Friday, January 9, 2009

Lindsay's Story

I was conceived on May 24th, 1984 outside of Cleveland, Ohio.  There was no candlelit dinner or even conversation between my parents that day.  In fact, they had never even met.  My father was likely sitting through a graduate school lecture in Georgia and had no idea that 1,000 miles away his own biological daughter was being conceived in a doctor’s office.  My identity was severed that day, through artificial insemination by anonymous donor.  My unmarried mother felt her biological clock was ticking and opted to raise a child herself.  With the support of family and friends she set out to have a biological child.  Eight and a half months later I was brought into this world in the middle of a legendary blizzard.  Five pounds ten ounces, a healthy baby girl.

In elementary school I began wondering about my biological father.  The questions were piling up and I had no way to answer them.  I remember dreaming that my father was some famous person or did something remarkable.  I dreamed that one day I would find him because I wanted to know this foreign half of me.  I even wondered if I could use my DNA to trace my father – a strange foreshadow to the current use of genealogical DNA tests for male offspring.

When I was 18, after seeing a television program about donor conception, I confronted my mother about information regarding my biological father, and learned that she had virtually no information.  The only information she recalled was that the sperm bank her doctor used was in Georgia and she had asked him for a donor with brown hair and blue eyes that was around 5’8.  After some searching I concluded that my mother had used the Xytex Corporation in Augusta, Georgia.  Unfortunately I had no donor number, so the chances of finding my biological father or any half-siblings were virtually nil. 

Over the next five years, every once in a while someone would join the registry from Xytex who seemed to fit the description I had, but after three negative DNA tests with donors and other offspring, I felt that I was at a dead end.  Last year my mother came across a vial number in her medical records from the day of her insemination.  She told me it didn’t look like the numbers I had told her about (it had a dash in the middle) so it never crossed her mind that it was my donor number, but in fact it was. 

My biological father was Xytex donor 2035: Born February 12, 1961, English, brown hair, green eyes, 6’0 tall, 175lbs, B+ blood type.  He began donating in 1982, as a senior in college, and continued to donate until 1989.  Based on my academic interests in biology (and that my mother has no aptitude for science), I believe my father may be in the science/medical field.

I have not found my biological father, or even any half-siblings yet, but I will continue to search for them because of this intense desire to know this other half of me.  

These small bits of information that many of us "older" offspring have are surely not enough to replace what has been eliminated from our past.  Being deliberately denied the right to know how our genesis is something that the average person simply takes for granted, but for those of us with this void it is of the utmost importance.  We are human beings, not products of a financial transaction without thoughts and feelings, and we deserve to be respected as much as every other person in the world.