Back in 2010, the film The Kids Are All Right made the rounds. It was a bit of a mixed bag, frankly––I had some issues with the storyline, but that would merit an entirely different article––but it was an intriguing watch nonetheless. The story of two children conceived by artificial insemination who bring their biological father into their lives by introducing him to both of their mothers leads to some explosive results. You'd have to see the film for yourself (that script, though) but it did make me pause and think about how successful a relationship between a sperm donor and the child they brought into the world would be. Is it scary? Anxiety-inducing? A relief?
After Redditor lulpwned asked the online community, "Men who sold or donated sperm and gave the permission for the child to contact you at 18: What's your story?" we got to hear and learn more about this experience. Kids––and fathers––shared their stories.
"What's even wilder about him..."
So, I'm not the dad, but a kid.
So my bio-dad donated sperm and gave permission to be identified. Didn't even have to be after 18. In counting (because we're not sure if we've found all of us yet) there are 53 half-siblings, all his kids. My full sister and I didn't know we were donor babies until I was a freshman in college, and her a junior in high school. It was a few more years before we found out the scope of our family. As such, I never got to meet the man as he passed away in 2018, but I've been getting to know my half-siblings and I'm sad to have missed him. He apparently engaged in annual reunions and was interested in getting to know all of the kids if they (and their families) were open to it. We all support each other basically by default even though we didn't grow up together.
What's even wilder about him is that he got national news coverage for something besides his giant flock of kids. The guy got married to a woman the day he met her as a competition to be his bride in the Mall of America. It was apparently a heartfelt story and the two of them had a 20 something year marriage with 4 kids that they raised themselves. The Mall of America even has a plaque with his name on it now, so you can go find him if you really try. The man was a weirdo but in the best way. He was kind and generous with his time and really seemed to care about *all* of his kids, or at least the ones he knew about.
This is heartwarming!
Not to mention ideal.
"She got in touch with him right away..."
Oh hey, I can answer this! I'm not a donor, but I was donor-conceived, along with my sister (same donor). I had a great dad and never had any desire to find out who my donor was, but I was always curious about siblings, especially when I learned there's no legal limit on how many children you can father when you donate sperm in the US.
Well, one 23andMe test later, and the first result on the top of the list is a half-sister in Texas. We get in contact, realize we have a TON in common, and it sparked a fire in her to find more siblings. She took an Ancestry DNA test and the top of that list was a man in California, listed as father.
She got in touch with him right away, turns out he's a fantastic guy. He was adopted himself and also got in contact with his birth mom as an adult, so he had been on our side of the situation and was very open and willing to talk. His wife has been super supportive of us meeting too. He has three, uh, organically made kids of his own (I was especially ecstatic to learn that I'm a big sister), plus we've since found three more half-siblings who've all been very cool and excited to find each other. At this point, I've met all but one of them in person, and I got to meet my biological grandmother too.
"I did call..."
I donated for six months in university. Twice a week. I gave consent to be contacted. That was close to 20 years ago now.
I did call and ask once, my sperm resulted in 24 successful pregnancies. That was all the office could tell me.
I have not done 23andme or anything like that.
Imagine the day he does!
Thanksgving will prove to be very interesting.
"At one point in my life..."
I'm a child born via sperm donation. At one point in my life, I did tons of research to find him- I also did Ancestry and found some half-siblings but no donor. But I thought about it more and looked over the records I did have (from the donor company). He was a college student at the time and asked not to be contacted. He probably has a family now who may or may not know about his past donation, and my gut feeling is that he did it for the money. So I've decided to let it go.
Is this common?
It's sort of sad, but incredible to read about.
"My dad had a kid..."
Somewhat related, but I've got a brother from another mother and have a happy story to share.
My dad had a kid with a lady in the eighties, she didn't want to keep it and he didn't want to be a single dad so he was put up for adoption and they split up and go about their days. There's likely a lot more to the story but I've only ever been told my dad's side, so I'll leave it at that.
