Back in 1998, Todd Whitehurst was a graduate student at Stanford University. One day, he noticed an ad in the school newspaper seeking male students interested in donating sperm. For the next four years, Todd donated his sperm to the same clinic. He simply wanted to help people start or grow their families. Like all donor dads, Todd received a unique donor ID number and signed an agreement to remain anonymous. (Families are only given basic donor stats such as age, birthdate, and location.)
That’s where a woman named Wendy enters the picture. Wendy is the mother of a donor son, Ryan, who yearned to find his donor father — but all he had was a few bare-boned facts. Together, Wendy and Ryan founded a networking website for donor kids looking to connect with their donor dads by matching their donor ID numbers. “It’s an innate human desire to want to know where we come from,” Wendy says.
Today, Todd Whitehurst is a 49-year-old computer engineer who works at Google. The man who regularly donated his sperm during college never thought his unique donor ID number would become the gateway to a slew of improbable meetings — all because of a stranger named Wendy.
Scroll down to see what happened when Todd’s “donor kids” began tracking him down…
Between 1998 and 2002, Todd Whitehurst regularly donated his sperm to the same California clinic. He received a unique donor ID number and signed an agreement to remain anonymous.
Little did Todd know, dozens of his “sperm kids” would one day track him down…
Wendy is the mother of a donor son, Ryan, who wanted to find his donor father.
In 2000, Wendy and Ryan set up a networking website called the Donor Sibling Registry. The registry is an online database for children who want to connect by matching their donor father ID number.
47,000 people have registered with the Donor Sibling Registry, including 2,300 donor dads across the world.
Sarah, 20, recently discovered that she and her twin sister Jenna were donor babies. Sarah was able to contact her donor dad — Todd Whitehurst — through the Donor Sibling Registry.
Six months later, Sarah and Todd worked to arrange an incredible family gathering that brought Todd and eight of his other donor kids together for the first time ever.
“I feel that it’s just the right thing to do,” Todd says. “If the children want to meet then it’s important, I think, to be able to meet.”
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