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Donor sperm or adoption?

(17 Posts)
Patientlywaiting1984 Mon 21-Sep-15 09:33:05

Hi all,

My husband and I have recently found out that he has azoospermia. We don't yet know what the cause is, but several SAs have shown zero sperm and there doesn't appear to be a blockage so we think he has non-obstructive azoospermia, despite the fact that his hormone levels are normal. We'll know more in a couple of weeks when we see the consultant again, but in the meantime my brain has gone into overdrive!

I've started to think about what we would do if surgical sperm retrieval followed by ICSI isn't an option or is unlikely to work. I guess it's my way of psychologically preparing to be told that we won't be able to have a biological child together. One minute I think donor sperm would be the way to go, the next adoption.

I know this is an incredibly personal decision, everyone is different and nobody can make this decision but me and my husband, but if any of you have been through something similar and would be willing to share your thoughts I'd be very grateful. It would really help to hear what you think as you might have thought of something I haven't. It's also useful to hear what prompted other people's decisions.

If anyone can help, I'd be really keen to hear your thoughts. Thank you x

PlopsyWhopsy Mon 21-Sep-15 09:36:47

Donor sperm. You would both be able to go through pregnancy and birth/baby/toddler stage together without the stress of adoption application. So many more people than you think have egg/sperm donors, it's just not advertised at the school gate etc

lugo40 Tue 22-Sep-15 07:39:24

Great thread! I would also be interested in hearing from people who are having or have had to make this difficult decision.

Snowqueen2014 Tue 22-Sep-15 19:51:43

We are in the same situation and we have discussed both options and feel that a sperm donor is the way we want to go as we would both be the parents and as you say no one would ever know.

Sillyshell Fri 25-Sep-15 08:05:07

Hi. We went down the donor route twice but unfortunately it didn't work so we are now going through adoption.

Dh wasn't very keen to use a donor to start off as he felt upset that any children would be biologically mine but not he's and he wanted to go straight for adoption. I wanted to do ivf as I wasn't ready to give up on being able to experience pregnancy etc.

We agreed on trying ivf to start with but after two failed attempts decided not too use our third go, I found all the tests and injections too much and realised that being a parent was more important to me than being pregnant so we are onto adoption. We are only a few months in and again it's not easy but hopefully will be worth it in the end.

I realise I haven't actually given you any advice! Only you can decide what is best for you both and neither option is plain sailing, hope it all works out for you. Xx

allchatnicknamesgone Fri 25-Sep-15 09:57:19

Sorry for your news. I don't have experience of your exact issues, but we are having trouble conceiving and after the last failed ivf and bad sperm results, I did seriously think about adoption and it sort of felt easier in a way.

However, I decided in the end that I would persevere because I can still look at adoption if all other hope runs out. You don't mention how old you are, but adoption will be there after you try a donor whereas your fertility won't be. I hope that makes sense.

Ultimately if your husband is comfortable with a donor sperm, I think you should embrace the opportunity to carry a baby and have it with you and your husband from the second it is born.

Adoption is a huge, complicated decision. Personally, a donor sperm seems a more emotionally straight forward decision (obviously not always that way for DH).

I completely second the previous post about lots of sperm donors at the school gates. It is so much more common that you realise. I didn't talk about my fertility problems for ages, then I got bored and told a few people at the right time and gosh I learnt that loads of kids in the area were egg donor, ivf babies from abroad.

Good luck.

gabsdot45 Fri 25-Sep-15 13:40:00

We were in the exact situation. We had a counselling session about using donor sperm but we decided against it. DH wasn't keen anyway and after the counselling sessions we felt that if we had a baby using donor sperm that it could open up a lot of other issues, Who would we tell e.g. telling people would mean that everyone would know that it was DH with the fertility issues and neither of us were comfortable with that. Also we worried about telling the child so basically Donor sperm was not for us.
We went ahead and adopted 2 children. I wouldn't change a thing.

Patientlywaiting1984 Fri 25-Sep-15 16:54:42

Thank you all for your posts and insights... you've given me things to think about, which is exactly what I wanted. I'm 31 so I have got a bit of time in my side, but obviously not lots.

I think we'll try surgical sperm retrieval and ICSI if that is what the consultant recommends. If that doesn't work, I think I'm leaning more towards adoption at the moment. I know that the adoption process is really tough but it is something I have always been open to. As much as I would love to go through pregnancy and have a child from the moment it is born, I have a few issues about using a donor.

gabsdot45- how did you find adoption? Congratulations on your lovely family.

