Finding Your Tribe
When it comes right down to it, intended parents are looking for someone to fit into their tribe. By ‘tribe’, I don’t mean race or ethnic background. While those factors play an important role in identifying your egg donor or sperm donor, the spectrum of diversity is much broader.
Each individual may have a different definition of tribe. For some it may be matching one’s ethnic heritage. For others, there may be different characteristics that take precedent. Ask twenty future parents what’s important to them and you’re likely to get just as many answers. The details and nuances will be different for each future parent. Why is that?
We are all looking for our tribe.
Initially, the intended parent(s) may not know quite how to define the most important characteristics. It may take time to focus in on the characteristics that resonate with them. Many of our clients want someone who not only shares physical family traits but also show a drive to achieve. They, and their parents and grandparents have worked hard to gain a good education and to do well in their professional lives. This is a trait of their tribe. This is who they are. These clients usually relate to a donor who shares their zest for learning, a desire for academic success and a similar attitude to life in general.
For others, athleticism, music, mathematics and science or even altruism can be defining factors for which they relate to and see as part of their tribe. Whatever the traits are, they are important to the intended parents looking to build their families. They are traits they have grown up with and see as valuable. These are traits that have defined how they view themselves and their family of origin. These characteristics have influenced who they have chosen for their life partner. They are characteristics they would like to share with their future child so that the child feels they are part of the tribe too.
Choosing a donor is more than finding hearty viable oocytes. While that’s important, it’s often the tribal traits - those less tangible things that they identify with and make them feel like the donor will fit into their family tribe. This can make the difference for many intended parents to feel they can let go of their ability to be part of the genetic equation that will create their child, and feel good about making what may be an Orwellian leap to third party reproduction.
-Gail Sexton Anderson is the Founder of Donor Concierge