Fast forward ~30 years, my dad has settled down and now has a family of 5 kids with my mom. He gets a call from a non-profit asking if he'd provide his information if his kid wants to reach out. He does and goes about his day.
Fast forward a few months he gets a call from his son, initially wanting to learn about possible health causes and curiosity. He ended up getting adopted by an amazing family and is doing very well for himself. He wants to come to town and meet my dad. Dad has five awkward conversations with his kids explaining we had another brother and he was coming up to visit. (Note, a running insult when we were growing up was calling each other adopted, which pissed dad off a lot lol)
Fast forward 2 weeks, there was graduation this weekend and we're having all the family over, so was a good time for him to come up, and meet the guy. Great person, hit it off, and still is close with all the brothers.
Everything worked out pretty good all things considered. He's a spitting image of dad and really great friend. His parents are amazing people as well. Really really lucky to have him in my life.
Kind of similar. I was approached by my longtime childhood friend and she asked if I would be a donor for her and her wife. I agreed, and they asked if I would be okay with being in their life, to take pictures and be around so the child knows who I am, knows I'm a friend, and also knows I'm the biological donor, etc., so there are no questions down the road. I agreed and it's been awesome so far. He just turned two and he's a tornado (I warned them), but he's loved more than most children will be. Coming from a background in psych I figured developmentally it would be easier to be labeled as a friend, and not an unknown, questions of turmoil of where did I come from, etc. I guess we'll see.
"Four separate offspring..."
I was a donor, and when this happened to me, it was ok. Four separate offspring at various times over the course of about six months contacted me, all just as they turned 18 and records were open to them. It was cool for me to see pictures of them and how much they looked like me. It was also good to hear the stories from their parents of how I helped them conceive a much-needed child, which I really appreciated. But that was all. A few nice, polite emails were exchanged, some kindnesses, and then we stopped emailing. I didn't want or expect more, I'm just glad to know they existed, and that they got to connect with their biological heritage. I supposedly (as far as the donor system estimates) have a lot more out there, but I expect these are the only ones that will contact me since I assume most of them will want to do it as soon as they can and all of my donations happened within an 18-month span.
"Why the hell not."
Mine may seem awkward.... my mum's friends are lesbians. 10 years ago all 3 came to me and asked if I would donate. Why the hell not. Lovely people and desperate to be parents. After the second 'turkey baster' insemination, they got pregnant. They have a beautiful little girl. I went on to have my own 2 daughters and they then came to me 2 years ago and asked again. This time, it was a bigger decision but my partner knew the full story and was more than happy to allow us to try a second time which was again successful! They had a boy this time.
We've spoken extensively and we all have no issue with them knowing I'm the donor. My kids will also know when the time comes. We agreed that we would run off the whole 'I have no input other than biological'. Obviously, we won't be able to stop the whole 'who's my father' but we have agreed that when the time does come, they will be sat down with my own 2 children as well and explained that the situation of I'm not a father to them and that it was purely to allow them to have children and that they aren't missing out by having 2 mums rather than a mum and dad.
It's hard to type out but I'm sure you guys will get it. Thankfully, they look nothing like my own children, which could be awkward considering we live in the same neighbourhood. Also, I have no attachment or need to be anything to these children. It may seem horrible to say but this was my gift to two amazing parents and they are doing fantastic, I don't need to be there for them!
Sperm donors have to undergo a fairly rigorous process.
Did you know that sperm banks often have age requirements, require potential donors to pass a physical exam and undergo genetic testing to see if they're carriers of any genetic conditions? Family history is examined, not to mention one's psychological history. It's no joke.
Potential sperm donors also have to ask themselves whether they're prepared for the possibility of being the biological father of a child or multiple children they might never meet. That makes these stories all the more fascinating!
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!
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We've all said something stupid, let's not lie to ourselves.
