Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Story

(Picture of My Quest)

My name is Kathleen. I was conceived May 4, 1981 at St. Luke's Hospital. My parents received no information about my sperm donor, including my medical history - despite that I am diabetic - or heritage, except that he was most likely a student at Baylor College of Medicine in 1981. Unfortunately clinics also did not yet assign donor numbers enabling half-siblings to locate each other and perhaps their sperm donors.

Since all records about the procedure were destroyed years ago and I exhausted various avenues to obtain information, I attempted to find my sperm donor through old medical school yearbooks. Unfortunately, no one man jumped off the page as I had naively hoped. Therefore, I decided to look up recent pictures and contact information to try to narrow my search. Despite sending out 600 letters, receiving 250 responses, having 40 sperm donors come forward, and going through 16 DNA tests, I still have not found my family. In an unusual and unexpected twist, I did establish very close friendships with numerous of my sperm donor's former classmates who call me their "collective pseudo daughter." I now hope to use my story to help other families affected by egg/sperm/embryo donation and to advocate for needed legislation.

Beyond my background with donor conception, I am finishing my master's degree in psychology to become a therapist. One of my goals is to further my work with children and another is to leave the world a slightly better place. I have worked with (and been very touched by) preschoolers with Down syndrome, children battling cancer, abused kids living at an emergency shelter, and adolescents in a psychiatric hospital.