So…we did actually narrow down the search and arrange to meet potential donors twice.
One guy was really nice, and will undoubtedly make a great father (and hopefully already has). We just didn’t quite click, we clicked in a if I’d been introduced to him at some work thing, I’d think he was a nice guy, but we didn’t click in a “I can imagine you being in my life forever” kind of way…I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone for an hour and necessarily felt that, but I wanted a bit more chemistry (or something undefinable) and it wasn’t there.
The second couple were OK, but not really our sort of people (and this was clearly very mutual) – they were just far more small c conservative, and (although I didn’t ask) seemed like they’d probably vote tory (for Americans that’s republican). I can’t imagine a context in which I’d let tory sperm anywhere near my uterus. I’m sorry if that’s vaguely offensive to anyone (well I’m not really sorry) but our politics are important to us…and that’s a line we wouldn’t cross!
To be far to nice guy number one, and honest with ourselves…I think it would never have worked. Ultimately these guys wanted to be parents and so did we, in an exclusive “back away from our child” kind of way. Neither of us could get our head around the biological father of our child being someone we hadn’t even seen a photo of, and we were trying to convince ourselves that we were OK with some sort of shared parenting when we definitely weren’t. I think I always either felt this more strongly than L, or just realised it sooner.
I think the problem for us was that the profiles that appealed to us most were gay men who were on those websites for the same reasons as us – they wanted kids – why they appealed to us was because they were far more “normal” (not a word I love but unsure how else to put it) and easy to relate to. It felt like a slightly dishonest negotiation though – we needed sperm (and weren’t yet willing to let go of the notion that it was ‘fairest’ for our child to have some contact with their biological father) so were willing to consider a relationship with the child in return, they because it’s far far more difficult for gay men to have biological children were being forced to negotiate away residency and the level of contact they wanted in return for some womb space. There was also the sense (though perhaps this was entirely in my head – I have an awful tendency to over analise) that for now we were in the position of “strength” as wombs were harder to come by than sperm is, but that could all change when the baby was born and with the current system in the UK there’s no way to have legal certainty before a child is born over levels of contact or residency. In that way not only did the prospect make me feel really insecure about our family (as in me, L and the as yet imaginary child) but it also made me feel a bit like we were taking advantage…
I realise that last paragraph (or probably the whole post!) may not paint me in a particularly favourable light, but that’s honestly how I felt. Oddly, I felt all that along with some sort of weird guilt that I was depriving these guys of the chance to have a child when their options were so much more limited than ours. Phew.
Although we halfheartedly emailed a couple more people after that, and still checked the sites on a semi-regular basis, I think it made us both realise that a co-parenting/known donor scenario just wasn’t for us. Who knows, we might have met someone and created a fantastic family, but I’m far more inclined to believe it wouldn’t have been great for either party…
As I said in the comments on my last post, we do know (vaguely – not nearly well enough to talk that authoritatively about the details) a lesbian couple who ‘used’ a straight guy from one of those websites who did the job over about a year and has now vanished back to his life, and they have a wonderful 3 year old son. I’m certainly not saying it’s not something that doesn’t work out for people all the time, and I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m being judgemental towards people who have chosen this route. Whatever works for you. For us, this wouldn’t work!