It's okay to say something stupid. It showcases the real person on the inside, that we're all flawed, imperfect, and made of cooky combinations of words that don't necessarily line up to make sense. Sometimes we're nervous in a situation, other times we're just hitting 'Quick Reply' in our brains and what comes out doens't work, but whatever the reason, you for sure are going to remember it, late at night, for the rest of your life.
What is the stupidest thing that ever came out of your mouth?
You may not have to change your home address because of these moments, but you should probably reconsider how many public outings you go to afterwards.
Should Probably Never Shop At That Store Again
"When the cashier said "Have a nice day", and I replied with "No, thanks".
"Background: I wasnt thinking straight that day, and thought they said "Do you want a bag"
That's. How. Twins. Work?
"Her: the twins are 3 years old"
"Me: Both of them?"
"Oh no this unearthed a memory i had buried from kindergarten lmao"
"We had a set of twins in our classroom and once on their birthday party I said "your brother got such a cool party, i hope yours is nice like this too" to one of them and he was like "yeah, this one"
"4 year old me was not a very bright kid"
That's. How. Death. Works...
"Watching the documentary 'The Last Dance' when a Kobe interview pops up -"
"Me: "Wow, they must have filmed this before Kobe died."
"My wife: "Yeah, obviously…."
The cringe comes out of nowhere, and you're not even sure how you were able to ask something so incredibly stupid, but here you are. Lounging in the stupid air.
You Should Have Asked What "Nothing" Tastes Like Next
"In my head I was wondering what one pound of water would look like in terms of volume. What I said out loud however was "How much does a pound of water weigh?"
Keep Up With Me
"A couple of months ago, I got up and drove to work as usual. Later, my girlfriend texted me from home to ask me if she had left her sunglasses in my car. I told her I wasn't sure, but she could grab my spare key and go check."
"In my car."
"Which I had driven to work."
Black Is White, White Is Black
"I don't understand why people place bets on who wins, why not just place bets on who loses?"
"Yeah took me a minute to register what I said..."
And then there's these stories, where the person is probably better off cutting off any human contact henceforth going forward. These are rough to get through, folks.
Should Probably Have A Chat With HR After This
"I was about 4 months into my current job, feeling confident being fresh off the contract-to-hire period, now moved into a coveted full time role. While walking back to my office from the morning kanban I was stopped by my boss, head peeking out of the office:"
"Boss: "Hey TheMediator, do you have a sec?"
"Me: "For you, I've got lots of secs!"
"Boss: wide-eyes, mouth dropped"
"If you're curious why this was incredibly stupid/embarrassing, try saying the phrase "lots of secs" out loud. Preferably, not to your boss though."
You Don't Need College Anymore. Go Home. Bury Your Head In The Sand.
"In my freshman year of college I was dorming next door to a couple cute girls. About a week into the first semester one girl walked from the coed showers to her dorm room in her towel still wet. We were both unlocking our doors to get in our rooms when she looks at me and says…"
"I know I look stunning…(sarcastically)"
"To which I replied, "don't flatter yourself."
"I had to slid a note under her door explaining I was tongue tied as she was beautiful and I meant to say "don't be hard on yourself, you look great." (Or something to that nature). We became good friends."
It's In The Descriptor?
"Chatting to a homeless guy on the street and he told me he was feeling unwell. I told him he should be at home, resting."
"It's been 20 years and the memory of it still brings me out in a cold sweat."
Oh Good Lord...
"Asked my friend how his mom was doing at his moms funeral."
"Jesus Christ this is the worst one on this thread. What was his response?"
"He looked at me and then the casket and kind of smirked. I awkwardly started to try and explain and just said "I'm an idiot. You know I love you. Talk to you in a bit." He makes fun of me now and I can't stop laughing. It's a positive painful memory."
Own up to your mistakes. You'll garner more respect by acknowledging the awkward things you say, however, it's perfectly fine to laugh about it in the moment. That's probably the easiest way to escape the deep, deep shame.
