Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A2 - Choosing a Donor - Richard

Q2: How did you (or do you) and your partner / spouse go about picking a donor? What are the most important characteristics to you and why? Are there any donors you would not choose?

In the UK it's not so much a question of choosing a donor but rather finding one in the first place. We were given the choice of just one donor, who is now no longer active. The form that we filled in to specify our donor criteria was based very much around the old idea of 'not telling' I guess. The form contains details of physical characteristics and these are considered the most important when selecting a donor.

For me the most important things are different. The thing that I have most in common with my father is the way in which I view the world. I think my left-handedness plays a part in that and I would have liked a left handed donor if it were possible. My wife is right handed and, as I've said before, having a left handed child would give me a relationship with my child that my wife did not have.

As for donors I would not choose, I would have say that a donor would always need to be of the same ethnic origin as me and my wife. While I would have no problem with a child that had a different skin colour to me, I think it would be very hard for the child to get away from the fact that daddy was not their 'real' father. I also think that I'd steer away from anonymous donors or donors from abroad. It's hard enough to explain to your kids that their biological father is not the man who brought them up without then telling them that they can never find out who he was or that he lived on the other side of the world and shares no cultural heritage with them.

The shortage of donors here in the UK, however, may change my opinions. Never say never.

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