Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles My mom is about to meet my dad for the first time. I grew up with two moms, Kathleen and Betsy. And I really don't miss having a dad because they both completed a different area of me. This is the family. My sister, Sarah, and I have always just had each other. And I love Sarah to pieces. I always knew that I was donor conceived. We were imagining you 18 years from now meeting this guy and we wanted you to like him. I don't think I ever imagined that there could be so many siblings. I thought maybe if I'm lucky I'll find one or two. I think we're still trying to feel around and figure out how we're family. It's completely uncharted territory. We're going to go visit Carolyn, my half sister. Carolyn was the first sibling that I made contact with. So I guess she's just the introduction, my introduction to the donor sibling world. Carolyn! What up, what up? Your haircut, when did that happen? That happened like a month ago. I love it. Thank you. It's adorable. When I was growing up, I thought that maybe I have donor siblings. But then your mom was the first person to contact me! So that was the like first time I was like: 'Oh, I have a donor sibling! And it's you!' So I thought it was just 19 of us, and then Sam popped up, and we were like, 'Oh, Sam is another one we didn't know about.' There's definitely 20 of us. And my mom has an Excel spreadsheet. She does? Yeah, with everybody that we have to date and their parents and contact info. This is the sperm pipette... is that the word? - that my mother used. And here you can see that it says 1317. I guess she got this on June 6 of 1995 So she used a little vial and syringe to self-inseminate, and it came in the mail, it was frozen, she said that she warmed it up like so. I found out my mom was actually in contact my entire childhood and even before I was born with other moms. Now that I'm 18, the rest of us are also adults. We have established our own relationships with each other. She had these probably in her freezer for four to five months before she decided: today's the day that I'm going to get pregnant. Donor 1317 was originally approved for donation in November 1993, since the release of his semen, we have achieved six confirmed pregnancies. The donor continues to be healthy. That is so medical and scientific! This necklace, it says 1-3-1-7. And my moms gave it to me for my 18th birthday. And I think the number represents less of the donor 1-3-1-7 and more of my moms and my half siblings and that - just my family, it's all different parts of my family. When we were starting this process first of all there were two known sperm banks we were aware of, both in California, that had a known donor programme. So this is the questionnaire we got from the sperm bank about your donor. 'Why do you want to be a sperm donor?' 'Besides the money, which was definitely an incentive since I am strapped for cash, I think that it would be a very rewarding experience. If I never have kids then I would want to know that I have given that opportunity to another couple.' 'Which option did you choose?' 'Identity release.' 'And explain why you chose this option.' 'It may be interesting to meet my unknown child to see what effects environmental and genetic have played a role in his or her development.' 'If we could pass a message to the recipient of your semen, what would that message be?' 'Hold your head high and be considerate of others.' I mean he just seems like a really nice guy. so that's why we chose him. We were imagining you 18 years from now meeting this guy and we wanted you to like him and, yeah think he was a good guy, so that was kind of our process. You glad we picked him? I mean yeah! I love you. I love you, too. You're so special. Kathleen and I got together when we were 23 years old. So we were quite young at the time. She was the kind of person that would walk in the room and light it up. Oh my gosh mom, you're so young. Thank you? I think. Not that you're old now, but like… for the three months that she lived after her diagnosis, she did more living than most people do in a decade - if not more. Julia, this was when we were on vacation, a week before your mummy died. And she played the song she'd learned, she taught herself to play the ukulele in the last two months of her life and played the song for the whole family. Love you girls. You ok? Kathleen was very insistent on making sure that we used the sperm bank of California, because we were allowed to have a 'Known Donor Programme' from that. We didn't have any rights to the donor, and he didn't have any rights to us, either. Julia was the only person that could make contact. Julia was born in 1999 in January, and she was conceived five months before Google was founded. So there was no chance in our minds that any of the diblings would ever be part of the picture. It wasn't that we didn't want them, it just never crossed our mind. Oh honey pie, I love you so much. I love you, too. Have a great trip and I want to hear all about it when you get home. We are on the road to Syracuse, New York, where I'm going to meet up with three of my siblings, George, Mari and Samantha. And I've met George before, and I haven't met Mari or Samantha. What's up! Hi. I'm Mari. Do you see what I mean? I think they look so similar. The eyes. Yeah. Yeah and the nose and the bone structure. Already? And your nose. I have small hands. I have huge hands. I have bigger hands than my brother. We have the exact same size hands. I never really wondered about the fact that I might have these half siblings - diblings. I like more calling them like sisters and brothers, because I'm trying to get more used to the fact that they are like my sisters and brothers. Now it's really become a much bigger part of this whole sperm donor story to me than the father aspect of it. It's so grody that other people's parents had to have sex. I was a double donor conception, which means that a donor egg and then a donor sperm was used. I felt very alien, I felt very like in a hole, and 50 years ago I wouldn't have been able to exist at all. I felt like I was kind of forced on to the earth a little bit. It wasn't natural at all. There was a period that I was just I wished I hadn't been born in this way, really at all. And I almost kind of blamed her, because I knew that she wanted a child so bad. People don't report when the pregnancies are successful. So the sperm banks don't get a lot of information in return from the families apparently there's a problem with lack of regulation around that or something. I don't know, should they have 20-something kids? Sperm donation is around to stay. So, for someday it might only be this. We don't know the future of any of that. I really want to get to know you better. I'm down to be like a brother. I want you guys too. There's a lot, you know? Welcome to the family kind of thing. We're not brothers and sisters in name only, I kind of want to make it more than that. I think it's definitely possible to have a few people, or a lot of people maybe, even, if I'm good with time management, who I can have really deep relationships with who feel like my brother and sister. I think it's important to do something every once in a while with these people to grow these connections. I don't think it necessarily has to be something where you need to talk to them all the time, or even having one person that you talk to all the time because we're not accustomed to that in our lives, but I think that this can be a family. And I'm really excited about that. My half sister came up to me and gave me a hug today, and I was the first blood relative she's ever touched and it's a Thursday. Just a random Thursday. The whole experience is always shocking and bewildering, but in a really beautiful way. And really touching way. Hugging George, it was like, I don't know, a strange sort of homecoming, it was like someone I should've been hugging throughout my childhood but never did. I wish I could've told younger me about this day. I wish I could go back and tell her that you'll find them. You'll find those people that understand. It'll definitely keep me warm for a very long time, you know? We're still figuring out how family works, and how our family works. I don't know where we are in that, but I like where it is. Wherever it is, I like it. Really only about 3-5% of all potential donors actually become donors. It's kind of an exclusive club. So these are the samples and they're attached to canes, like this. And we just lay them here. We limit the number of vials that we allow a donor to produce. If we allow a donor to collect 500 vials, If you do some calculations, that would be approximately between 10 and 15 pregnancies. It's not what I expected, I expected it to be some crazy, scientific, all these people with masks on, running everywhere, and kind of scary, but it's very normal. If we go down the hallway this way is our collection room. It's basically just a sink, the chair, the proverbial stack of magazines. I don't know if I want to imagine this part.