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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Canadian Ruling on Sperm Donation and DNA Kits Before Breakfast

Published by me a few minutes earlier, first, on Technorati:

Most people start the morning with coffee and eggs or cereal...I on the other hand started with a DNA kit.

"Welcome to the exciting world of genealogy by genetics!" proclaimed the Family Finder DNA kit.
I found it hard to get into the spirit of things in my washed-out pink robe and minor hangover from wine the night before. Was the exclamation point really necessary? I pictured some super dorky genetic scientist all excited typing the note in.....where do I have to mail this stupid thing again.....oh yeah, Texas. 
Well yippee-kay-yi-FREAKIN-yay....I get to search for my family via 3 huge Qtips and an envelope.  Joyful. 

My annoyance hadn't been instant because in my early morning stupor, it took a few minutes to read the line eyes still trying to adjust to the light. Prior to pulling out the note I had stumbled a bit trying to pull that half-paper, mega industrial-plastic envelop open. It suddenly ripped open, causing the three swabs to fly into the air and the three collection tubes to hit the ground with a 'tink' 'tink'..................'tink' The delay of the third tink was the result of one of the tubes with a bit more trajectory flying across the kitchen. God, my head hurt, what a stupid idea that third glass of merlot was...but I was celebrating.

The day prior I had gone out with friends after receiving news that a landmark Canadian Supreme Court ruling had overturned the laws that denied the children of anonymous sperm donors the same rights as adoptees. The ruling, in British Columbia, meant that "donor offspring" like me would not be denied the legal right to know the identity of their genetic parents - effectively banning anonymous sperm donation in the province.  We toasted to the progress but while change was approaching, it wasn't in the US yet.

I was left to try to use a genealogy site, designed as more of a high-cost novelty for those with spare time to chart their family trees, as means to locate my sperm donor. According to a post by a peer on her blog, in addition to learning whether I was really half Polish or not, I would receive a list of cousins and relatives already on the site. Relatives who could perhaps help me identify a medical intern that had donated his sperm in NYC about 30 years ago.

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