I’d been friends with Chris for years when he mentioned, casually, that he’s a father.

Or probably is — as a sperm donor, he has no way of knowing when a woman decides to buy what he has to offer, much less where she is, whether she actually got pregnant, or whether her pregnancy was successful. His only information about the status of his paternity comes when he gets additional checks from the sperm bank, which let him know that past donations have come out of quarantine, certified as high quality, disease free, and ready to go on the market.

Chris doesn’t feel particularly odd about this. He tends to refer to sperm donation as a job, with a regular commitment and a regular payout. He’s glad that it helps women who want to be mothers, but doesn’t often think about the details. “It's so impersonal. It goes in a plastic cup, then it goes to a lab, and at some indeterminate time in the future, some person might have a child. But I don't think of it as mine. It's a pretty distant relationship.”