Help me find out how to find out who is my biological father?
September 23, 2012 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone give me any information or insight into how I might find my biological father?

I just found out (a few months ago) that the father who "raised" me is not my biological father. The pregnancy was the result of a sperm bank thing (father couldn't have kids biologically) which was for med students only at a prestigious med school in the state in which I currently live and was born. He checked all the boxes that said he doesn't want me to find him, I guess, but I want to find him for medical background (I'm experiencing hard-to-diagnose medical problems) alone, not to mention all the other obvious reasons. My mother was apparently given very little info. His broad race, build, and eye color. That's it. Is there any chance...?

Email for this:
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if you can actually find your father - I would think that if he chose not to be found, it would be hard to get around those privacy concerns against his (past) wishes. An alternative, considering your immediate medical problems, would be to get genetic testing done, as through a service like, or with a genetic counselor. Since this seems to be more of a practical matter than emotional, I'm not sure what he could even help you with that you couldn't figure out through genetic testing, or talking with a genetic counselor.
posted by permiechickie at 7:09 PM on September 23, 2012

This blog has a pretty good outline, starting with the information in getting a donor number. If you do find one, in addition to the search steps outlined there, be sure to register at a sibling registry - it is possible you have a donorsib who has already done this search.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:25 PM on September 23, 2012

Have you contacted the sperm bank? Perhaps they would be willing to pass on a letter (NOT an email, an actual old-fashioned paper letter) from you, detailing all reasons you want to contact him.
posted by easily confused at 4:58 AM on September 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

If they do not want to be contacted, unless you can find a way via a private investigator, he seriously does not want to be found.

However yes you can go the genetic testing route or ask the sperm bank for medical, de-identifiable info. As an adoptee I do strongly believe that the offspring has a right to know at least their medical risks. He most likely had to do an inital work up regarding medical to be in the mix. I dont' know how detailed a sperm bank is. I know for eggs, it's pretty thorough medically and psychologically.
posted by stormpooper at 12:41 PM on September 24, 2012

Mod note: From the OP:
It is definitely NOT a more practical matter than emotional. I just didn't want to go into how I secretly hope I have an Aunt and siblings and that he's the nicest man and that I would want a relationship with him, but all of that is the case. I do also have pressing medical matters that could benefit from genetic things, too.

I guess I wasn't clear in the initial question - the sperm bank no longer exists, it was experimental and part of a medical school. I just feel they have to have records SOMEWHERE. Don't they??? They can't just destroy all record of my conception, can they???

I realize he chose not to be found at the time of donation - I also realize there's a possibility he could have changed his mind about that some time in the last 20 years, and if he didn't, I would like to know that for closure.

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:21 PM on September 26, 2012

Okay, the sperm bank no longer exists..... have you tried contacting the medical school it was part of?

Meanwhile, yes, get genetic testing through or a genetic counselor, or (if you know your donor's number) try contacting one of the online donor children groups..... you even might get lucky that way and find some donor-siblings!
posted by easily confused at 12:29 PM on September 27, 2012

I just didn't want to go into how I secretly hope I have an Aunt and siblings and that he's the nicest man and that I would want a relationship with him, but all of that is the case.

"Where did I come from"? is really basic, powerful and emotional stuff. It's okay to indulge in fantasy. But it is also really critical to make sure your expectations are grounded in reality. I think you might want to look at the statistics for contact with birth parents. You have really pretty mediocre odds contacting a birth mother, and much lower odds for a birth father. I cannot imagine you have anything but even lower odds of success with an anonymous donor father.

In some countries, you are forced to meet with a social worker before social services will assist with post-adoption reunification. I think this sucks, but if you were to choose to get some support from a family therapist around this issue, it might put you in a stronger position moving forward.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:29 PM on September 27, 2012

It would be tedious, but you could get the yearbooks for the med school graduating classes whose members were in school when you were conceived (and shortly before), pick out anyone who could potentially be related to you, and try to track them down.

The school's library should have copies, and you should be allowed in to the library to browse even if you don't have borrowing privileges. If not, there may be some other way to find a list of the names of graduates in a particular year. Or--this is sketchier, but you might be able to place an ad in their alumni magazine describing your situation. You could include your picture to help narrow things down (assuming you have some amount of physical resemblance to the sperm donor or their family.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:29 PM on September 27, 2012

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