Adult Swim: What my sisters in sperm (and a global pandemic ) taught me about modern family values.

When I first moved to California, I bought a bright blue VW beetle and drove up Highway 1, taking in the freedom of the West (Ok, I admit, a bit cliche). I was escaping New York because, on the cusp of forty, I hadn’t yet married and had a baby. I wanted to find a new life and identity outside the social pressures of wifehood and motherhood. Pretty soon, I fell madly in love. Not with a man but with a community on the houseboat docks of Sausalito, California, a place famous for its collectivist values. This romance gave me the courage to conceive my son, on my own, as a single mother by choice because I lived around so many people who supported me. 

So much changed after his conception. A year before the pandemic, on a warm Sunday morning,  my son and I took on a different kind … Continue reading

Meeting Donor Siblings: The Postmodern Family Vacation

I sifted through my Sunday paper yesterday morning, pulling out the usual bits – coupons, TV guide, Target ad, and USA Weekend. On the latter’s cover were pictures of the characters from NBCs debut of “The New Normal” and the corresponding story inside was titled “The Postmodern Family.”

“The Postmodern Family?”  Really?  How could I resist?

The article talked about the multitude of upcoming shows based on non-traditional families. TV historian Tim Brooks notes that television has often presented us with non-traditional families, as it reflects what’s already going on in our current society. For example, The Brady Bunch in its time reflected “the trend of a blended family,” where adults with children from previous marriages came together to form a new family unit.

This particular example rather amused me, as I just had a Very Brady Summer Vacation…

Back when I was pregnant with my son, there was a … Continue reading

Modern Family: Connecting with Donor Siblings

When I began my journey to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), using donor sperm from a bank, I believed I had thought through all possible scenarios. And then, just two years ago, something happened that made me realize that I had not thought it all through. I had never thought about connections with donor siblings or donor families.

I knew that I would tell my child about their conception from the start – no secrets. I imagined that one day, he or she might ask questions about the donor and I would answer. I chose an Open ID donor for this very reason. I figured, why not leave the door open if you can? So, I figured we’d deal with the possibility of connecting with the donor if and when my child was ready or wanting.

I never considered that I might find myself connected with other families … Continue reading

Modern Family

Years ago, when I made the decision to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC) and began perusing the profiles of dozens of potential sperm donors, I was clear about one thing: I planned to use an open donor. Like most people, I’d heard plenty of stories about adopted kids who yearned for details about their biological parents, and I wanted to make sure that if my child ever felt like one of those kids, she’d have the information she needed. An open donor is a sperm donor who is open to meeting the children whom his sperm produced, and when my daughter turns 18, she can contact the bank I used, and they will release contact information about her donor to her.

After I gave birth, there was an onslaught of media attention directed towards the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). As the DSR website states, “the focus of the … Continue reading

Meeting Donor Siblings: The Postmodern Family Vacation

I sifted through my Sunday paper one morning, pulling out the usual bits – coupons, TV guide, Target ad, and USA Weekend. On the latter’s cover were pictures of the characters from the debut of a new tv show, and the corresponding story inside was titled “The Postmodern Family.”

“The Postmodern Family?”  Really?  How could I resist?

The article talked about the multitude of upcoming shows based on non-traditional families. TV historian Tim Brooks notes that television has often presented us with non-traditional families, as it reflects what’s already going on in our current society. For example, The Brady Bunch in its time reflected “the trend of a blended family,” where adults with children from previous marriages came together to form a new family unit.

This particular example rather amused me, as I just had a Very Brady Summer Vacation…

Back when I was pregnant with my son, there was … Continue reading

Modern Family: Connecting with Donor Siblings

When I began my journey to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), using donor sperm from a bank, I believed I had thought through all possible scenarios. And then, just two years ago, something happened that made me realize that I had not thought it all through. I had never thought about connections with donor siblings or donor families.

I knew that I would tell my child about their conception from the start – no secrets. I imagined that one day, he or she might ask questions about the donor and I would answer. I chose an Open ID donor for this very reason. I figured, why not leave the door open if you can? So, I figured we’d deal with the possibility of connecting with the donor if and when my child was ready.

I never considered that I might find myself connected with other families who conceived … Continue reading

Donor Sibling!

A while back, I posted on my sperm bank’s sibling registry that I was expecting a baby girl on August 2nd. Since mine was a newer donor, I wasn’t surprised that mine was the first post.

But then the other day, I got an email from another mom who’s expecting a baby girl from the same donor! She and her partner are due in November, so my baby will have a donor/half sister just 2-3 months younger than her. I’m so excited! I never had any expectations that she wouldn’t have any donor sibs, and actually kind of wanted her to have them. Since my family is so small, and she may not end up with any siblings or cousins (ok, we have one pseudo-cousin who turned 6 today), I thought it would be really cool for her to have these other “family members”. Not necessarily a huge number, but … Continue reading

Meeting Donor Siblings: The Postmodern Family Vacation

I sifted through my Sunday paper one morning, pulling out the usual bits – coupons, TV guide, Target ad, and USA Weekend. On the latter’s cover were pictures of the characters from the debut of a new tv show, and the corresponding story inside was titled “The Postmodern Family.”

“The Postmodern Family?”  Really?  How could I resist?

The article talked about the multitude of upcoming shows based on non-traditional families. TV historian Tim Brooks notes that television has often presented us with non-traditional families, as it reflects what’s already going on in our current society. For example, The Brady Bunch in its time reflected “the trend of a blended family,” where adults with children from previous marriages came together to form a new family unit.

This particular example rather amused me, as I just had a Very Brady Summer Vacation…

Back when I was pregnant with my son, there was … Continue reading

Donor Sibling!

A while back, I posted on my sperm bank’s sibling registry that I was expecting a baby girl on August 2nd. Since mine was a newer donor, I wasn’t surprised that mine was the first post.

But then the other day, I got an email from another mom who’s expecting a baby girl from the same donor! She and her partner are due in November, so my baby will have a donor/half sister just 2-3 months younger than her. I’m so excited! I never had any expectations that she wouldn’t have any donor sibs, and actually kind of wanted her to have them. Since my family is so small, and she may not end up with any siblings or cousins (ok, we have one pseudo-cousin who turned 6 today), I thought it would be really cool for her to have these other “family members”. Not necessarily a huge number, but … Continue reading

“SMC has been a huge inspiration to me from the moment I became a member. I got to know many wonderful women who encouraged me to take the leap of faith and whose support over the years was just great. I treasure the life-long friendships that I have developed.”

– Rada Lankina