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To consider having a baby alone

(122 Posts)
callyclover Fri 09-Feb-18 16:58:41

I got pregnant very young. I worked really hard and managed to buy our home and have a nice life in a limited sort of way. I have a warm relationship with first child but she has grown up.

In many ways I feel I have really missed parenting. Many of my friends have small children. I feel doing it again would be positive.

Id have to use a sperm donor as I do not have a partner - is this a ridiculous idea?

FrenchJunebug Tue 13-Feb-18 11:03:00

do it. I did it at 42 and never regretted it.

tigerbasil Tue 13-Feb-18 10:25:58

Oh definitely, but usually the absent parent has become absent after becoming pregnant if that makes sense - honestly, you seem like you are sensible and have really thought about it and that can't be anything but a good thing - good luck!

Atticusss Tue 13-Feb-18 00:23:19

Thanks Tiger. I think a total lack of information on half of your biological background would be tough for most people. But similarly lots of people have an absent parent for different reasons too, the world isn't made up of biological nuclear families, such is the fabric of life. Not dismissing your feelings whatsoever, just mulling over wether me doing egg donation is ethical or not, but I think it is with the new anonymity laws in place but not otherwise.

The clinic kind of talk like they are treading on egg shells (oops, pun) when talking about it, and checking it's ok and if I still wanted to continue. They said they had a large drop in donors when it passed, but I am very in favour of it and said I would only do it with that in place.

tigerbasil Sat 10-Feb-18 17:14:22

Atticus, while I haven't had the best experience of being a donor baby, I think it's a very selfless thing to do, and I think there are various things for and against. I do think that the fact they have that info is a step in the right direction for kids of donor sperm / eggs if it is going to be done anyway. I have not had a good experience, but as shown on this thread, someone else has had a not negative experience! I actually think if people are going to use donor eggs and sperm anyway why not donate, so I don't think it's a bad thing at all, better than people having to source them recklessly etc.

I don't think it's insensitive to post about my experience and feelings on the whole thing when I am sharing my experience of being the child. I stand by what I said about my experience and how I feel about it but wish anyone going down that road good luck and more than anything hope it won't have a negative impact on the child.

Lifeisabeach09 Sat 10-Feb-18 16:54:40

You know what having a child entails. You know what it's like to be a single parent. Lots of women in their early 40s have babies.
Do it!
All the best with it!

callyclover Sat 10-Feb-18 16:43:55

I think tiger and Palavra have given opposite sides to the discussion of donated eggs and sperm and I hope no one will be put off donating eggs because of one unhappy experience. That isn't to dismiss tigers experience but it would be a shame.

Expat has poignantly pointed out more than one thing can lead to a woman needing eggs and sperm.

I do wish people would be a bit more sensitive, sometimes.

Atticusss Sat 10-Feb-18 16:35:45

tigerbasil I've just started the process of donating my eggs. The law is now that any child born will be able to access my contact details, personal description and goodwill message from me when they are 16/18. (Contact details not until 18). I would love to have more contact through any potential children's life but anonymity is the only way to go in a clinic. Do you think what I am doing is a bad idea? I'm still in the early stages so can stop it going any further. Do you think it makes a difference if the donated eggs go to couples so they will have two parents?

GlitterExplosion Sat 10-Feb-18 16:15:43

@expatinscotland

You are talking about your opinion, there's no 'we' here, only you stating your opinion, and yours is that gay male couples shouldn't have children, or gay women couples, I guess, because they're not going to have a man about.

You are giving your opinion, I am giving mine. You+you = we. Your opinion is not fact any more than mine is. It is your opinion. I said we (you +me) would have to agree to disagree, because we have different opinions (and also because you seem incapable of reading and comprehending mine as you are insistent on misrepresenting it).

JackmanAdmirer Sat 10-Feb-18 16:08:42

I would never cope as a single parent - fortunately I don't have to and I have loads of family too but that's me - if you feel you can do it then do it. Kids are the best thing in life!

Haffdonga Sat 10-Feb-18 16:06:22

According to a 2013 ONS study in the UK by the age of 16, 47% of dcs don't live with both their biological parents. (We can guess that the majority of this 47% live with their mum not their dad). Of the 53% who do live with both bio parents, approximately one third of those parental relationships are reported to be 'unhappy'.

Study here study

So in fact more than half of dcs live either with one parent OR with unhappy parents. I know that being created by sperm donor has its own unique set of issues and that some of this 47% will know both parents well, others will have lost a parent, others will be living with non biological parents or step parents and some will never have met their fathers - but this just says to me there is no normal now.

People here talk about 'conventional 2 parent families' but there is no convention left. I guess it will be easier for children in the future to feel that their own family is completely normal and 'conventional' however it's been made as long as its happy.

expatinscotland Sat 10-Feb-18 16:02:19

You are talking about your opinion, there's no 'we' here, only you stating your opinion, and yours is that gay male couples shouldn't have children, or gay women couples, I guess, because they're not going to have a man about.

