As big of an advocate of the infertile community and the issues that impact us I am, I am also very interested in the children who grow up in families via adoption or third party reproduction. The only way we as a society can learn as to how to better parent these children is by hearing the voices of adults who were children in these families. So I was very interested when I saw that for once MTV wasn’t doing one of these trashy shows like “16 & Pregnant” or “Teen Mom”. Instead they were going to do a show on a group of donor conceived children siblings who are in search of the man who donated his sperm that conceived them called “Generation Cryo“.
The group of children come from all different types of families. Bree, who is the main character of the show has two parents who are lesbians. She is the child who is really driving the search for their sperm donor. There are two other families who had an infertile father. Though one of the couples was actually able to conceive a daughter after they used the same donor sperm to conceive their son. That was an interesting situation where I would be interested to know what their dad’s diagnosis was. And finally there were two other families with children whose single mothers used the same donor sperm to conceive their children.
The level of interest in finding the man responsible for donating the sperm varies in each child. Unlike donor conceived children in the past all of the children on the show were told of their conception story at a young age and for the most part are comfortable with it. Though the main character of the show appears and one other child appear to have some hurt over their conception. The main issue the show is bringing awareness to is not only donor conception but more specifically anonymous sperm donation.
As a viewer I really feel for the kids that have an interest in who was the man that makes up 50% of his DNA. I don’t think it’s right that they should have to go through an extensive search to find out who he is. But on the other hand thus guy donated his sperm under the agreement that he would be anonymous and not responsible in any way for the children that might have been conceived from his sperm. It’s a very emotional show on an emotional topic.
The parts of the show that hit home for me were the segments involving the infertile dad’s and how much they care for their children but at the same time still hurt from their infertility. I have to admit there were times during these segments that I teared up thinking about my own pain. It was a reminder that regardless of whether my wife and I become parents the hurt will always be there for me.
Overall the show is very well done. MTV deserves a lot of credit for putting together a show like this and not making the show trashy like they’ve done with other shows. I think it’s an important show for people to watch. I hope it doesn’t become a show where people turn to hate and judge infertile couples, same sex couples and single women who choose to build their families this way. Instead I hope our society first learns that changes are needed to how sperm is donated, second that they empathize and support these donor conceived children and third that they realize the demand for children for those who for whatever reason are unable to conceive a child.