Sitting on a sofa in the Seattle apartment where she lives with her boyfriend and daughter, Jessica Share admits that she “never in a million years” imagined that she’d become the poster girl for modern romance.
But that’s exactly what happened when she fell in love with the anonymous sperm donor who fathered her 13-year-old daughter, Alice.
It all started a few weeks before Christmas in 2016 when Jessica started getting peppered with questions from Alice. The then 11-year-old knew that she’d been conceived with the help of a sperm donor, but now she wanted to know more.
“Her grandma is always talking about genealogy and what countries her ancestors came from,” Jessica, 43, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “And Alice would get annoyed because she didn’t know any of that.”
Finally, Alice asked her grandmother for a high-tech holiday present: A 23andMe DNA test.
Weeks later the results came back showing that Alice was 48 percent German, 15 percent British and a mix of other European ancestries.
But there was more: In the section labeled DNA relatives, it listed one Aaron Long as 50 percent related to her.
Recalls Alice: “My mom said, ‘Damn. This is your father.’ ”
Jessica soon tracked down Aaron, now a 53-year-old Seattle-based musician and writer, on 23andMe—who immediately welcomed Jessica and Alice into his life. The mother and daughter traveled to Seattle, from their home in Eugene, Oregon, to meet him in July 2017.
It didn’t take long before something unexpected happened, something Jessica still admits sounds unbelievable.
“I fell in love with my sperm donor,” she says. “I felt like I already knew him—the way he smiled and his sense of empathy reminded me of Alice. It was like I’d been spying on him for years.”
By August 2017, Jessica and Alice moved in with Aaron in Seattle, sharing a downtown co-op with another daughter fathered by Aaron. (Aaron donated his sperm for a year not long after graduating from college in the mid 1990s.)
They’ve also learned that Aaron fathered at least 10 children as a donor, and he calculates that his sperm could have created as many as 67 kids.
“It’s definitely a pretty modern love story,” says Aaron laughing.
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