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The advice "fake it til you make it," though often said with at least a hint of sarcasm, does carry quite a bit of wisdom.
By simply putting one foot in front of the other, weathering the chaos of not knowing what's happening as you learn as fast as possible, we can find ourselves further than we expected.
Once we're there, reaping the fruits of all our "faking," we somehow begin to take on a new identity in people's eyes They assume we've always been in control and known what was going on. They defer to us for advice.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. So we keep on faking it.
Redditor espectro11 asked:
"What's your 'I don't know, I didn't think I'd get this far' moment?"
Many Redditors discussed their experiences navigating the intimidating environment of job applications, interviews, and offers.
Oh Right, Getting Paid
"I gave my resume to fancy private school (I'm a teacher, but new to the field) and I didn't expect a call back. But they called me today to ask my expected salary and I said 'I don't know what the average is. Let me Google it.' "
"Ya girl was not prepared."
"When I went for a walk-in interview looking like crap and they hired me on the spot. I get they were hiring for a new store, but they up and said 'if you want the job it's yours, when can you start?' "
"Deada** didn't think I'd make it that far."
Outside the Box
"Years ago I was applying to a bunch of copywriting jobs and feeling frustrated because I wasnt hearing back from any of the places I was applying to."
"It was especially frustrating because I was putting in all this time on cover letters and I felt like nobody was even reading them, so I said, 'Fu** it, I'm gonna write one that is more me.' I thought it was a dumb idea and never imagined that it would work, but somehow it did."
"I applied with this cover letter and the subject line "Copywriter: Will Work for Beer" to a job that I was very underqualified for. It managed to catch the eye of the headhunter for the ad agency and was enough to get me an interview. Shortly after that I was hired and ended up working there for a few years, but I remember thinking on my first day, 'I can't believe that actually worked.' "
Just Not the Right Fit
"An interview at Google. The 20 years younger than me was describing the peer review system."
"I responded with 'Jesus, that sounds awful.' "
"I did not get the job."
Others also shared experiences that centered on their working lives. But these stories weren't about being hired or interviewed.
These were accounts of long-developing success stories that they never would have predicted.
A Winding Road
"My entire legal career"
"I have four degrees and a 10 year career in commerical litigation. I just wrapped up a $200mil trusts lawsuit."
"I started at uni doing theatre and stand up comedy. I have no fu**ing idea where I turned to get here."
"Started at a very small company doing sales straight out of college. I went about messaging big corporate players (who obviously would never do business with us since our size) and was laughed at by my new colleagues for even trying."
"2 weeks later My boss was asking me what we (a team of 6) should say on the conference call with Toshiba Buyers."
Putting Fires Out
"Me at work. I feel like every issue that comes up has me unprepared. But I am always praised for my good work."
"So, I assume I have imposter syndrome and keep doing what I am doing."
So next time you find yourself ruling a possibility out completely, maybe take just a few seconds to imagine it actually occurred and prepare.
You just never know.
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I'm going to be perfectly honest––I'm a city boy. I'm not a huge fan of hiking or camping. I happen to be a huge fan of running water. Have you heard of it? It's great. Highly recommended.
I've also, on a more humorous note, watched far too many horror films over the years and don't particularly like idea of running off into the woods only to piss off some demon that was perfectly fine until I arrived. I also have immense respect for our friendly neighborhood serial killers and demonstrate this regularly by staying out of their territory.
Those who love the great outdoors had plenty to share after Redditor Your_Normal_Loser asked the online community, "
Hikers of Reddit, what is the weirdest or creepiest thing you've come across while hiking?"
"The only reason..."
"When we were exploring the Australian Outback as university students, my friend and I found an old, tightly wrapped plastic bag with five or six damaged wallets along shrubbery at the base of a cliff.
