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Ilana Kramer

The Courtship of the Known Donor

With borrowed sperm, creating a modern family

In the dining room of my family’s home, my fiancée’s fingers interwoven with mine, my mother across from us was ablaze with wild ideas as she announced, “You both should use Ilana’s college boyfriend as a sperm donor! He has a great hair color and I always loved his mother!” She had our best interests at heart, so we laughed, but as my partner keenly pointed out later, “Can you imagine her suggestion of an ex’s genes if I were a man?”

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  • Lilithrogers

    Excellent article about so many different approaches. My own daughter and her wife have been raising their two boys with the full involvement of their known donor. It’s worked out great for all.

  • http://www.amazon.com/Tapioca-Fire-Suzanne-Gilbert/dp/1495305759/ Suzanne Gilbert

    Now that people known by the period term “test-tube babies” are hitting their thirties there’s no excuse to exclude their adult voices from conversations like this. They are beginning to fight for their birthrights (much as adult adoptees are doing) which include knowledge of DNA parents and siblings.

    This article left out the voices of those who have been the most impacted and least empowered by the decisions it discusses. This was a missed opportunity by Lilith Magazine and I hope next time you will include the voices of donor-conceived and adopted adults who are “out” about their need to search, the loss of blood parents, and the guilt of having to stay “closeted” about this to protect their parents’ fantasies.

    I am being blunt, but the author’s sentence “We will take the legal steps to protect our family, with the donor signing away paternity rights immediately after the birth and my wife officially adopting our child” reflects a tragic cognitive dissonance for adults who were conceived by donation or adopted; we are slowly trying to change this kind of thinking.