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How to Make a Gayby

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

My urges to wipe the snot off a stranger's baby's nose are practically unfightable. My womb aches. Unlike others struck by baby fever, I can't just poke some holes in the condom and call it an "accident"—drats! Ladies making babies with ladies has extra challenges. Sperm ain't cheap and ambushing a friend over brunch to donate theirs doesn't work. Don't get me wrong—this isn't another "Poor me, I'm a spermless lesbian" story.

No—I've discovered excellent upsides to our situation. Unlike 50 percent of hetero-bred babies, ours will be 100 percent planned; according to researchers like Clark University's Abbie Goldberg, we gay parents "tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because [we] chose to be parents."

We can conveniently blame our kid's undesirable traits on The Donor.

Also, our son will look like Johnny Depp.

Like Facebook for sperm (Spermbook?), perusing your potential baby-daddies on online cryobanks is a perfect waste of three hours. My current favorite, California Cryobank (cryobank.com), covers your usual donor profile options like hobbies, talents, medical history and, for a fee, childhood photos.

While making fun of donor interest combinations like "Friends, exercise and coins," (uh, coins?) California Cryobank knows this won't satisfy the Googling masses. The real entertainment lies in options like audio recordings of Donor's voice (which, creepily, you can save and replay for your offspring) and, for $20, the "Express Yourself" supplement. Basically, Broke College Student went to the cryobank and did what he does best—Writing Workshop 101. California Cryobank tells us to expect songs, essays, drawings, recipes and original poetry—anything that "expresses his inner self" and can be hung on the fridge with the rainbow magnet you undoubtedly already have.

If you feel like that glimpse into Donor's soul wasn't enlightening enough, another President Jackson gets you the results of a written test assessing what your future child's temperament might be, via questions about how Donor reacts when, for instance, he's forced to wait in a long line. If Donor's running late to a modeling shoot and comes across an old lady crossing the street does he a) help her across b) run past or c) push the ol' biddy into traffic? Basically, how much of an a-hole will your kid be, really?

Is the carrying Mommy kinda ugly? Never fear! California Cryobank has trademarked "Donor Look-a-Likes," a free service that matches Donor's looks with those of a few celebrities or "anyone famous enough to be found on the web." They give the disclaimer that your kid may not actually look like Brad Pitt , but those who want to search the donor database by the criteria that really counts—celebrity name—will demand a do-over anyway.

Starting a family, especially with a donor decision in the mix, is a scary thing. California Cryobank gives your loved ones the opportunity to truly support you. With the touch of a finger to their iPad, your Facebook friends can post virtual "Lucky Baby Dust" to your wall, reminding you that you'll be amazing parents but aren't actually worth the extra touches required to make a phone call.

Too impersonal? Keep it local with the New England Cryogenic Center (necryogenic.com). What it lacks in celebrity pairings, it makes up for in an application segment called "Message to Recipient," where Donor is given three lines to tell future families his dreams for his genetic offerings.

To me, it all comes down to these sentences, with real examples ranging from the vain "I'm glad my DNA will continue" to fortune-cookie predictions like "Your child will probably want to play jazz music." Some donors take this opportunity for confession: "My only bad habit is eating too much candy." Some, like the donor whose interests include artificial intelligence and robotics, make conditional demands: "Remember that children's sole purpose is to learn how the world works. Do not neglect that."

I think we'll stick with #D-0998 who promises this : "Someday they'll definitely make you proud." For $600 per vial, they better.

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