Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who is Your Daddy? Revisited

I received an interesting comment on my last post and thought I would share it:

Anonymous said...
I think you may be missing the part where the donor is a human being. The part where usually the male half of a genetic person is called "father" or "dad" regardless of his parental input. As the mother of a child conceived in this way I find it offensive that many women would like ignore the genetic truth. This of course is different then being a parent, but it does mean that another person contributed to my family. I respect that person, and I am gentle with people who don't know what terms I use and may simply be curious about my family. I always can choose to decline to answer questions about my family. Throwing around a donor ID is just crass. I have chosen not to know the families of my child because I believe that some things are private, and that some things he should have exclusive rights to share. I nearly choked when I read your post. Of course it's your right to share any of your private business you choose, but I really felt it was insensitive to those of us who don't want to know if you picked the same donor.I'm eternally thankful to the man who made my family possible. He deserves only good things in life, and especially he deserves respect. Without him my family would not be possible.

My Response:

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your thought-provoking comment. I realize that everyone views these matters differently, and I certainly appreciate hearing other people's take on the matter. I do understand, and agree that the donor is, in fact, a human being, however, for our purposes, he is no such thing. That was part of the glory for us that is an "anonymous donor". We specifically picked a donor that did not want to EVER be known, because we simply wanted the genes that he literally sold to us. We purchased a product. The product was called 2452. But don't worry, anonymous, I won't tell you what store we bought it from.
And for the record, I have NEVER corrected anyone that referred to our donor as "father". I am a "let it slide" kind of gal. I just felt I would share my feelings in the blog because Family Style Love is my outlet.
I greatly enjoyed your commentary. I found it to be well thought out and portrayed in a manner that was not hurtful. Thank you anonymous- and have a great day!
-Lynn :)


  1. this is why we need more gays in politics. we can actually have a healthy, friendly debate! ;-)

  2. Your response makes so much sense, Lynn. I find your view toward your donor to be a healthy one--not that anyone should be telling you how you should feel about or characterize your donor. The beautiful thing about our families is that we get to create them in a way that makes us comfortable. I think that's what Anonymous needs to understand. It's so hard, even for some people in the lesbian community, to escape those traditional gender/familial roles, but we need to be able to create families that reflect our own values and our own ideas of what families should be--and for some of us (my partner and I included), that doesn't involve a "father" in any way at all. That certainly doesn't negate the fact that our donor is a human--and a wonderful human at that--but he is in no way going to be a father to our child (nor does he want to be).

    Okay, stepping off of my soapbox now. :-)

  3. Well stated Lynn. I'll second what timaree said at the end of her comment, as she literally stole the words from my lips, "...that certainly don't negate the face that our donor is a human - a wonderful human at that - but he is in no way going to be a father to our child (nor does he want to be). This is exactly how I feel. I think you and Mindi's views are perfectly justified and healthy. Anyway, again, VERY well stated.

  4. Father is a name reserved for an emotional attachment to and of. As lesbian's unless you have a KD, we are allowed to say DONOR, because that is in fact what he is a SPERM DONOR. We pay up wards of 5hunderd dollars for a PRODUCT that is being sold to us by the "DONOR" So call it what you like.But at the end of the day, He is and will always be "The Donor". Great answer Lynn. Great answer.

    Gia:- "hopeful carrier of an offspring by DONOR 2637"

  5. I would like to know what a HETERO couple with an infertile HUSBAND who used a DONOR would think if anyone started calling the DONOR "daddy".

    It is funny how they think they can label people as such just because that figure is not permanently in our families, but be offended if they label it as such in THEIR families.

    When I have a child, I'll just say he/she was a product of "immaculate conception" from the "holy ghost" because indeed, a guy never came near me. Maybe that will shut people up, especially being that Mexico is a highly religious catholic country.

  6. i'm confused as to why the anonymous poster took offense. i am also eternally grateful for the "goods" we purchased from the bank where our donor sold his DNA. however, he is not a parent, father, dad, or anything other than "donor" to my child. if i'm hormonal, and look at his baby picture it may even solicit a tear, that's how grateful i am to him but that doesn't change his status in our family.

    but i agree with your point 100%. anonymous donor's are not father's. period. known donors aren't usually either but if that's the way someone defines their family unit that's their perrogative. i wonder why anonymous didn't use a known donor if she wanted her family to be different?

    oh well, rock on sister! i hear ya...

  7. great response, lynn.

    i mean, these are men who are paid to jack off in a cup. that doesn't equate with father.

  8. Lynn, you handled this situation with tremendous tact. I want to thank you for sharing your perspective in a forthright manner. Thanks, too, to anon for posting the comment to the initial post. It’s incredibly helpful to have these types of discussion made available to our community, as well as to listen to the various reactions to this significant matter.

    I suppose it just confirms how diverse we are and how each of us has to come to our own understanding of the boundaries of “family.”

  9. Let me first say - In my opinion interesting that your post sparked such a controversy. I read the initial post and felt it was spot on. I hadn't really considered that using an anonymous donor would inspire such compassion in a person. I am definitely of the mindset that our child-to-be does not have a father. Our child will have two moms and a donor that made it possible. And, I do correct people, nicely.


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