GlitterExplosion Sat 10-Feb-18 16:00:20

@expatinscotland Nope, because we are not talking about accidental pregnancies here. We are talking about deliberately bringing a child into the world. If you think that that decision should be based 100% on adults' wants, then we will have to agree to disagree.

expatinscotland Sat 10-Feb-18 15:57:17

'My point is that the child seems to be entirely absent from the narrative. It is all about what the adult wants. I am talking about situations where the adult literally does not spend one second considering any potential impact on the child, it is all "I have a right to a child". If they carefully considered the impact on the child and then decided that on balance it could be mitigated, I would have more respect for that.'

Jesus wept, in that case, anyone who has sex because they fancy it, without being in a relationship, and gets pregnant should have an abortion because they're not considering the child hmm. Nor should a gay male couple hmm.

GlitterExplosion Sat 10-Feb-18 15:49:55

@AutumnSparkles @expatinscotland

My point is that the child seems to be entirely absent from the narrative. It is all about what the adult wants. I am talking about situations where the adult literally does not spend one second considering any potential impact on the child, it is all "I have a right to a child". If they carefully considered the impact on the child and then decided that on balance it could be mitigated, I would have more respect for that.

I never said I am against all surrogacy. Just that I would like to see people actually consider the child. I'm thinking of eg several documentaries I have watched on same-sex parents using surrogates where I just found the total lack of reference to the children themselves astonishing. One recent one I saw had a sentence (I'm paraphrasing) "But it's not all about what me and my partner want, there's someone else in the equation, and that's the surrogate. (cue going to meet surrogate on camera who explains how happy she is to be having a child for them)." Literally not a moment's thought to how their little girl might - might - feel about having no mother. They want a child, so they shall have one. That's what bothers me.

Re conventionality, for me this is inextricably intertwined with the unalterable fact that everyone has two biological parents, a mother and a father. That is, "unconventional" to me meant "something that should be here is missing". I suppose I felt a feeling of rejection in knowing that my father was out there and didn't love me enough to want to know me. That I could drop dead and my "grandparents" and "aunts and uncles" wouldn't care, because they didn't even know I existed. Not totally dissimilar to the experience some people have as a result of adoption/fostering I think - I had one adopted and one fostered friend who went pretty off the rails which I think was related to these sorts of feelings.

expatinscotland Sat 10-Feb-18 15:38:17

I'm also glad the 'Bring Your Dad to Breakfast' things are dying out in schools. A friend's son had one and he was very upset because his dad had fucked off to another continent and wasn't involved in he and his brothers' lives at all. Of course someone always chimes up with 'He could have brought a grandparent,' but his mother's dad is long dead and his dad's dad lived on the other continent.

Palavra Sat 10-Feb-18 15:35:29

As a child from this situation (younger mum though) I can’t say it was bad for me - stressful and difficult for my mum though! I was raised knowing he was a spermk donor and never wanted a dad, sometimes I did want to be ‘normal’ but I was fine with not having w dad as it’s all I’ve ever known. With that said I was raised alongside many children from single parent families (I was the only sperm donor kid though!).

If someone told me they could give me the identity of my sperm donor, I wouldn’t want to know - i don’t see him as a father, or even ‘real’ exactly (although I’m grateful that the mystery man donated). But I was born post 1991 (creation of the register) and pre 2005 (obviously). Children born now will have more information available to them - in a way it was easier for me because I knew when I turned 18 that there’s little information even I requested it (I haven’t requested further information).

I think for me the fact I came from sperm donation became irrelevant quickly. I was told since I was a toddler. I’ve never thought I shouldn’t have been born because, as with most people, the facts surrounding their conception becomes history the moment you’re born: you live as w single parent family, I’ve never faced stigma for that, people are used to different families etc.

I do think it would have been easier for my mum to have a second parent so when she was stressed or exhausted or ill, there’d be a helping hand - but that could have been fulfilled by being rich enough to afford a childminder or a nanny lol.

I’d be hesitant if you lived in an area where there might be stigma. Every child I met growing up accepted I didn’t have a dad, that was the only explanation needed. There was no Father’s Day events at school anyway, and if I got asked about my family I didn’t ever worry about saying I didn’t have a dad etc. I wasn’t a confident child in general, it wasn’t about confidence - it just didn’t merit any interest, embarrassment etc full stop and by the time i was a teenager and it could’ve, I was in an area where there were several single parent or divorced families so no one would have asked questions. If you live in an area where your child is going to get intrusive questions and stand out, it might be different however, and could be quite difficult for them.

expatinscotland Sat 10-Feb-18 15:31:09

'I have to say the discussions on surrogacy and same-sex parents and anonymous donors frequently anger me, as it is so common for the discussion not to touch on the child at all, it is all about the adults.'

Wow. Do you realise that women who undergo cancer treatment in childhood are frequently left infertile due to the treatment and need a surrogate if they've had total body irradiation or radiation in their pelvic area and/or an egg donor. But in the World According to You, they should just suffer the pain of never having a child on top of the shit hand they were dealt getting cancer as a child hmm.

