There are a lot of disturbing similarities between online dating and looking for a sperm donor, and if you’re a single 35 year old woman, chances are you’ve spent some time doing both, whether or not you’re TTC (trying to conceive, for the newbs). I catch familiar echoes. Is this really my life now? Is the the only way to get what I want? Will I end up murdered, miserable, and alone?
Though I’m not technically TTC just yet, I start my prenatal vitamins tomorrow, field regular phone calls from my fertility clinic (don’t worry- I’ll talk about them later), and text my friends the results of my ovulation test (OPK), so I pretty much qualify. I still lazily peruse my messages on Tinder and OKcupid about once a week, but now it’s like, “No, John, I don’t want to have dinner when you get back from Texas, because I’m trying to figure out whether or not to spend $1,000 getting Benedict’s sperm shipped out from Seattle.”
So you think there’s got to be an easier way and then you find the free sperm donor websites and they are so much worse. The creepiest. At least with the men at the sperm banks, you know their motives are pure: cash. On the free donor sites, it seems men just have an itch to repopulate the world with an army of their bug-eyed, tattooed, hick spawn.
Speaking of armies, the family limits at sperm banks terrify me. Each sperm bank has a contracted number of families that can reproduce using one donor’s sperm before he’s retired. At that point, his sperm can only be used to create siblings for existing kids. Seattle Sperm Bank, currently my number one choice, allows 25 families per donor in the US. This is assuming that all births are accurately reported in a timely fashion. And, let’s imagine, that out of these 25 families, 60 children are produced: that’s not out of the realm of possibility. And what if some of the sperm was shipped to other countries, with different limits. Will my child have one hundred unknown siblings trotting around the globe? Will my child be haunted by this, scouring profiles of strangers on the street, looking for a family resemblance?
Will my child one day fall in love with his or her own sibling and become the subject of a Lifetime movie?