She then asked if I would be the genetic contributor to her future child.
I was flattered, but this wasn’t the first conversation we had had on the subject. Starting perhaps five years ago, as Francesca entered her mid-30s, we had spoken several times about how much she wanted children despite that she was single. She thought I’d be a suitable donor. Though these had been idle conversations over drinks, she was ready to move forward and wanted my answer within the week.
When confronted with the decision years ago, I had answered without really thinking about the ramifications. Call it pride or hubris, I was confident in my genes and wanted to pass them on.
But it was different now. I know I want children and am looking for someone with which to do so. No longer quite as carefree, I had to consider what my future partner or children would think of this. And how was I going to feel knowing there was a child out there with my DNA, that might look like me, but that wasn’t mine, even though I wanted children?
I spoke with my friends and family trying to hash out the right thing to do. One of my closest friends gave me the best advice, telling me to listen to my gut, that a decision like this couldn’t be decided by reasoning alone. My mother was excited by the proposition, but said that any future partner of mine that had a problem with this arrangement was likely not someone whom I should be with anyway. As for the reaction of my imaginary future offspring, this is the 21st century and unconventional families are becoming the new normal.
My gut said yes, so I sent Francesca an email saying I would donate my sperm so that she could have a child.
Our largest obstacle was that I lived in New York and she in San Francisco. The whole process could be done in two days, she said, and she would fly me out depending on my schedule. Spring break was coming up, which would be the best time for me before summer. She sent me information on legal counsel and I set up an appointment with the clinic during the latter half of my break.
I arrived in San Francisco on a Wednesday evening. Francesca and I went to dinner and discussed everything we hadn’t already over the phone. We talked about what the next day was going to look like with the various counseling sessions and tests, and we went over the consent forms and other paper work. We said goodnight and the next morning I went to the clinic.