When lesbians have kids, people of the world are suddenly entitled to ask how you got them. No one tells you this and maybe you don’t expect it but it just happens. I remember the first time my partner and I took our newborn son out into the world with the hope of having a peaceful cup of coffee and a bagel and an old woman came up to us, smiled and then asked, “Who’s the father?”
We looked at each other for what seemed like eternity but obviously wasn’t because the woman didn’t squirm or walk away and then my partner found her voice first and said, “He doesn’t have a father.”
The woman nodded and then asked, “So, which one of you is the mother?” This time, without missing a beat, we both replied, “We both are.” Her eyebrows shot up and she said, “Oh. Well, he’s lovely.”
Many versions of this conversation have taken place over the past 11 or so years.
“Who is the father?”
“Do the kids have the same dad?”
“Do you know your donor?”
“Why did you choose an unknown donor?”
“You could pick any donor and you chose a guy who was only 5 foot 6?!”
Okay…that last one was from our son.
Over the years, we have come up with simple answers to dole out when asked.
“No father, just a donor.”
“We felt more comfortable with an unknown donor.”
“There are no small donors only small…well, okay…he was super small. Sorry.”
The truth is a bit more complicated, of course. We chose an unknown donor because 12 years ago, even in a state with second parent adoption, the fate of that second parent was in the hands of a judge and we had to hope we’d get the “good one”.
We were lucky and got the “good one” and then, by the time the second kid came around, all the judges were good ones.
With all the legal aspects of our choice rendered irrelevant, we can now focus on the biggest hidden benefit of an unknown donor.
Does your kid have the attention span of a gnat who’s been stuck in a can of Red Bull? Remember the donor’s profile and his interest in EVERY SINGLE SPORT AND CLUB AND INSTRUMENT EVER! That was a sign.
Does your kid talk non-stop? Remember that the donor checked “Friendly!” and “Extroverted!” on the form and added those exclamation points himself.
Is your kid the most stubborn child in all the land? That could never be from you. Pore over that donor profile until you find an explanation.
You can blame anything you want on an unknown donor because no one knows who he is!
An unknown donor is the gift that keeps on giving.
Now, if your kid is brilliant – that’s all you.
At least that’s true with my kids.