Autumnsparkles Sat 10-Feb-18 15:26:39

*I have to say the discussions on surrogacy and same-sex parents and anonymous donors frequently anger me, as it is so common for the discussion not to touch on the child at all, it is all about the adults.*

But it has to be based on what the parent believes that they can offer as they are only the ones that are present in the relationships at that time. It is true that people can offer advice from their experience and perspective but no-one can speak on behalf of an adult who may or may not share the same views 20 years into the future.

expatinscotland Sat 10-Feb-18 15:19:20

'How about adoption? Or fostering school aged children? there are so, so many in need of a loving home. You could literally transform a child's life.'

Why do people always suggest this? Don't you think if the OP wanted to do this they'd have already considered it? And you know, nothing's stopping people who have children themselves from adopting, if you think it's such a good idea, why not apply yourself? The fact is that sadly many of the children placed for adoption or in foster care have significant issues that the OP is unable to take on. She's already explained she has to work FT so cannot foster.

Go for it, OP! If you want it to be anonymous, you can find donors from Europe.

ParkheadParadise Sat 10-Feb-18 14:59:25

@callyclover
Is it safe to come back to this thread 😂😂.
I had my first at 15
Had my second at 38.
What I will say I'm bloody knackered this time round. Dd2 is 2.
If it's what you want, go for it. Good luck.

callyclover Sat 10-Feb-18 14:34:30

No one thinks you are a downer flowers

Perhaps I am coming at a different angle: is the problem the "not knowing", which is what tiger seems to be saying, or non conventionality?

I had a very conventional and very miserable upbringing.

GlitterExplosion Sat 10-Feb-18 12:23:18

@tigerbasil

I 100% agree with you. I also come from a "non-conventional" family with one wonderful, wonderful parent. But I absolutely wanted to have a normal family with my two biological parents in a relationship when growing up. That was what all of my friends had. I was very conscious of being different, and not knowing one side of my family. You can't have a child with no father or mother, you are simply denying that one or both exists, he or she is still out there with half of the child's genetic material, as the child will be acutely aware from an early age (eg early primary school when everyone is making Mother's Day and Father's Day cards and talking about their parents - I don't doubt my "My Dad" story which was displayed on the wall with all of the others raised eyebrows among other parents).

I am very conventional in my outlook - I would never dream of deliberately having children on my own or other than in a stable relationship with the other biological parent, no doubt because of my own issues growing up. I find that my views on this are at odds with most of my friends, all of whom grew up in stable, conventional families. I do feel like it's easy for them to say, "all that matters is love".

Yes there are lots of bad family set-ups - but most people do not deliberately condemn a child to emotional burdens in this way. You wouldn't say eg "I have severe uncontrollable anger management issues, but I'm going to have a child anyway as there are lots of parents who beat their children."

I have to say the discussions on surrogacy and same-sex parents and anonymous donors frequently anger me, as it is so common for the discussion not to touch on the child at all, it is all about the adults.

As to the argument that it's better for someone to exist than not, that would justify so many things, like:
(1) "I'm a crack cocaine addict but I really want to get pregnant right now, should I go ahead even if I'll be taking crack cocaine throughout pregnancy?"
(2) "I have a deep desire to be pregnant and give birth but I don't want to raise a child or be traceable in any way - should I get pregnant, then have the baby and leave it on a doorstep?"
etc...

tigerbasil Sat 10-Feb-18 11:49:50

That's it @TheDowagerCuntess - it's all very complicated! I think people have good intentions when they use sperm donors etc and it must be soul destroying to have to make that decision through essentially no fault of your own so I do see how that is really really hard.

but I also think the children of these sort of situations get a lot burdened on them emotionally just by being born and it makes things complicated for them. Especially when you also have the guilt where your parent really is brilliant and has done everything 'right by you' if that makes sense. Which I'm sure is also true for those who have one absent parent / non biological parents, but I just don't think I could make the decision to actively get pregnant with this in mind, it is a life long burden.

I kind of also think the damage has been done by 18, and if someone is donating sperm then as selfless as that can be, they still don't actively want to be your 'parent' so at 18 that also raises questions - and as the other parent you know that before you receive donor sperm.

I hate to be a Debbie downer as I know people are not doing it for fun, I'm sure it's generally a last resort for want of a better phrase, but I do think the child's feelings get lost in it all a bit!

NapYearStudent Sat 10-Feb-18 11:18:23

There is a boy in DCs class that was conceived using donor sperm. The boy has a few learning difficulties and is not a happy child. His mum has to work full time and he's been in 50 hours + of childcare a week since he was tiny. He had a complete meltdown in school on bring your dad to breakfast morning. He quite openly tells the other kids he wishes he had a dad. He's an N of 1 but from what I've seen it really hasn't worked out great for him.

TheDowagerCuntess Sat 10-Feb-18 10:40:01

Tiger - I really respect hearing your side of it.

As I say, I have two friends who've gone down the route of having babies by sperm donor, and I've always been fully supportive. As I say, along the lines of - if the baby is well loved, etc.

But I really hear what you're saying.

I do think it is 'easy' when the children are children. But much harder as they become adults, with adult understanding.

It is a platitude to say you're loved and wanted, because I'm sure you are.
More than many.

But it must be very hard to have half your genetic make-up be effectively a mystery.

thanks

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