Adoption Stories

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Longing For Roots

We all long to know from where (and whom) we came.

Back in 2007 I read the article, "Sperm Donor Father Ends His Anonymity"
in the New York Times about a gentleman who'd been a sperm donor in the 1980s, whose specimens were, shall I say, quite appealing to the sperm bank's clientele. Jeffrey Harrison was one of the California Cryobank's most requested donors - and known only by number (he was Donor 150) to the moms-to-be and, subsequently, to their children.

Turns out, given Mr. Harrison's profile popularity, there were quite a few children.

As the kids got older, many wondered about who their father was. An earlier story, published in the Times mentioned that some of the children had connected through the Donor Sibling Registry, a Web site that helps donor offspring learn about their genetic roots. Several discovered that Donor 150 was the father. This was covered in an earlier story, "Hello, I'm Your Sister. Our Father Is Donor 150."

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In 2007, the Times reported, that "Mr. Harrison had been thinking about getting in touch since reading that article 15 months prior, when he learned that "two teenagers whose mothers had used his sperm to conceive were looking for him."

So he shed his anonymity.

Anonymity is a common theme around sperm donation, and though it's not specially an adoption-related subject, it has similar notes. This particular story--the contemporary details of which belongs to Mr. Harrison, the children and the women who were inseminated--is a unique and poignant look at family and roots.  Still, the longing from deep in our DNA that we all have to understand where and from whom we came is timeless.



Meredith Resnick, L.C.S.W., is a health writer and licensed social worker. She is also the mother of two adopted daughters.


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