Some women were eager to become mothers, but some didn't have a partner or male friend they could count on for the needed ingredient sperm. The sperm clinics were able to provide the women sperm through an anonymous donation allowing them to have children. Years later, these kids are all grown up and some are seeking out the fathers they never knew.
Christina's dream was to meet her father. The 18-year-old's mother, Mary, wasn't married when she wanted to conceive Christina. But Mary wanted to have another baby to add to her family. With the help of donor insemination and the Sperm Bank of California, she was able to become pregnant and gave birth to Christina.
Over the past weekend, donor father Phillip and Christina met for the first time, and were able to answer many questions they had for each other. On Tuesday, Christina, Mary and Phillip discussed their story on The Early Show from Berkeley, Calif.
After receiving the paperwork with information to contact her biological father, Christina says she called him immediately and left him a message. A few days later, he called back. Christina says the first phone conversation was perfect and it was a warm experience for her.
Christina knew for most of her life that she was "unique." Her mother Mary says after her own divorce, she wanted a third child to accompany her two older children. She thought insemination would be the perfect solution. Mary says she doesn't have one regret of obtaining donated sperm, and she would suggest it for any woman who wants to have a child.
Phillip says he donated sperm because he was not in a relationship at the time and didn't know if he was going to get married. One day, he says, he read a paper asking for sperm donors to help people who wanted to have a family. Phillip says it wasn't a difficult decision to make, and he remembers being excited about helping a deserving person have a family.
The Sperm Bank of California is one of the few sperm banks in the country that provide donor information to their offspring once they turn 18. In 1983, they launched a program called The Sperm Bank's Identity Release Program. Donors are given the choice to participate in the program at the time of donation. Offspring from donors in the Identity-Release Program receive their donor's name, birth date, last known address, phone number and driver's license number.
The Sperm Bank of California says it has recorded more than 1,300 births since it began operations in 1982. On average most women get pregnant within six cycle attempts at a cost of $320 to $500 per month. Currently, the sperm bank has a rate of eight births per month with 80 percent of clients requesting donors in the Identity-Release Program.