Daughter on quest to find sperm donor

"We're not looking for a dad. We're just looking for answers." -- Lindsay Greenawalt, donor conceived

Here's what Lindsay Greenawalt knows about her biological father: He's 49, has brown hair, green eyes and was a senior in college in 1982.

It took her years of searching, dead ends and false hopes to scrape up that little bit of information.

What she really wants more than a description though is a name. All she has right now is: Xytex donor 2035.

The man who supplied half of her genetic makeup was a donor to Xytex Corp.'s sperm bank in Augusta. He donated for seven years beginning in 1982.

Greenawalt, who was born and raised in Ohio, knew from an early age that she was donor conceived, but it wasn't until she turned 18 that she began her quest in earnest to find out who her real father is.

"We're not looking for a dad," Greenawalt, 25, said. "We're just looking for answers."

She chronicles her search and the accompanying emotions on a blog dubbed Confessions of a Cryokid. The blog began as an outlet for her frustrations, but it's since grown into a catchall Internet resource for donor-conceived children, their parents and sperm donors.

Greenawalt feels strongly about ending anonymous sperm donation and candidly shares her opinions on the emptiness she sometimes feels about not knowing her true father.

"There seems to be an overwhelming majority of recipient mothers that truly believe that just so long as they love their child, that he or she won't feel any loss of their biological father. I would like to stand up and say that this is nonsense," Greenawalt writes in an entry from March 15, 2008.

A recent survey by the Commission on Parenthood's Future titled My Daddy's Name is Donor implies that Greenawalt is not alone in her feelings. The survey of 485 donor-conceived children showed that they are more prone to depression and anxiety in comparison with other young adults.

The Internet is a vast resource for children searching for their parents and Greenawalt discovered through the Web that she has a half-sister living in New York City named Robyn Hasty. A DNA test proved they are kin.

When they finally connected, they discovered the problems inherent with starting a relationship with a complete stranger.

"To reunite with someone you've never met is a very difficult process," Greenawalt said.

Greenawalt and her half-sister share some commonalities, but they are polar opposites in their looks and opinions about donor conception.

While Greenawalt won't rest until she finds her answers, Hasty said she only has a "healthy curiosity" about her biological father. She would rather have some questions answered without starting a relationship, but she realizes now that's an impossibility.

Hasty would be OK if she never met her biological father.

"I feel grateful," Hasty said. "My life is here because of this person I've never met."

Greenawalt doesn't know whether her father is from Augusta or even went to school here. Her interests have long revolved around the medical field and she's currently working on her masters degree in library science. She's always wondered if perhaps her father was a student at Medical College of Georgia.

The best result in her search so far is a recent medical history she requested from him via the sperm bank. At the least she wants to know whether she's at risk for breast cancer or whether there are any genetic disorders her future children might face.

The medical history was returned to her, but there was no note from him attached.

A year has passed since she received that medical history and there's still no word from him. Greenawalt has decided to leave future communication up to him.

"The ball is in his court. If he wants to get to know us he can find us," she said.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

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