The only reason we opened it up was because we were so remote - hundreds of kilometres from any town or tourist attraction - that it was strange to see garbage out there. All the cards were in female names and birthdates placed them in their late teens to early 20s. Some lived in the Northern Territory but one was in Sydney and another from Queensland. At the time we figured rock climbers must have stored their valuables in the bag and then lost track of it. I'll never forget the strange look the police officer gave us when we handed them in."
You see... this is why I wouldn't go mess around in the Australian Outback.
I also may or may not have watched Wolf Creek one too many times.
"A recliner on a small hill with a hole dug out in the middle and water bottles all over the place."
"A trashed campsite..."
"A trashed campsite complete with the tent cut open...
...do you report these things, or what?"
Or maybe not... you might want to turn back.
"The walls were completely plastered..."
"I was walking in a thick forest and came across an opening. In the center there was a shack made of lumber, with a bench built into it that was slightly leaned back.
The walls were completely plastered in porn."
Well... that's one way to get off.
"The man stopped talking..."
"I was backpacking with a few friends. A few days in the middle of nowhere, a man approached our camp as we were cooking dinner to say hi. We talked about our routes for a few minutes. Out of nowhere, he told us that he had had a vasectomy in his 30s after his 2nd child. Then somehow his wife had gotten pregnant with his 3rd child. He didn't believe this was possible, so he demanded a DNA test to see if he was actually the father. He was. Still, he explained that he had his doubts and thought that his wife must have fixed the DNA test.
My friends and I were in our 20s and had no idea why this guy was telling us this. We all just nodded and smiled.
The man stopped talking and then just walked away into the night."
"I stepped in..."
"I stepped in and fell over a cow carcass on a night hike. It was a bright moonlit night but I didn't see it in the shadows. Thankfully it was mostly dry."
"We still have no idea..."
"I was in the woods with three friends at night. A friend's house was nearby and I was getting hungry so I went inside to find some food. Another friend came inside with me. Two friends were still outside.
Later on, one of the two who outside came in and sees the indoor friend on the couch next to me. They panic and immediately run back outside.
I poke my head out the door asking what's going on, only to hear them yell as loudly as they can, "THAT'S NOT KEVIN"
Everyone comes inside and calms down a bit, and the story comes out. They thought the friend who was indoors with me (Kevin) had been outside with them this entire time. Why? Because in the darkness of the woods they saw a silhouette about the same height walking alongside them silently, then at some point it ran away and they were chasing it thinking Kevin was running off for some reason. The reason my friend yelled, "That's not Kevin" was to stop the last outdoor friend from chasing whoever was out there deeper into the woods.
We still have no idea who that was or why they didn't even speak."
This story sent a chill running down my spine.
Who was that?!
Perhaps figuring it out would be even scarier.
"Went hiking with my dad..."
"Went hiking with my dad one day over a ridge. A girl from the group in front of us tripped and slid down one side and was just able to hold on to the tiniest branch from the only tree around. Had she slid down all the way she certainly would be dead or massively injured!"
"I was trying to make my way across..."
"I was hiking in Washington sometime in December. I was trying to make my way across a river but the bridge was out. I was walking along the shore looking for a shallow spot but couldn't find one. I saw some footprints leading down the bank, my thought was that someone was trying to do what I was doing and decided to track the prints to see if they crossed. It was not easy but I followed the prints for about a mile. As I approached what looked like a crossing I heard a loud BANG like a stick hitting a tree. I froze for a few seconds and heard no other noises. I just slowly back up keeping my eyes on the other side of the river. Could not shake the feeling that I was being watched. Got the hell out of there quick as I could."
There are few feelings creepier than the feeling of being watched. It makes you feel like you've been violated in some way.
Thankfully you got out of there!
"I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment..."
"I was hiking with some friends, and I saw a cluster of butterflies on the ground. I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment until I realized they were congregating on a pool of blood. It turns out that someone had been hiking on the bluffs above earlier that day, and had fallen off and died."
