With Craigslist opening this week, I realized that all of my parental postings that tie into our season have been Falsettos related. While thematically, that is certainly the show with the most connection, Craligslist is also doing its part in the creation of non-traditional family units.
One of the hardest things for couples with difficulty conceiving (same sex or otherwise) is to figure out where to get an egg donor, sperm donor and/or surrogate (depending on the situation). According to Canadian law, it is a criminal offense to pay any of these parties. Thus, unlike in the United States where you can go to a ‘sperm bank’ or ‘egg bank’ and buy what you need, in Canada you have to find someone who is doing it out of the goodness of their heart, without pay (although you can reimburse any expenses that directly relate to the act of donating/surrogacy).
So where do you find these magically generous individuals? Well…. while some people (like us) have the good fortune of having a friend or family member help out, most people are out there searching. And when you are searching in the modern age, where do you go? That’s right – Craigslist.
Well … not only Craigslist, but Craigslist has been one of the ways that people have found donors and surrogates. While the site seems to quickly ban these sorts of ads, doing a quick search does come up with a few postings for Black Market donations, and there have been countless stories that I have heard along the way of people who found their donors and surrogates on either Craigslist or Kijiji. In some cases people are breaking the law, offering money to give or get eggs or sperm. But in other cases, genuinely hopeful couples and genuinely generous individuals are taking to these online classified sites to offer a ‘trade’ that is far more meaningful than 99% of the ads you will ever see.
So cheers to Craigslist. Both because it inspired a wonderful musical that I am very excited about, and because it too has helped to play a role in growing new kinds of families.