- In 2005, Jessica Share and her then-girlfriend had their first daughter via an anonymous sperm donor. They had a second daughter from the same donor 18 months later, she wrote in an essay for the BBC.
- When their daughters were toddlers, Share and her wife suddenly broke up.
- When Share’s daughter Alice was 10, she got her a 23AndMe DNA testing kit, because she was curious to learn more about her family.
- That’s how they identified Alice’s father and several of her half-siblings – and they connected.
- Now, Share and Alice’s father Aaron Long are dating, she said.
Sometimes, as they say, you find love when you least expect it. And for Jessica Share and her once-anonymous sperm donor Aaron Long, it all started with a DNA test, Share explained in a personal essay for the BBC.
In 2005, Share and her then-girlfriend had their first daughter, Alice, via an anonymous sperm donor. Share, who carried Alice, and her partner chose a donor with “average height and weight who had studied literature, had wavy brown hair, and liked sports,” she wrote. He listed his profession as a “writer, musician, and taxi driver” and the couple imagined a romanticized version of him driving around Seattle, Share said.
Soon after Alice was born, the couple had another daughter via the same donor, Share wrote in her essay. This time, her partner carried the baby. But when their daughters were 3 and 1, respectively, the couple suddenly broke up. Share’s ex-partner has not been involved in Alice’s life since she was ten, Share wrote.
Although her daughter “knows more deeply than most children that family is neither genetically created nor forged through parenting alone,” Share wrote that her daughter was curious about her family.
“Wanting to know what her genetic heritage was, Alice requested a DNA testing kit from her grandmother for Christmas when she was 11 years old,” Share wrote.
The test told Alice the identity of her half-brother and her father, Share wrote. Curious, she decided to look up Alice’s father, who was identified as Aaron Long, on social media.
Soon enough, she wrote, she found someone who matched the description of the taxi driver from Seattle circa 2005. The two agreed to become friends on social media and it turned out that they had lived in the same town for several years at the same time, Share said.
Share also got in touch with one of Alice’s half-siblings, Bryce Gallo, 21, who told him he knew of at least 6 other children from Long. Long may have as many as 67 children, Share wrote. According to “Forty Dollars A Pop,” a forthcoming documentary based on Long’s life, the Seattle resident donated his sperm two times every week in 1994 – earning him $US40 a donation for each contribution.
A few months later, Share and Alice travelled to Seattle to meet Long with Gallo and another of Long’s children, Madi, 19.
Share and Long immediately had chemistry during that visit, but she was dating someone else at the time and she decided not to do anything. But that relationship ended, and she couldn’t help but think about the father of her children, she wrote.
So Share and Alice moved to Seattle. Soon after that, she and Long started dating. Their connection, she wrote, was instant.
“When heterosexual people meet and date and get married, they often look with devotion at one another and think it would be wonderful to have little people who look like both of them. I’d already spent a decade with those little people,” she explained “I spent my first date with Aaron relaying their lives to him. I already knew him and knew he was just like these people I love more than anyone else in the world.”
Now, Share, Alice, and Madi are all living together with Long in Seattle, she wrote in her BBC essay.
“It’s hard to tell if DNA played a role in our relationship,” she wrote. “I know that I am attracted to Aaron for all the reasons that seemed wonderful when shopping for him in a sperm donor catalogue years ago.”
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