Swiping Right on the Seed: Picking my baby’s donor

Picking my donor was easier than I thought. Once I knew I was seriously considering moving forward with choice motherhood, I started researching sperm banks. Each one was different, and I considered a number of criteria.

What I focused on when picking:

My first instinct was to look for someone that I found good looking, which is trivial, but if I am in the position where I am going to hand pick half of my child’s genetics, I am going to be selective. I decided I wanted someone who either resembled me or someone I would date in real life. Ideally taller than 5’11 to balance my petite 5’3 frame. A donor who was athletic because I always ran the opposite direction of balls on the field, and CMV negative, which I had no idea what that meant when I started this journey.

After I had my session with the therapist I was required to see, she suggested a few more things.

  1. He should be young, but not too young. Ideally in his mid to late twenties. She said this helps remove donors who have older sperm and college kids who are just trying to make a quick buck.
  2. Avoid a family history of mental illness or substance abuse.
  3. And since one of my biggest concerns when starting this path was what kind of impact my choice would have on raising a child without a father, she highly recommended I choose an open donor. Psychologically, my child will do better knowing that their donor is a  person  who they may be able to contact someday.

Clearly, I had a lot of requirements, and I wasn’t willing to just settle for any sperm. And of course, I was searching when just like everything else in the country, there was a sperm shortage due to COVID. I learned that there had been a 20% increase in women purchasing sperm since COVID began, and a decrease in donor’s. I was getting nervous that I may have to wait months to find a donor I liked with available vials.

The next day, as I did my daily browsing of my saved favorite donors, I  decided to ask if they had any idea how long it would be for one particular donor to have available vials. He was the only one who was checking off all my boxes after my therapy session.

I received a response right away, “Donor **** currently has 10 washed vials available! They are currently not available online as we just recently completed his contact list.” My heart started racing, wondering, “Was this a sign?” I spent a couple of hours thinking about it, and -knowing that for a minimal fee I had two weeks to cancel my order if I changed my mind  —  I called and purchased 4 vials that same day.

This was immediately becoming real and I felt a connection to this donor. Which is weird to say, but it felt right. I could envision our genetic makings of a beautiful baby boy or girl. He is a mixture of me and someone I would date in all of the best ways. I could see myself telling my future child about him and sharing his thoughtful words. This was my future baby’s donor.

Nicole from Once Upon a Bebe


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