Does the cryobank tell you when a child is born, who was conceived with your sperm?
Do you know that there is a beautiful little girl, sleeping at my breast, who carries half your genes?
That feels so strange for me to say, because it’s so hard sometimes for me to remember that she carries none of mine.
What an odd journey we’ve been on, we three parents of hers.
You and Shrike, whose blood flows through her veins, and me, whose body carried her and still nourishes her.
My wife and I who dreamed of a child, and you, the stranger who helped to make her real.
Do you even know she exists?
On this day, when we celebrate fatherhood, do you wonder about the children you may have helped to create?
She knows about you. Of course, she is too young to understand, but I have shown her your pictures, and told her the story about how she was made.
It’s a story that will be told over and over, in increasing detail, as she grows up, and we will see to it that she knows as much about you as possible.
She will know what you looked like as a baby, and at several points in your childhood, and as a young man.
She will know about your interests and hobbies, and will know about your parents’ and grandparents’ eye colors and occupations and education and religious preferences.
She will know about your medical history, and your favorite color, animal, music and food.
And when she is eighteen, if she chooses, she can find out your name, and your birthdate, and where you live.
And then what?
Then, it is out of our hands.
It’s up to her to decide if she wants to initiate any sort of contact, and it’s up to you to decide if you want to respond.
We will allow her to make her own decision about that, and of course, you will have your own family to consider in making your decision.
But, for my part, I hope that between the two of you, we at least have a chance to thank you in person for the incredible gift that you have given us.
And I hope that you will someday have children of your own, so that you can truly understand what your gift has meant to our family – and, I’m sure, to several others.
For then – and now – Happy Father’s Day.