run BOGO specials on vials of baby juice, which I can only hope times up with my ovulation…
I log back in and pull up the list of the dozen plus donors and start flipping through pictures of them as two to five year old kids. Some of them have crazy messed up teeth. This, I feel is a fair disqualifier. I mean, I don’t want to spend thousands having my kid’s teeth corrected or them to go through life with a crazy overbite. Some of them have huge ears or close set eyes, also, this seems fair enough. It’s shallow, but damn, they’re not cute.
We’re down to about four donors. Now is where it get’s really hard. Am I really choosing to eliminate Donor 477655 because he’s a Christ-er? But, yeah, I am. Because my head goes there. Because, what if my kids a dick when he’s 19 and he decides to hire a PI and he tracks down his donor ‘dad’ and hates Virginia and I because his life was hard because he had lesbian moms and he finds his donor ‘dad’ and they go to church together and my kid becomes a born again christian? WHAT IF THAT HAPPENS? And so, 477655, you’re out.
And it goes on like this. Finally, I find him. I find the cutest childhood photo, big eyes, wavy brown hair, high cheek bones, perfect teeth, proportionate ears. I listen to his audio interview and I feel like we just went on an awkward first date. I know more about this dude than I feel is fair, considering he has no idea that his baby juice is destined for my vagina, or anything about me or even that Virginia and I exist. But, it’s been decided. We have picked a donor.