So, this one time, a Friend and I were having lunch one afternoon, chatting about work, life, summer plans… and then, without so much as a segue, Friend blurts out “So… you should have a baby with *Maria.”

I stared at her for a moment, my fork frozen en-route to my mouth. I blinked a few times, and asked her to repeat herself. “Yeah, you should make babies with Maria.”

Needless to say, this was quite the shock. The request, while unique in my life, wasn’t all that unusual; it was that it was coming from Maria which caught me off guard. We’d never hung out (although I’d met Maria and Friend for lunch a few times), and consequently barely knew each other. Acquaintances, we were.

I figured that Friend was just kidding around, so I steered the conversation back to less-blog-worthy topics. However, I messaged Friend later in the day and she assured me, yes, Friend and Maria were quite serious. It took a few days of convincing but, after I knew I wasn’t being trolled, I told Friend that my reaction wasn’t “fuck no”, and I’d be willing to give the request serious consideration.

The Request

What Maria wanted was quite simple: my sperm. We wouldn’t have sex, but rather I’d “make” a “donation” and provide it to her in an appropriate vessel of some sort.

Romantic, I know.

It was made clear that Maria didn’t want or expect any support from me, financial or otherwise. I would decide my level of involvement, and everything would be fixed via a legally-binding contract drawn up by lawyers.

About Maria

Maria (not her real name) is approaching 40 years old, and has always wanted a family. Her own family life, growing up, was quite positive (loving parents, siblings — a healthy, happy family) and she has always wanted to replicate that environment herself. As such, she’s always pursued long-term relationships — no casual one-night-stands for this girl.

The problem she’s encountered is being unable to find a decent potential baby daddy. She’s had two significant long-term relationships in her 30s (several years each), but she ended them for all of the right reasons. The details aren’t important, but you can trust me — these gentlemen were not, in fact, gentlemen.

She is still looking for a baby daddy but, as she’s approaching 40, her biological clock is ticking. She would still be looking for a partner but, if need be, she’s happy to raise the child herself. Maria is intelligent, attractive, and has a full-time, steady job in a professional field. I have no doubt that she’s fully capable of supporting a kid. She also has family and friend support, so to say she’d be raising the child alone wouldn’t be entirely accurate.

About Me

To provide context, I’m 32 and have always wanted a family of my own. Like Maria, my relationship with my parents and sister is excellent, as was my childhood. I almost asked a girl to marry me, but I broke up with her instead (another story altogether). I think kids are awesome, and various family and friends of mine are starting to reproduce.

It would be prudent for me to mention that I’m the only male of my generation on my father’s side of the family.  I have a younger sister, but no brothers.  My father has a brother, true, but he doesn’t have any children. My point is, if I don’t have children, then I’d represent the end of a genetic lineage stretching back to the BEGINNING OF LIFE ON THIS PLANET.

Man, that’s a lot of pressure.

That thought first occurred to me last year (around the one year anniversary of breaking up with the aforementioned girl I used to know), so I researched what’s involved in becoming a formal sperm donor. The process is NOT a simple one.  The process requires jumping through so many hoops that it would make the Ringling Brothers blush: multiple interviews, blood screenings, and sample donations (which would require me to abstain from ejaculation for several days prior to each) are required. Further, all samples/donations would have to be… ahem.. given on site, in one of their “private rooms”.

And now, I suddenly find myself blindsided by the opportunity to be a private sperm donor, minimal hoop jumping required. While it wasn’t exactly how I imagined, my familial genetic lineage would be unbroken, the genes of my ancestors being passed on to the new generation.

As I indicated above, my first reaction wasn’t “oh hell no.”

My Thoughts / Questions / Concerns

My mind was racing, filled with questions. Too many questions, in fact, to keep in my head — I kept a notebook and wrote them down as they came to mind. Here’s the list, in point form, in no particular order:

— Can Maria legally absolve me of financial child support if we aren’t using a fertility clinic?

— What if she changes her mind about being OK with the level of involvement I am comfortable with?

— How are kids who grow up in a single parent household (by choice vs deadbeat parent who fucked off)

— What would the kid think? That they were unwanted? That I didn’t love them?

— Would I want to meet them?

— If I decided not to meet them, would I be able to live with that decision?

— Would I want to be involved?

— What if I decide I don’t want to be involved, only to change my mind?

— What if I decide I DO want to be involved, only to change my mind?

— Kids require consistency in their life — an adult, particularly a parental figure, can’t just come and go. If I decided to be involved, and meet them, then I’d be in it forever.

— Should this be a secret? Would I tell my parents? Sister? Family? Friends?

The Plot Twist

The conversation with Friend, and my subsequent mulling it over, took place over approximately three weeks. During that time, in addition to thinking things over myself, I also talked to a few adults who grew up in single-parent homes, a couple of single parents, and read a great deal about the effects of a single-parent home on children. There are two types of single-parent homes, after all: when the parent wants a child and knows they’re getting into it on their own, and homes with a deadbeat parent. This was clearly the former, meaning the child would definitely be wanted. I still hadn’t made a decision, but truthfully I feel like I was beginning to move in a “yes” direction.

Then I went camping, with Friend, several other friends, and a total stranger (one of my friends had recently gotten engaged, so she brought her fiancé). Friend had been drinking, yes, but not heavily. She was, however, giving me a hard time more or less since I arrived. First there was some crap about a girl I was involved with, then some crap about a friend of mine from out of town, then she aired some of my personal dirty laundry… and then, as we were all sitting around the campfire…

“Oh yeah! You should definitely have babies with Maria! Even if it’s just as a sperm donor.”

My right to privacy went right out the window. I no longer had control over what was to be a very private decision. She blurted it out and everyone present heard it. Not only my friends, but also the aforementioned total stranger. Had I decided to go through with it, everyone would have known, and I was questioning if I should tell anybody PERIOD.

Needless to say, I won’t becoming Maria’s sperm donor. I think I’ll be bitter about this for a long time.

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