From One Question, Two Families Spring

Cathy Resmer and Jules Fishelman at a StoryCorps booth.

hide captionCathy Resmer and Jules Fishelman at a StoryCorps booth.

Cathy Resmer, Graham Resmer, Ann-Elise Johnson, Jules Fishelman,  Ira Siegel, Rachel Siegel i i

hide captionThe families, from left to right: Cathy Resmer, Graham Resmer, Ann-Elise Johnson, Jules Fishelman, Ira Siegel, Rachel Siegel, and Gertrude Siegel.

Cathy Resmer, Graham Resmer, Ann-Elise Johnson, Jules Fishelman,  Ira Siegel, Rachel Siegel

The families, from left to right: Cathy Resmer, Graham Resmer, Ann-Elise Johnson, Jules Fishelman, Ira Siegel, Rachel Siegel, and Gertrude Siegel.

As she washed the dishes one night, Cathy Resmer asked her friend Jules Fishelman a direct, but unexpected, question: "Would you like to be our sperm donor?"

For Resmer, the request stemmed from her relationship with Ann-Elise Johnson; the couple were joined in a civil union in 2000. Soon after, the topic of having children came up.

As Resmer recalls, she wanted a known donor.

"If you've ever seen Star Wars, for example, you know that the whole trilogy is about Luke and his search for his father," she says.

"You wanted to make sure his father was not Darth Vader," Fishelman says.

"I did."

Those ideas, along with an admiration for Fishelman, led to Resmer and Johnson having a son, Graham Resmer. As Resmer told Fishelman recently, "You're the kind of person that we want our child to grow into."

Aside from the obvious honor of being asked to be his friends' donor, Fishelman experienced another benefit: The two set him up with Rachel Siegel, whom he later married — and with whom he now has a child, Ira Siegel.

As Fishelman says, "It totally blows away the image of family — but it's family, nonetheless."

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