“When she was 32, my mother — single, and worried that she might never marry and have a family — allowed a doctor wearing rubber gloves to inject a syringe of sperm from an unknown man into her uterus so that she could have a baby. I am the result: a donor-conceived child.
And for a while, I was pretty angry about it.
I was angry at the idea that where donor conception is concerned, everyone focuses on the ‘parents’ — the adults who can make choices about their own lives. The recipient gets sympathy for wanting to have a child. The donor gets a guarantee of anonymity and absolution from any responsibility for the offspring of his ‘donation.’ As long as these adults are happy, then donor conception is a success, right?
Not so. The children born of these transactions are people, too. Those of us in the first documented generation of donor babies — conceived in the late 1980s and early ’90s, when sperm banks became more common and donor insemination began to flourish — are coming of age, and we have something to say.
I’m here to tell you that emotionally, many of us are not keeping up …”