Open Source Family

infantThe day after my donor conceived son was born, Abby, my birth partner, who I called my birth maid, told me, she had had a conversation about marriage with my dad in the car on the way back to the houseboat from the hospital. She had asked him why parents are so obsessed with their children getting married. My dad had said that he suspected that it was really about passing along genes and ensuring that the family continued. Did he care whether I got married now that I had given him a grandchild? she asked.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

My mom stayed with us for the first month after I brought Alexander home, which was a complete blur. The main thing I remember is we got adopted by a seagull that would show up on my dock and literally knock on the door with his beak around the same … Continue reading

The Fortune Cookies Were Right

Fortune cookiesEarly on the morning of Wednesday, November 6th, I was getting ready to drive to my reproductive endocrinologist nearly two hours away, where I would have a test to determine if there was a blockage in my fallopian tubes causing the problems with my lining development.  I had become incredibly disheartened by the adoption process after what had happened three weeks before (and the year before that, and all of the empty, waiting months in between), and was hoping, desperately, that this procedure would reveal the answer to my infertility issues so that the donor embryos I had on reserve would lead me to my child.

I was about to get in the shower when my phone rang.  I could see from the caller ID that it was my adoption agency, perhaps calling to check up on me after the debacle of the month before.  I answered, keeping my eye … Continue reading

Deciding to Become a Single Mother by Choice – Part 2

Woman holding pregnancy testI restrained my normally enthusiastic nature and committed to waiting until the following February to actually start conceiving a baby. Just to make sure I wasn’t rushing this decision.

While I waited, I started seeing a therapist to “clear the decks,” mentally, and make sure I was in the best possible emotional state for making this decision. And I started charting my fertility cycle each day.

A few months later, I visited a fertility doctor. I was concerned about how I might feel about going to a fertility doctor, and was relieved to find that I felt nothing but joyous excitement at beginning the process.

My doctor diagnosed me with PCOS, a common hormonal imbalance that was preventing me from ovulating, and started me on medication to try to regulate my hormones. That February I tried to get pregnant at home with donor sperm. I was so sure it was … Continue reading

Deciding to Become a Single Mother by Choice – Part 1

Woman holding pregnancy testI was thirty-five years old.

My boyfriend, Tom, and I had been dating a few months and always had a great time together, cooking, walking and laughing. We tried a different Brooklyn pizzeria every week, and made the best grilled cheese sandwiches and sweet potato fries together. But during our camping trip with his friends, something felt off. I had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The day after we returned, Tom asked to talk to me. “I don’t know how to tell you this.” “What?” Uh-oh. The uneasy feeling in my stomach deepened to dread and then panic. “I think you are great. But I need to end this.”

“What???”

“I can’t really explain it. There’s nothing wrong with you. Everything is great with you. But I just can’t do this.” “I don’t understand, ” I answered angrily. “I don’t really understand it either. But I … Continue reading

Happy Independence Day

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The SMC Blog is on vacation this July 4th weekend, and will return with a new post next week.

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On Turning Three

3 yr. old boy with toy dinosaursTo my little man on turning three,

The first letter like this I wrote to you as you turned one. You were teetering into toddlerhood but still firmly my baby. You were learning new things each day but still needed me for just about everything. I had grown to love you more than I had ever expected, but some days it was exhausting. Some days I wanted to speed up time to when you were just a little more independent. A little less baby and a little more boy.

Flash forward two years, and I do mean flash, and you stand on the brink of boyhood. You still need your momma for a lot, but every month, every day, you learn to do one more thing without my assistance. You defiantly declare, “I do it on my own!” if I butt in where you feel I’m not needed. And while … Continue reading

Father’s Day Thoughts From a Teen SMC Child

Allow me to open by briefly introducing myself. My name is Jocelyn, I was born in San Francisco, California, I live in Florida.

I suppose you could say I was born because of a sperm donor. Biologically, that’s true. But the real REASON I’m here is because my mother wanted a child. To me, that’s all that matters and I could leave it at that. But because I enjoy this topic, I won’t.

So, maybe it’s how I was brought up. I knew my entire life I was the product of a sperm donor. No big deal. I have a vague recollection of my elementary-school Spanish teacher teaching me how to say “donor” in Spanish. My uncle’s a genealogist, so when family tree time came around, everyone was so absolutely stunned by just how far back it went on my mom’s side that they didn’t notice or care that I … Continue reading

I Found My Anonymous Sperm Donor. Now What?

In November of 1999, my mother was artificially inseminated. Twenty years later to the exact date, I found my sperm donor.

On the evening of November 3, 2019, I was doing homework  when my mother messaged me. She said I had a DNA match on ancestry.com with someone that wasn’t related to her. I was confused. Then I realized: this was a relative on my donor’s side. I went to ancestry.com and looked at the match. It was a woman’s name, so it couldn’t have been my donor. However, it was a lead. I looked up her name and found her place of residence, her age, and her children. She was from the east coast, in her 70s, and she has 3 sons and 1 daughter. Based on her age, I assumed that she was a grandmother or great aunt.

I went to Spokeo.com for general information. There I found … Continue reading

Our Last Weeks Alone

During the last few weeks the world around us has changed suddenly. Hot sticky days with harsh bright sunlight have been replaced by cool, crisp dry days that smell of fresh mown grass and distant fires. Many of the 6-foot-high corn fields have been mowed down, and the guy selling 12 ears for $4 out of the back of his truck has sold out for the season. The soybean fields are starting to turn golden, and maples and ash here and there are flaming red and yellow. It isn’t fall yet, but fall is definitely in the air. We leave the windows open at night, and some nights the brisk prairie winds from the west cool the house so much that I have to get up and close the windows. We leave for town every morning just as the sun is coming up, and as we turn east to head … Continue reading

Keeping My Future Child Safe

This post was originally written at the time of the Trayvon Martin murder. We are reposting it now in light of the recent George Floyd murder.

I have just been so sad since the story of the Trayvon Martin case came out.

I’m pregnant but don’t know if I’m having a boy or a girl. I have to admit that one little part of me, deep deep inside, has hoped Honey Badger is a boy. Someone to carry on the family “name,” which is an absolutely archaic conceit that I’m ashamed to admit that I even give any credence. But, there it is. And of course, I would love a girl too — any baby is a blessing.

But I’ve just been feeling so much pressure now of what it means to possibly be bringing up a black boy in this world. And I am so pre-emptively afraid. What if … Continue reading

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