Thanks again for your comments x

gabsdot45 Fri 25-Sep-15 18:16:21

Adopting our kids was really hard. They're both from Russia. The assessments were long and intrusive and very stressful. Then the Russian bit of it was expensive and also stressful.
It was all great too though. We met some wonderful people on our 'journeys' and made some good friends. Visiting Russia was amazing. We've been 5 times now. Plus of course our kids are great and we love them enormously.
Adoption is no walk in the park though and you really need to have closure on the idea of having a biological child before you embark on it because it will overtake your life and there isn't enough room in anyone's life to deal with both adoption and fertility treatment at the same time.

allchatnicknamesgone Fri 25-Sep-15 18:49:20

Yep, even on my initial investigations the adoptions forms stated that 6 months had to have passed since any fertility treatment. They also ask you if you will use contraception during the adoption process which they say takes around 9 months to be accepted (obviously can be a lot longer for match child). This is UK though and a London borough.

TrainingAgain Fri 25-Sep-15 19:01:52

My husband has azoospermia and after a very long journey, we have one donor-conceived child and another on the way.
My DH had a first sperm retrieval operation and we had ICSI but only one solitary useable sperm was found. It failed. He then had the op for a second time and more sperm was found but several more ICSI attempts didn't work. We then moved on to donor sperm and I had IUI, which is obviously much less invasive, and cheaper! After the third attempt, I got pregnant and had our first DC. Three years later using the same donor I had three unsuccessful attempts at IUI, so moved to ICSI and got pregnant on first go. I'm due soon.
It's such an individual choice, but we felt donor was right for us, however neither of us were opposed to adoption. It has been the best thing I've ever done, but it has been a long road and I'll never forget how desperate I felt at times. In total, it took ten years to conceive our first DC as male fertility was not as understood as it is now, even though it wasn't that long ago!
Don't feel negative about the op or ICSI btw, based on what I've said. Success rates had increased by about 10% for ICSI between trying to conceive our first and second DC. You're at a great age to have discovered what the problem is and move forward.
Initially, I probably had more reservations than my DH over using a donor, but I am so glad now I did because my DC is the centre of our world and wouldn't be who he is without the donor.
Feel free to ask any questions. Best of luck whichever path you choose!

Maurice169 Fri 09-Oct-15 10:01:49

A friend of ours had colon cancer which rendered him infertile. Him and his partner went ahead with donor sperm and have a lovely 2 year old girl who they absolutely adore. They plan to go back to the clinic for a second, same donor.
Good luck!

BettyBi0 Thu 15-Oct-15 17:11:32

As a lesbian couple we had no choice but to use donor sperm but my wife couldn't love her any more if she could have magic-ed up the white stuff herself. They have a beautiful connection and had the first skin to skin after the birth. Family is waaaay more than genetics x

MrsH14 Fri 16-Oct-15 20:57:34

Since my husband was diagnosed with azoospermia we have ruled out using a donor. My reason for that is that I can't bear the thought of carrying a child that isn't my husbands and I've always been open to adoption. I did however have my first painful thought yesterday that I may never carry a child, that I won't experience the excitement of a BFP, I won't feel my baby kick, I won't experience the awful morning sickness my sister had and I won't get to endure the pain of giving birth. It's a hard desicion but one only you can make x

Blue2014 Fri 16-Oct-15 21:05:30

I don't know if this has been mentioned but you can also adopt an embryo in some clinics

peppajay Fri 16-Oct-15 21:13:42

Some friends of mine adopted their sons 4 years ago when they were 6 and 4. They always presumed that they would have children but were very into their careers and didn't start actively trying until their late 30's. When they realised that they couldn't concieve naturally they didn't want to go through all the stress of IVF and failures so they decided to go straight for the adoption route. However much they wanted children neither of them had the urge for nappies, buggies etc and they knew there were lots of older children wanting homes so they automatically applied to adopt over 4's. They now have the most gorgeous 2 boys who suffered from serious neglect- they are fantastic with them and they beam with joy day in day out knowing they have done the right thing and these boys are so close to them you would never know they aren't biologically theirs. I think you have to do what is right for you and I think if you have that urge to carry a child and give birth adoption may not be right for you, but as my friends never had this urge adoption suited them perfectly.

colourdilemma Sat 17-Oct-15 19:13:20

We have three donor conceived children, aged 10, 6 and 4 so are a fair way into the journey. I have to say, as far as I can tell, having donor conceived kids is very much like having them the usual way. We have been open with our children from the start, using a picture book from the donor conception network and surprisingly, even when I was pregnant with dc 3, they have yet to be all that interested. In fact, dd1, 10,and i recently had "the chat" about the usual way of conception and dd was totally grossed out (phew!) and declared that she was definitely having her dc by donor conception! I even broke it to her that "sadly" you have to try the other way first.
Anyway, I'm a rubbish parent in loads of ways, dh is fantastic and none of it really has much to do with infertility.
Do pm me if you want, good luck with your journey. I shared some of your concerns to start with.

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