Donor Race

Friends, help me out here. I want to know what you think about using a donor of another race. I know a lot of people choose donors to match their own race, or their spouse’s, likely so that the children look similar. But what about using a donor of a race that neither parent shares? For example, my wife is half Mexican, half white. I am all northern European (pasty) white. What are the ethical considerations of using an Asian donor, or a black donor? My concern lies with the child(ren). I have a lot of confidence in my wife and I to help the child understand their racial heritage and donor’s background. We would go to great lengths to help them find role models who shared their race (as well as those who don’t) and help them develop a dialogue and understanding of what race means to us, to society, and to them. But, would we be doing a disservice to the child by bringing them into a family where they don’t share race with either parent? I want to think “no,” but I want to hear what other people think.

To me, this is very different from interracial adoption. We would not hesitate to bring a child of another race into our home through adoption if that opportunity presented itself, and we would love it to the ends of the earth, no matter what physical attributes he or she had. There are wonderful examples of adoption into same-race families (I know there is a better word) and interracial families. This hypothetical is different because we would be INTENTIONALLY creating a difference between us and the child. We would be setting the child up for MORE questions other than the usual – who is your dad? Is that unfair to the child?

For my bias, I would prefer to use a black donor. I can’t quite explain why, I have just always had that inclination. We are fortunate to have a wonderful white donor, but after 4.5 rounds of trying, I’m starting to wonder if maybe we should try a new donor. Needless to say, whatever baby pops out eventually, we will love beyond measure. Until he or she shows up, we are just practicing the endless questioning about whether we are doing the right thing 🙂

Please, tell me, did you consider (or use) donors of other races? Were you concerned for the child’s experience and perspective? THANK YOU in advance for sharing your thoughts!

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3 responses

  1. We had a black friend offer to be our known donor. We considered it and then decided we didn’t think it was fair, for lack of a better word, for the kid.But, we live in a pretty conservative, racist state so that was the main reason we didn’t move forward with it. If we lived somewhere else where it wasn’t a big deal, I don’t really see why not. I do think it would be important to connect the kid to folks who looked like him/her and know that many people would share thier opinions with you about your choice. My only advice, if you do end up using a black donor…just make sure you learn how to do their hair, or pay to have it done. I see way too many kids with parents who just don’t care 🙂

  2. The only person we considered asking to be a donor is of a different race than us. But we decided to go the legally easier route and go with a bank. And the bank had mostly white donors, so we ended up with a white one. The fact that we screened against brown eyes probably factors into it too.

    On the one hand, race isn’t a huge deal (social construct, etc), on the other hand, in various places, it still unfortunately is (prejudice, etc).

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