My Two Dads

One fathered me; the other one raised me. Guess which one I call dad?

Allyson Goodwin and her father Pierre Lucas.

''He wants to talk to me.''


''My sperm donor.''

I was telling my dad this as we sat across from each other in a deli in New York City, waiting on lunch. It was this past March and the day was cool, calm and collected. But I couldn't say the same for myself.

For the last 16 years, it has just been me, my mother, my father and my brother. But I always knew there was another man who laid claim to me. I was reminded of this every time someone used my last name.

''Why is your last name Goodwin and not Lucas, like your mother,'' one of my classmates in high school asked.

''My last name is really Goodwin-Lucas,'' I would reply, ''but because it was annoying to write I decided to drop the Lucas when I started high school.''

''Oh, OK, that makes sense,'' she replied.

But it really didn't.

My legal last name is Goodwin, the name my biological father goes by, the name of the man whom I last saw when I was 3 years old, the name of the man whom I apparently look like, never mind I have no memory of ever meeting him in person.