Divorced, Jobless, 57-Years-Old, and, Suddenly, a Father of 24
Peter Ellenstein made sperm donations in his 20’s and 30’s when he needed some extra cash. He thought why not help people accomplish their dreams of being parents while he tried to sort out a financial situation.
He never thought that he’d ever meet his biological children and never ended up raising any of his own. However, with today’s scientific advancements and DNA kits, Peter wound up getting some phone calls from people who said he was their father.
Ellenstein has 24 biological children in total and has already met 20 of them. Some of them keep in touch on a regular basis while others are more distant but manage to maintain a relationship.
The divorced theater director went from being a one-man show to a father of 24 pretty quickly. He went on a two week trip to Europe with one of his children. Every once and a while this papa takes the kids, whose ages range from 17 to 30 years old, out for dinner.
Peter said that finding out he had 24 children came as a huge shock. He admitted that he was nervous about how the conversations would go. He feared the interaction would be awkward. His connections with each of his offspring are different
The First Child to Contact Peter
Rachel White was the first out of the 24 kids to find Peter. The two met up and hit it off immediately. White says that she found a lot of herself in Peter. She told reporters that the first time she met Peter, he walked over towards her and bumped into a table on the way.
White says that this helped her understand where her clumsiness came from. Rachel’s mother is a dancer so no blame was to be put on her genes for Rachel’s lack of grace. Another interesting connection between the two is their love for theatre and films. Rachel works in production while Peter works as a theatre director.
“He almost feels like a strange, older male extension of myself,” she said. “But obviously we’re not the same person. We are vastly different in many ways, but it feels like a weird limb that I discovered.”
Peter Noticed All His Offspring Have Similar Humor
In a private Facebook group with his offspring, Ellenstein has noticed that his children share his love for board games, podcasts and puns, and wordplay.
Peter and his offspring communicate in a private Facebook group.
They plan dinners and talk to each other. Peter notices that a lot of them share a similar love for podcasts, board games, and wordplay. “I’ve been nicknamed all kinds of things by them — ‘Papa Jerk’ included,” he said, laughing. “They all have a pretty word-oriented and snarky and kind of profane sense of humor. There’s no shortage of swearing.”
It’s funny how much genes influence personality. Although they all grew up in totally different environments they managed to find a lot in common. In regards to the four other children he never got in touch with, Peter said he’s going to let them decide if they want to contact him. The decision is personal and the father of 24 respects that.
The Clan Want’s to Make a Docuseries
In the meantime, this clan is looking forward to creating a docuseries about their lives. Peters brother David is against the whole idea.
He fears that the docuseries could exploit his family which he is very protective of. He also knows that some of the offspring are not mentally stable, and says that perhaps one of the offspring will pull out a lawsuit against Peter. David wants no part in any of this and has made that quite clear.
Everybody is a Critic
Peter’s close friend is also not as ecstatic as he is. He said that every time another kid comes forth and confirms that Peter is their father, Peter hands out cigars and celebrates. This friend finds this to be annoying.
According to him, Peter is not their father because he never changed a diaper and was never there for them when they got dumped in junior high school.
Another friend says he’s just happy for Peter’s offspring to find out that their biological father is a nice man who isn’t a serial killer.
Peter Says He’s the Happiest He’s Ever Been in His Life
Despite all the criticisms, Peter is happy about his current situation. He’s filing bankruptcy, getting a divorce, and out of a job. The guy has a lot to deal with, yet he says he’s the happiest he’s ever been in his life.