We got married in a beautiful country setting in March 2015 and, being a little further along in our lives than most of our friends when they got married, decided after four amazing months of married life to start thinking about a family. For most couples this is a fairly simple process: stop taking contraception, carry on as usual. Sure we over complicate things and put unnecessary pressures on ourselves, but in most cases, biologically speaking, it’s pretty simple. For a us — a same-sex couple — it’s significantly less so.
Before we could start thinking about baby names, or picking out colour schemes for the nursery, there was a whole process to go through. After a bunch of complicated blood tests and a variety of medical procedures, we got to the fun part. And no, it’s not quite the same “fun part” as it is for heterosexual couples.
Until now we had avoided looking in too much detail at potential donors incase we found ourselves in the situation where we wouldn’t need one, but now we knew we were in the clear, we started shopping around. And that’s literally what it felt like – shopping for a new pair of shoes. There are few medical things to be considered – like blood type compatibility – but other than that it’s very much like picking an item from a catalogue.
And so began the shallowest activity of our lives to date – evaluating men based on nothing more than a description of their hair and eye colour, height, weight, skin tone and heritage, and qualifications and hobbies. I think it must be how some people feel when walking into a bar (except we probably had more info to base our judgements on). We narrowed it down quite quickly to those best suited to my blood type and then further whittled the list down based on physical traits. Within a matter of days, we had it down to a shortlist of three potential donors. We requested extended profiles, which included baby photos and more details about their parent’s physical traits, for our shortlist and so we began round two of the eliminations.
Now when I said this was the shallowest activity of our lives, I wasn’t joking – I mean we cut one donor based entirely on the fact that his mom was a ginger. We eliminated another one because his extended profile didn’t contain a baby photo, and so we were down to one.
We’d chosen our donor and now it was on to the next phase in our journey.