Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One brief fantasy of a father

For a few moments, I thought I had some reason to believe I could guess who the donor was.

As there was no sperm bank in the country I was conceived in and fresh sperm was most probably used, so the donor had to be at hand for every attempt, I thought of a possible candidate.

The husband of my mother's aunt, who lived in that city with her. They helped with the DC procedure for sure and I was named after the aunt. The aunt was infertile, so they didn't have children. They're relatively distant relatives, but we went to visit them every year when I was a child. They sent us money during a time of crisis. He always talked to me a lot and insisted on my XYZ ethnicity (his own, and my maternal grandfather's, which seemed like quite a stretch to me at the time). He wanted to see me even after his wife, the only one related to me, died. I spent several days with him and we talked a lot. He gave me a bit of money and I expressed gratitude. He seemed annoyed that I was grateful for so little, while the distant relative that was going to inherit his house didn't seem grateful at all (I failed to see the connection - he didn't owe me anything at all, hence the gratitude).

I look a bit like him. He taught. I teach. He published a book in the field of humanities. I publish articles in the field of humanities (maybe a book in a few years too). He liked poetry and history. So do I. He was very interested in roots. As am I, quite obviously.

We really clicked. I really liked him. It would be great. He died but I knew him. No one's life would even be disrupted if this was true and I found out for sure.

But he was almost 70 years old when I was conceived, I then realized. That's quite impossible, isn't it? Would anyone even have considered his sperm? I really don't think so.

It was fun to think in concrete terms about a father for a while. To have a name and a face and traits and interests to base my existence and identity on.

And these things immediately assumed far less importance for me. I definitely understand how people who know their origin don't think it's all that important - it's not when you know it.


  1. And so you will confidently approach one of his living relatives armed with a DNA test that you paid for and graciously self deprecatingly ask would they be so kind as to humor you because it was that very aunt, his wife who told you that you were donor offspring and you just have a hunch and would love to know for sure. They won't say no. I'll say this again, they won't say no. It does not matter if they never met you or heard of you, they will not say no. Not if you pay for everything and make it easy for them to do so easy with prepaid postage and all. You go ask them don't be embarrassed don't be afraid nobody will think your odd for asking. You don't even need to bring up the donor aspect of it. If they don't know your family real well just say you were told it was a brief affair or something. You go ask them. Your gut instinct cannot sit there all unsatisfied. This will drive you nuts. Ask them to please help you eliminate him so that you can feel justified in continuing your search for your father elsewhere. I mean like his second cousins nephew is close enough so hop on ancestry.com use my password and go look for his relatives I have a world membership. Facebook me and I'll give you the passwords. Or go to family find its free.

  2. His relatives do know me, but they also know my social father. I've already asked them if they know anything about my conception circumstances (as this all happened under their noses) and got the reply "I don't know anything about that. If you're interested, you should ask your father before he dies and it's too late." They might say no if they don't want to offend my social father. No one wants to offend my social father.

    I guess if they do say no, I'll know it's true.

    My first two steps are 1) getting a younger photo of him and 2) seeing if a friend's friend who has friends at the clinic can get any info from them. Both should happen soon - within a week or so, I hope.

    Then I'll see what the next step will be.

  3. They're definitely the closest relatives he had, as they inherited his house. I don't know what the degree of kinship is, though. I can check that, too.