BUYING DAD: One Woman's Search for the Perfect Sperm Donor

Harlyn Aizley, Author . Alyson $14.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-55583-755-6

While reproductive high-tech isn't exactly gay friendly, it has revived interest in the biological clock for many lesbians who wouldn't have heard its tick years ago. Aizley, a Jewish lesbian freelance writer, and her partner, Faith, were already in their 30s when they started considering motherhood. Agreed that children didn't need dad energy, and that Aizley, being older, should get pregnant first, they faced the trickier issue of sperm sourcing. After considering some male friends, they decided an anonymous sperm donor was less problematic. At first, sperm shopping seemed delightfully empowering—"the genetic world is our oyster"—but they soon realized they hadn't thought about which attributes really mattered. Ethnicity? Intelligence? Sincerity on the writing sample? Narrowing it down to donors willing to disclose paternity when the child grew up, the couple invested enough in one donor's specimens so Faith could later produce a half-sibling. From this point, Aizley's tale reads like any woman's: failed insemination procedures, fears of fertility treatments and huge doses of self-doubt. But before long, she's pregnant. Meanwhile, Aizley's sweet mom is dying of cancer, her hetero sister is having an unbelievably easy pregnancy—the story is as addictive as a good soap. Aizley's sense of humor may turn off some (when they switch to "non-Jewish" sperm, she muses, "I hope they treat my egg with respect and roll back their foreskins before doing the deed"), but her lesbian fans—and a good many straight women—may appreciate her irreverence and her honesty. Agent, Ann Collette. (July)

Forecast:Alyson may have a good crossover title here, at least to hip straight women.

Reviewed on: 04/21/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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