I was interested in watching Thank You For Coming because it’s a subject that will affect modern society increasingly as time goes on and in the future, and it raises a lot of interesting questions. Particularly, questions based in science. How much does DNA actually effect us, and is feeling a connection through a DNA relation only purely a mental association/connection or a physiobiological connection as well? Is it a cellular recognition of any sort, or would a person never know if they were talking to their biological parent if they didn’t know who their biological parent was?
Documentarian Sara Lamm learned later in life that her father that raised her was not her biological father. He was unable to conceive, and her mother had turned to sperm donation and IVF in it’s earliest stages. Sara went on a research extravaganza including 12 DNA tests, 5 ancestry databases, 1 potential half sister, and 900 sixth-cousins to (maybe) find her biological father, and over 11 years documented her journey in this film, Thank You For Coming. The main question that this documentary looks to find answers to is who is a father? The man that gave you his sperm or the man that raised you?
Personally I’ve always leaned more toward nurture over nature in the who raises you versus who your mix of DNA came from, but amazingly there are still no conclusive answers to this debate. Sara seemed to be very personally invested and intensely curious about who her biological father was. In the film, the father that raised her explains to her that he never once questioned if he is actually her father or not, he just was, and he was 100%. It was as simple as that. But disregarding direct biological relation, is it truly as simple as that?
Sara said that she felt naturally very connected to her biological father when she met him. And that’s where the question comes in, was it from her head or some deeper level rooted from cellular connection? She also said at one point though a father (the father that raised her) and a daughter are always connected in some way… so it’s not like she feels disconnected, nor does she ever seem to feel ostracized or discontent with her father.
She meets a friend (Jenn) along the way that she thought may be a half sister, but even when the half sister didn’t turn out to be just that and biologically related, they still remained in touch and as close friends. Who discuss family and kids and feelings and help each other, like any close friends (or sisters!) would do.
This documentary can make you think deeply about sperm donation, IVF, and modern methods of conception and how they truly affect us all, and will continue to in future generations to come. It just premiered at LA Film Festival in June 2017. You can keep up at www.thankyouforcomingmovie.com.