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Known donor vs kind of dad vs sperm donor(7 Posts)
I am posting for opinions really, as I am trying to decide what's the best way forward.
I am single and have been considering the sperm donor route for a couple of years. If I'm honest, it took me a while to come to terms with the idea, both with saying goodbye to the idea of the 'traditional' family, but also worrying that my child wouldn't know where half their genes came from until they reached 18, and it's hard to know how they would feel about that (I personally don't think genetics is the be all and end all, but I do think it matters, and is a big part of identity).
However I had come around to the idea and can see some advantages of this arrangement (a child who is absolutely 100% wanted, no arguments with another parent, no risk of relationship breakdown, potential relationships with donor siblings in the future, Plus it's not that unusual anymore so they wouldn't feel like an anomaly).
I was just about to start moving things forward and registered with a sperm bank, when friends of a close friend (a gay couple) offered for one of them to be a donor. We had a couple of conversations about it and they said they would want some contact and to be involved in the child's life, but not have any responsibilities, or any access rights (we'd go through a clinic to make sure this was the case legally).
At the start this seemed like the perfect solution - the child would know who the bio dad was and could ask any questions whenever. However I then started worrying about the relationship and all the things that you can't control for, even with the best intentions.
Do you think it would be confusing of the child to have a dad who isn't really a dad? (i.e. not doing dad stuff with them all the time). Could that feel like rejection? What if they start calling them 'dad'. Should we discourage it? Or encourage it even? What if they moved further away? (they are not planning to but life happens). Can you mitigate for this stuff?
I tend to overthink things, so would be really good to hear people's thoughts.
I personally would go with an unknown donor. It makes things less complicating for you and you have less people to think about.
I would worry that they would change their mind in the future and want contact etc
Thanks both. I'm happy with them having some contact, in fact I really want that. But they are not legally entitled to contact if we go through a clinic as legally they are sperm donors.
Literally my only objective is to minimise heartache for any potential child - but I don't know which one of these options does that best. I thought this was a was perfect middle ground - until I started thinking hard about it. Argh!
I would be very nervous getting involved with someone else. It could be amazing but it could be a nightmare. Definitely good to get the legal part sorted but if there was a bust updown the road defeats the purpose of making the child happy.
I went to Xytec sperm bank. They aren't cheap (in USA, where I am living but my friend in UK also used them)
You get all kinds of info and adult pictures. I figure it may help them to be able to see them and remove the mystery. But also the adult pics were for me if I'm totally honest. When it came down to it I got a bit funny about not knowing myself. Once I found out there was somewhere with adult pics I had to have it!
The known donor is higher risk but also potentially higher reward, I think. I am biased as I considered asking gay friends of mine. When I tried to put myself in the child’s shoes I came out in favour of a known donor, although I think any option can work well and a known donor is certainly more complicated to work through.
A known donor is more complicated and you will have to communicate at length about what you all want and need from the arrangement. It can be done (very successfully in my case) and my biggest piece of advice is to be honest and open about your feelings and needs, every step of the way.
I would suggest reading stories or joining online groups for donor families, especially stories from donor conceived adults. Like you say, the wellbeing of your child comes first. And everything I have read and seen says it's far healthier for the child to know they are donor conceived and have the option to know more about that person when they're ready. It doesn't make them any less your child but it gives them their own story and control of their own life.
This doesn't mean you have to use a known donor though - in the UK 'anonymous' donors can be identified when your child is 18 years old and give them that chance to do what they want with that info.
Best of luck - if you want to talk more about what I've found helpful having a known donor then feel free to PM me.