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- Mike, a scientist who donated sperm multiple times in the 1990s and now has an estimated 30 biological children, shared his story on an episode of “Pregnantish,” a new podcast featuring people who have had “unconventional paths to parenthood.”
- While he was training to be a scientist, Mike said he and his colleagues “decided that it would be kind of interesting to help out infertile couples” and donate sperm.
- Mike has no children of his own and said that, at times, he wishes he did. He said he dreams that one day all his biological children will meet and perhaps act as sort of an extended family.
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Many things may drive someone to donate sperm. A sense of altruism. A means to earn extra money. Ego.
For Mike, a scientist in his 40s, it was a desire to help couples dealing with infertility to create their families. He shared his story on an episode of “Pregnantish,” a new podcast hosted by Andrea Syrtash that features people who have had “unconventional paths to parenthood,”
In the episode, which aired Tuesday, Mike discussed his experience donating sperm and how he dreams of meeting his estimated 30 biological offspring.
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For 2.5 years, Mike was averaging about one pregnancy a month that used his donated sperm
After college, Mike was training to become a scientist and surrounded by doctors and other medical professionals. As young people in their early 20s, Mike and his colleagues felt a sense of altruism and “decided that it would be kind of interesting to help out infertile couples” by donating sperm, he said.
After going through the long process of qualifying to donate sperm including by getting his DNA tested, Mike regularly visited a clinic over the course of two-and-a-half years, where he was paid $50 to $60 per donation and produced what he described as an average of one pregnancy a month.
Mike estimates that due to the length of time he was making deposits at the sperm bank and the pregnancies per month, he has about 30 biological children from these donations.
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Despite having many biological offspring, Mike has no children of his own and says that, at times, he wishes he did
Today, about 20 years later, Mike has no children of his own due to complicated circumstances he told Syrtash he would rather not get into. He said that sometimes he wishes he did have offspring he was able to raise.
But the idea that his biological children are out in the world did give him hope that someday, there would be the possibility of meeting them.
“It would be great if they were interested in having some kind of contact with me,” Mike said. “It could be occasionally having dinner. It could be helping them out on something as in their adult lives. It could be them meeting other relatives and discovering they have a new network to allow them more access to things in life. The more relatives you have who you like, the better life can be.”
He began searching for his donor children 10 years ago by putting his name on specialized websites that try to connect donor children with anonymous sperm donors who could potentially be their parents.
He had some success. Last year, one of his biological children reached out after putting her DNA into one of the websites he had put his name in. Mike was brought to tears when he saw their DNA was a 100% match. He and his biological daughter have yet to meet, but they exchange emails and keep in touch casually.
Mike said he hopes eventually, his biological children all meet each other and possibly act as an extended family.
“It gave me a certain amount of joy to know that there were 30 biological offspring out there,” Mike said. “It would be really wonderful if they found each other as siblings. Then they would meet each other, have picnics, get to know each other. It’d be sort of a second family for them.”
For more details, subscribe to the “Pregnantish” podcast, with new episodes available on Tuesdays.
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