Sooo... still want to go hiking or camping? None of this changed your mind? None of it?
It was nice knowing you. I'll stick with my running water.
Have some creepy stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Have some experiences of your own? Have you also survived the hospitality industry? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!
Time is of the essence. And time is not definable. Those are lessons we learn as we get older; as times passes and fluctuates in front of us.
Time is always fleeting yet always catches up to us. I find myself shocked when I wake up on certain days and realize I'm a particular age of my parent that sticks out for me.
Like, how did that happen? I guess I should just be thankful I'm still here to witness it all.
Redditor u/TW1103 wanted to discuss the meaning... of time and all of its affects by asking:
What fact really puts the scale of time into an insane perspective?
Ok, who is watching the clock? Those seconds aren't going to count themselves. The only way to understand time is to be its witness. Although that can get depressing. Let's focus on the light and cool.
History...Calculate Figure It Out GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"If you are an 80-year-old American, you have lived through approximately 1/3 of our nation's entire history."
"The 80s were 40 years ago."
"This is what messes me up because I was born in 82 and graduated high school in 2000 so for some reason my brain is stuck on the 80's being twenty years ago. The 70's thirty years ago etc etc. I have to stop and realize sometimes that my concept of how long ago things happened is way off."
Time goes by...
"We observe that light travels at 186,000 miles a second, but given the vast size of the observable universe, that's a snail's pace. But from the point of view of a particle of light, time doesn't even exist."
"Time slows down as you approach the speed of light, and theoretically stops completely when you reach the speed of light."
Years Gone By...
"MLK Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year."
"Betty White was born in 1922. Automatically pre-sliced packaged bread loaves became commercially available in 1928. Betty White is six years older than sliced bread."
Long Live the Queen!queen elizabeth images GIFGiphy
"The queen and Marilyn Monroe would've been the same age."
I swear Liz is going to outlive dirt. Wait, I believe she already has. Well she won't be alone, she'll have Betty White. At least she better have Betty. Time is nothing without Queen Betty.
TV TimeSeason 2 Omg GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Happy Days was a TV show made in the 1970s-80s about teenagers in the 1950s. Similarly, That 70s Show was made in the 90s-00s about teenagers in the 70s. If a similar show were to be made today, it would be about teenagers in the 2000s."
"If a T-Rex imagined a creature as ancient as the T-Rex is to us, it would be a Stegosaurus. If that Stegosaurus imagined a creature as ancient as the Stegosaurus is to us, it would be a Crocodile. If that Crocodile imagined a creature as ancient as that Crocodile is to us, it would be a Shark."
On the Clock
"On a twenty four hour clock the amount of time that humans have been on the earth would total around five seconds."
"How about this one: If Homo Habilus first appeared at midnight, 24 hours ago, that means the first Homo Sapiens appeared at 9:25 PM, or about 2 and a half hours ago. The first human civilization, in lower Mesopotamia, appeared at 11:57 PM, or about 3 minutes ago."
"The Western Roman Empire fell at 11:59 PM, or 1 minute ago. Everything that has happened since - the Crusades, the Plague, the discovery of the New World, the world wars, all of it - has happened in the last minute of human existence."
And that's just OUR Sun...
"The span of our lives are so insignificantly small that our Sun will last another 5 billion years. That's 9 zeros people. Our eldest live to around 100 in the best places. That's 50,000,000 (50 million) times longer than any person can reasonably expect to live. And that's just OUR Sun. The universe as a whole has probably existed for magnitudes longer than that already and will continue to exist until the end of time as we know it."
Tell Me a Storywilliam shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"We know what a good storyteller Shakespeare was but there were Greek playwrights who wrote shows nearly 2,000 years earlier that are pretty good, too."
I hate time. Only because I'm petty and irritated of the amount I squandered. That's neither here nor there though. Time marches on and continues to amaze. I'll keep watching.