Donating breastmilk has been more complicated than I expected it to be. First I tried a milk bank, but there’s nothing local, and the hospitals in town accept milk on behalf of a bank that would require me to pay for a blood test and that charges needy parents quite a bit of money. Then several people linked me to a site called MilkShare (Sharon being the first), I put a post up there, and I sat back and waited. My post gave my location and specified that I’m looking to donate to a person or persons who are already parenting. I got an email from a prospective adoptive mother letting me know that her daughter will be born any day now, and she knows that I don’t like adoptive parents, but would I be willing to donate? I responded,
I have no problem with adoptive parents–I just don’t want to donate to someone who is only matched, since I know that half the time the woman making the adoption plan ends up parenting. But if the baby is placed with you, I’d be happy to be a donor for you; just let me know–I’ll get you some milk (and my congratulations!) ASAP.
She wrote back to let me know that I don’t have to worry about “the birthmom backing out” because at their agency, only 5 percent of the pregnant women end up parenting. Sigh.
I finally did have a “So, do you have hepatitis?” meeting with a woman and her daughter on Wednesday, and she let me know that one of their other donors is a birthmom—not her daughter’s birthmom, a different woman altogether. I asked about their agency and mentioned that it must be nice to have access to medical information via the birth family. I failed to out myself. Then she decided to friend me on Facebook, and while I don’t really talk about adoption on Facebook, I am friends with Ruth and Nora; I’ve been wondering whether it’s possible to figure out that I’m a birthparent. It’s so weird—I’m ordinarily perfectly willing to talk about it, but I don’t actually enjoy doing that, and now I missed the obvious window for telling her. And, okay, the bottom-most truth: since they went through Bethany, I assume she’ll think less of me if she knows I am a birthparent. At any rate, I am filling our freezer with breastmilk for her little girl.