Explaining the minority experience is not easy when you aren’t a minority. I am a minority. My experience is directly attributed to the racial climate I grew up with, my family and education. How do I explain to my child why their donor is white? The age old saying is, “if you have an ounce of black in you, you are black.” Interracial children can definitely have identity issues.
What if you look white and can be mistaken for white? This is not a new issue. It was very well depicted in the 1959 movie, “The Imitation of Life.” The black maid’s daughter looked white and was suffering with identity issues. She wanted to be white, because she saw that white people‘s lives were better than blacks. If she separated herself from her mother, no one would know she was black. It was a very sad story.
This issue has been the topic amongst several of my minority single mothers by choice friends. Most of these women never thought they would ever have to make the choice to be a single mother. It was a long hard process for me to accept this option. I had to mourn the dream of having a marriage before the baby carriage.
Once I dealt with all the emotions and the choice made, one of the next steps was picking a sperm donor. There is a small percentage of minority sperm donors compared to the percentage of white donors — not a small percentage of any particular minority, but of all minorities in general. To me personally this is not a big issue as I had two interracial grandparents. My family will be more accepting of the race of the child then how the child was conceived.
I had a conversation about this when I was talking to other minority single mothers by choice and how they picked their donors. A Latina SMC mom was happy to get her hands on Latino sperm. Another African American woman was trying to hold on to her African American sperm because her donor was no longer donating. A friend and I went through many sperm banks trying to find her more African American open ID sperm.
The best explanation I’ve heard about this issue came from a woman in the movie “Plan B.” She was Caucasian and picked Caucasian sperm. She thought the child already didn’t have a father, and was conceived with donor sperm, and she didn’t want to give the child another issue to have to deal with.
I remember watching a discussion of this on “Donahue” years ago, which was one of the first talk shows to openly discuss it. There were black women on the panel that had children with white men. Their children looked white. One of the women talked about when her baby was in the hospital nursery, and she asked the nurse to bring her child to her, the nurse told her no black babies were born that day. Another woman told about a time when she was in the park with her children, and a woman came up to her and asked her about her nanny services.
This whole SMC process is a series of hard choices. It is a reality that this is one of them for minority SMCs.