I Am Going To A Sperm Bank
His text message floored me. “So when are we going to have a baby?” he asked. This was a few weeks ago and I thought to myself, “Is this negro seriously broaching this topic in a text message?” I responded with the customary “Lol” when one has nothing constructive to say (at nothing particularly funny). But my curiosity got the better of me, so I asked him if he was serious about having a child with me. He claimed he’d mentioned this to me a couple of times before and this was the last time he was addressing the matter.
I was both annoyed and insulted that he thought text messaging was an appropriate forum for such an important life decision, especially since I’d not seen him in at least a year and we’d long realized after briefly dating that we’re better off as platonic friends. While our friendship has grown, our communication is inconsistent to say the least and if I think about it, I could count the number of times we have had a telephone conversation since I last saw him. For the most, our friendship is – virtual.
For the aforementioned “status” and several other reasons, which I’ll come to, I was not about to entertain Mr. Romeo on this subject via this medium. I’d hoped my next response would have ended the conversation: “When you propose and marry me.” His response: “Baby first.” Seriously? Now if I wanted a child out-of-wedlock, I could have done that a long time ago. Most of my friends know my story of being raised in a single parent home by my mother as I paid homage here in I Call Mine ‘Bajan Brown Sugar. More recently, I shared the sad saga that ensued when as an adult I eventually met my father – as detailed here in Tears And Prayers For My Father.
Despite all the arguments I’ve heard throughout my life about the disadvantages of growing up in a single parent home, I couldn’t be more proud of my upbringing and don’t feel inadequate about it. Still, against this background, I’d always promised my “future” children and myself that I must be married with a husband around to raise my family. That reason, and a strong adherence to my Christian faith.
Sure, I’m aware that a husband, like scores of unmarried men could also shirk his responsibility, but I prefer to have the security, legality and sanctity of marriage. Call me old-fashioned, call me too religious, whatever. That has traditionally been my stance. Mr. Romeo argued with me. He questioned if I thought having a husband would prevent my child from being fatherless and asked, “Who said if we have child, you’ll be doing this on your own?” I texted back that he certainly didn’t consider it a serious enough matter to be bringing it up via text. “Where is it written in stone that this convo cannot be discussed via text, you crack me up,” he responded. Then he asked if I’m suggesting that we have an in-person “open conversation.” Yuh think?!
Mr. Romeo surmised: “I say let’s go for it, as we’re not getting younger.” We’re both in our 30’s and just two years apart. To me, that’s not enough reason to make such a commitment. I think if Mr. Romeo is game to fertilize my genius egg, he should be invested enough to want to marry me. Sorry, but I’m not about to be anyone’s baby mama. Still, he got me thinking about a matter I’ve pondered on a few times and even brought up with many friends – to the objection of several of them. I have yet to hear my pastor’s take on it.
I’ve long wanted children and within recent years every maternal nerve in my body has been on edge to make this a reality. For just as long I’ve had a special fascination with bearing twins and as I mature, I’m realizing that at this point in my life I don’t want to be pregnant two or three times, so the idea of two at one go is somewhat appealing. And yes, friends who have twins have warned me – it’s not easy. But getting back to the matter on which I’ve been cogitating; I’ve been re-evaluating my view on me being a single parent.
I have been thinking about taking certain steps to become a mother – without a having man. And I don’t mean adoption. I polled a number of male friends on if they’d ever consider being sperm donors (not to me) and all of them said, not without playing a role in the child’s life. What’s interesting here is that some of said guys have in the past got into a state of panic at the possibility of their girlfriends being pregnant and were adamant that they were not about to be fathers.
Statistics show that black men make up less than five percent of donors to cryobanks. Of course, thousands of black children nationwide might argue that black men have been the largest number of “sperm donors” for years now – based on single mother statistics. So whether a woman is waiting for marriage to have a child or if she is paying several hundred dollars for a few tubes to inseminate herself – it’s a challenge if she’s counting on a black man.
Many cryobanks have the “known donor” policy, where a child can later get to know their “father,” or more accurately put, their sperm donor. For some people, choosing this method of motherhood is somewhat unnerving, immoral and many argue that it’s unfair to the child. But of late, I’m beginning to embrace the theory that if by a “specific age” and I’m in a great physical, financial and emotional state, fully independent, READY to have a child and I am still single, I am going to a sperm bank. What do you think?
~ I Keep it Irie ~