Reasons to donate

A couple of years ago, I found out that I had at least four female children as a result of being a sperm donor in my early thirties. I had in mind that I would start a category in this blog specifically directed to them: “Letters”.  This is the first of them.

I imagine that one of the first questions you would ask would be why I chose to donate.

The simple answer is that I donated because I wanted children but was too afraid of the responsibilities and the risks of conceiving and then raising them. There’s a bit of material in this blog as to why but this post probably encapsulates it best. I did eventually manage to get over my fears after I met the right person but we never succeeded in having children.

At the time I was donating, I liked to say that being a donor was the most cost-effective method for a human male to realise the meaning of his life. To my mind, the goal of existence was to fulfil the simple Darwinian quest of propagating your genes.  The disjunction between my actual motivations and my explanations for my actions was quite a common thing for me back then.

Even then, I never rationalised my actions as an act of kindness or for the benefit of others. The truth is even if it has taken some years for me to understand this, I wanted to bring you into existence for the same selfish reasons every parent wants a child – for the joy of your company, for the hope of seeing you grow and thrive.

A part of me must have understood that donating would never get me what I actually desired as I did not visit the clinic the recommended number of times. In fact I gave it up pretty quickly and forgot about the whole exercise until many years later when my partner and I were attempting IVF. As part of their standard procedures, they looked up my donor history. That is how I found out about you and three of your half-siblings (there could be more from interstate but they had no access to those records).

I was glad when I found out about you and I still am. Hopefully, if you discover these letters and read them, you will understand that.

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