Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner 21st Century~~This has to be the shopping trip of my life. Just Imagine!!
After wishing, hoping, trying to find her life partner first, my beloved gay daughter met and fell in love with Kate. And now for Ariel’s 40th Birthday, they have decided to go for it. Since she was little, Ariel has always loved and been naturally gifted with children. She baby sat, volunteered as a pre-teen at her own former pre-school, Hill and Dale, worked for Head Start, then received her elementary teaching credential and her Masters in Human Development and taught for years in Echo Park as a bi-lingual teacher, then earned then a certificate in Non-Violent Parenting, and is now on staff at an Echo Park non-profit that teaches and supports compassionate child-raising, working with parents, teachers, and child care providers.Heeding the ticking of her bio clock, she has finally realized if she is to become a mommy herself, now is very much the time. And so, after consults with fertility specialists, other gay women, lots of web surfing, and charting of temperatures, some jet assists from USC Fertility Center, this amazing shopping trip!
Ariel says if she is going to be a mom, she really needs her own mom’s support, and that starts with “sperm shopping”! So, she in her living room in L.A. and me at my desk in Santa Cruz, we’re surfing the web together. It is amazing and moving to dive into the Lesbian owned site where hundreds and hundreds of carefully screened young men of all ethnicities, physical traits, interests and backgrounds have offered to donate their sperm for women planning alternative families.
There are boxes to check eye color, hair color, hair type, skin tone, height, weight, ethnicity, education, and, most importantly “WTBK” or “willing to be known”. We all agree that WTBK is a basic requirement. That means not only are the donors willing to be interviewed extensively on video, but they also agree to be available to meet at least once, if, when their progeny reach eighteen, they want to meet their biodaddy.
Ariel and Kate have narrowed down their search to five candidates when she invites me into the quest. It is incredible. Almost spine-tingling, actually, to “meet” the young men on camera who may provide the sperm for my first biological grandchild! It’s right up there from my era with Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? Way outside the conventional Pasadena white-gloved box I grew up in. I don’t have to cook, worry about what to wear or what to talk about when I meet each “suitor”—I just listen, reflect, respond, try to keep my mouth shut until asked—and try to pull from my best clinical skills—to discern character and genotype that will provide my daughter with a wonderful baby. For a moment, I privately muse to myself, “If I only had been this mature and conscious myself!” (There are, however, some notable differences between twenty-something and forty-something, not to mention the 1960s vs the 21st century!)
I love their choices. We decide that someone from a somewhat similar gene pool will give their child one less hurdle to cross, and for Ariel and Kate, heart, humor, warmth, intelligence and athleticism emerge as very important. But “their five” appear to have all of that! I’d LOVE to cook dinner for any and all of them, and get to know them, but I will have to settle for sidelines in cyberspace and gratitude to the conscious young men who donate their sperm so gay women can raise families, and definitely, to have been invited in on the shopping trip of my life. Trust me, it’s lot easier to pick out a pair of shoes than a sperm donor.