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Considering using a sperm donor.......anybody have experience with this?

(9 Posts)
broodybeyondbelief Fri 24-May-13 12:48:27

Hi

Firstly, I had no idea where to post this, but this is my usual board so thought I'd give it a go here.

Ok, so I'm 29 and already have a 6 year old dd. I was in a relationship with her dad for almost 10 years. We broke up a couple of years a go and I met and fell in love with another woman.

My gf and I are in a very stable and happy relationship and my dd and gf think the world of each other. Although, she's still very much in contact with her dad and is very close to him.

I always knew that I wanted a sibling for dd, but when I left her dad, I assumed that she would be an only child as I didn't really like the idea of having children with anyone else.

Over the past 6 months or so, my gf and I have been discussing the possibility of having our own child. We discussed adoption, but I think it's become clear that we both like the idea of the child being genetically mine if possible.

I'm having a bit of a moral dilema however. I don't know how comfortable I would be with our child growing up and wondering where they come from. I think I would feel guilty, but at the same time, I would feel very strange about them wanting to contact them , which I would say, at some stage, is inevitable.

Does anyone have any advice? Personally, or otherwise. I really don't know where to start. If indeed, we start at all.

Thanks for reading.

LurcioLovesFrankie Fri 24-May-13 13:03:04

I used an anonymous donor (DS has the right to find him when he turns 18). So far, so good, DS and I talk about his biological father (I know some details from the background profile) and I've always tried to be open about it. Friends of mine in a situation rather closer to yours have used known donors - so long as you go through a fertility clinic, both you and the donor know all the legal safeguards are in place - they have, in effect, waived their right to claim paternity, and you have waived your right to go to the CSA. In their case, the children are being brought up to know the donors and know the role they played in their creation, but not to think of them as "daddy" - though my friends are aware of the fact that the children may feel differently about this as they get older. (For what it's worth, DIY jobs with a turkey baster are the same legally as a one night stand - you can sue for maintenance, they can sue for visitation rights).

LurcioLovesFrankie Fri 24-May-13 13:17:06

PS good luck whatever you decide.

broodybeyondbelief Fri 24-May-13 13:37:22

Lurcio, thank you for sharing your story.

Can I ask how old your ds is? How do you think he feels about where he came from? Does he have a stepfather?

fubbsy Fri 24-May-13 13:54:34

My dd was conceived with donor sperm. We did it through a private arrangement; the donor was a friend of a friend. We have always been very open and matter-of-fact with dd about her conception. She has never wondered about where she came from, she has always known.

DD met her donor once, when she was about 7 years old. (She is a teenager now.) This satisfied her curiousity and she has never shown any interest in meeting him again. She also has a donor sibling who she has met once. She has shown a bit more interest in the sibling - talks about him sometimes - but has never expressed any interest in seeing him again either.

I would really urge you to get in touch with the Donor Conception Network. They are fantastically supportive and very accepting of same-sex couples.

LurcioLovesFrankie Fri 24-May-13 13:55:26

DS is 5. I don't know what sort of conversations/feelings he is likely to have as he gets older, but I hope that being as open as possible as early as possible is a good way to go. Funnily enough we were talking about it over breakfast this morning. He doesn't have a step dad but thinks I should get married (I think he's planning some sort of heffalump trap to catch an unsuspecting man), so it's obvious he would like a father, though how badly this bothers him I don't know - his comments always seem pretty light hearted. Then again, I often get the feeling he is "auditioning" my male friends for the role of dad - he has very good taste, and always seems to latch onto the men who are really nice. (By male friends, I really mean platonic male friends, I haven't been in a relationship for nearly 8 years now - I am alway careful to stress that this is a matter of luck, just never met the right man to be his dad).

It is a difficult issue though. I suppose I was swayed by family history which suggests that life comes with no guarantees - you can start with what you think is a stable heterosexual marriage and it can all go wrong. My paternal grandfather did a runner when my dad was a child and hasn't been seen since, and my gran brought him up on her own. My mum left her first husband who continued to be involved (in a controlling way) in my sister's life. I'd say of the two of them, my dad came to less harm through having an entirely absent father than my sister did by having one who was a tosser. I try to make sure my DS has positive male role models, and he knows there are all sorts of families out there - single mums, single dads, two mums.

My friends' little boy is currently in the middle of feeling immensely pleased that he has two mummies and will announce this cheerfully and loudly in all sorts of random places (e.g. supermarket checkout queue).

broodybeyondbelief Fri 24-May-13 14:13:39

fubbsy thanks for the link. I really hope everything works out well for you and your dd.

Lurcio that last bit really made me laugh! Oh and also the bit about the man catcher grin I suppose it could work....... hmm

I think I would worry about the lack of a male role model. I have a very small family and my gf isn't really in touch with hers. With my dd obviously it's ok because she has dad and sees him all the time. When me and gf got together, I made sure that her relationship with her dad wasn't tainted at all. I wouldn't say our split was that amicable if I'm being honest, but I try very hard to keep my issues with him away from dd. If anything, I'd say that they have a better relationship since we broke up. I digress.

Also, I'm almost certain that my family wouldn't approve and their support, or lack of it, would be very important to me. They are actually surprisingly supportive of my relationship with gf, but I think they would think I was being selfish by doing this. I know it's our decision and no one else's, but I'd be really disappointed, although not surprised, if I didn't have their support.

Cherriesarelovely Fri 24-May-13 22:53:20

Hi OP. My lovely Dd was born using a sperm donor. He was a friend of my then GF. To be honest it has been absolutely brilliant. Donor knows Dd and sees her occasionally (a couple of times a year) and they exchange cards at Christmas and Birthdays. I imagine Dd might want more contact when she is older (she is 10). People, including my parents, had all sorts of things to say about this when I wanted to be pregnant in this way. Mostly in a concerned way, occasionally in a judgey way. I really didn't care because I knew I would be a good mum!

100 % of people were absolutely, completely fine once Dd was born. It was like once they saw she was a gorgeous little person, like all other babies, they relaxed! Equally, all the things I thought would be "huge" issues like being a gay parent, having her using a donor were not issues at all. I was just wrapped up in being a mum like all other mums were and I was largely treated as such!

Very happy to chat more if you want to pm.

changechangechange Sun 26-May-13 07:49:52

Just wanted to slightly correct a pp- DP can be automatic legal parent, named on birth cert, if you conceive through AI at home and are in a civil partnership. This would extinguish donor's paternal rights/obligations.

Good luck.

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