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Single mothers using sperm banks

(62 Posts)
idealiseme Thu 01-Oct-15 21:58:11

You may have read about how in Scandinavia especially it has become very common for women to use sperm banks and ever larger numbers of women are using them and becoming single mothers. I see this as entirely positive. Vox pop of women at work 75/25 in favour yet of 20 men asked, only 1 said he thought it was a good thing. I know they probably feel threatened, redundant etc but I would have thought some of them would be able to see the good points.

ElizabethG81 Thu 01-Oct-15 22:07:54

I have done it myself and, if anything, have had a more positive reaction from men than women (except an older family member who just doesn't really get it). I've not really had any negativity, although I suspect that might be because I just went ahead and did it, then told people once I was pregnant. I think there would have been more resistance if I had told people my plans before going ahead with it.

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 01-Oct-15 22:09:07

Two friends from my year at school have done this.

Good on them, I say. Unlike men, women can't wait forever to have children, so if they want to make this happen, they have to be very proactive about it.

And the more children born to a loving parent, who actively wants them, the better for all of us.

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 01-Oct-15 22:10:52

Friend 1 is a partner at her firm, and the reception she got when she told the other (predominantly male) partners was cold, to say the least. Not one even congratulated her.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Thu 01-Oct-15 23:07:14

I am not sure this is something to celebrate that so many women are choosing this though I understand the reasons that might lead them to do so

the talk is about the parents or the parent what about a child growing up not knowing or knowing very little about their father and one side of their family, part of their identity I am not sure which country it is (Denmark maybe) that sperm donors can remain anonymous

of course one parent can bring up a happy secure child but we are more complex than that its not that simple to think if this is provided all will be fine

squidzin Thu 01-Oct-15 23:32:56

I'm sure this happens, hardly ever.

Being a single mum is the hardest thing.
I would never advise someone wanting a baby to find a sperm bank, I would advise them to find a man, there's no shortage of them.

CaramelCurrant Fri 02-Oct-15 03:13:19

... Yes there is no shortage in the quantity of men, and if you are 38 you don't have time to be sifting through to find the quality of man who will make a good dad.

If your choice was single mum or childless I would pick single any day.

TheDowagerCuntess Fri 02-Oct-15 03:20:39

I would advise any woman to do it via sperm donation, over picking the closest random man, any day of the week.

It's only easier to do it with a man if he's fully engaged with you and the baby, preferably loves and respects you, and is hands-on. If he's not, then he just another level of complication that you can far more easily do without. confused

AftosPouEinaiDeMasHezeisRe Fri 02-Oct-15 07:27:31

Yes, it is nice if you have a wonderful, loving man, who will be a hands-on dad, pulling his weight about the place.

But we all know it doesn't always happen that way. I think this is a positive thing for women who otherwise would have no chance of having children - if that is what they want.

It's not just about being unable to find a male partner - perhaps these women don't want to. I know someone who doesn't want a male partner, and is not lesbian. She is quite happy being single, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Frankly, having seen thread after thread in the relationships section on here, I am not surprised by this!

TJEckleburg Fri 02-Oct-15 07:43:29

Why is a parenst wish to have a child more important than a child's need to know their parents? I grew up not knowing anything about my biological mother or her family due to complicated circumstances. It is not something I would wish on any child. Not knowing your gentic heritage doesn't just cause practical problems,but huge emotional ones as well, no matter how great the single parent or non biological parent is. It's a recognised factor in adoptions and something that adoptive parents nowadays are encouraged to work on with their children to mitigate the effects. It's beyond selfish for any parent to deliberatly have a child who will be removed from half their gentic heritage.
I do t disagree with sperm donation, or egg donation/surrogacy, but I do think it should only be planned where a child will have a right of access to both biological parents during thei childhood. Sperm donors don't have to be involved in bringing up a child, but they should be prepared to have occasional meetings- having recently rediscovered my mother's family and knowing the joy of recognising myself in somebody else, I think anyone that puts their wish to have a child above their child's right to do that doesn't deserve to be a parent.

scallopsrgreat Fri 02-Oct-15 09:08:34

So you don't agree with same-sex parenting or adoption TJEckleburg? what about fathers who bugger off of which there are plenty? What about the child's right in those circumstances?

I'm with Aftos.

Keeptrudging Fri 02-Oct-15 09:18:41

My DD has never met her father. V. short relationship, failed contraception, he left the country and there has been no contact. It's not what I would have chosen (although I chose to keep her), but she is a very well - adjusted, happy, confident child who is very loved. I already had one child (planned), but if I hadn't and reached a certain age, I would have considered sperm bank rather than never have a child. I wouldn't have just looked for some random man so I could have a traditional family then split up because I'd got what I wanted. That's unfair on everyone.

TheDowagerCuntess Fri 02-Oct-15 09:26:47

I don't disagree with you necessarily TJ, but following that argument to its extreme, all unwanted pregnancies would have to be aborted and as someone whose vehemently pro-choice, I find that hard to reconcile.

As scallops says, what about same sex parenting, and the myriad men who walk out on their DC never to see them again?

In an ideal world, all childre would have ongoing relationships with their parents, but that doesn't happen. I reckon a child who's been conceived via sperm donation has a better chance of happiness that a child whose parent has met it, spent time with it, and then exited its life.

TheDowagerCuntess Fri 02-Oct-15 09:29:37

X-posted with Keep - and obviously children with absent fathers have every chance of happiness as well, if they have a loving Mum in their lives.

CoteDAzur Fri 02-Oct-15 09:34:33

"Why is a parenst wish to have a child more important than a child's need to know their parents? I grew up not knowing anything about my biological mother or her family due to complicated circumstances. It is not something I would wish on any child. "

Would you rather not be born at all?

TJEckleburg Fri 02-Oct-15 09:38:40

I agree with adoption as a solution to a problem of a child whose biological parents can't look after it. And yes, I'm aware that many children have biological parents who bugger off and the remaining parent does a fantastic job of raising them. My stepmother raised me perfectly well, but she couldn't have filled the gaping hole in my life of not knowing what my biological parent looked like, or whether I'd inherited character traits from them.
I have no problem at all with same sex parents. My cousin is raising the biological child of her female partner as an equal "mother", but crucially, their sperm donor was a male friend of theirs who agreed to have input into their child's life. Minimal input, as he doesn't want the lifestyle that goes along with raising children, but their idea is that their son, and any potential future children they have, will be able to meet him when they want to and so not have that hole in their lives.

I simply think that a child's right to know their genetic origins is more important than an adult's right to have a child. Of course it's not always possible and not knowing your biological parent is a situation that can be mitigated by excellent parenting by the people bringing you up. But I don't think anyone should choose to create that less than optimal situation in the first place.

Keeptrudging Fri 02-Oct-15 09:42:57

I think it depends how things are discussed with the child as they grow up too. I always answered my daughter's questions as honestly as was age - appropriate, with lots of reassurance. If it's badly handled, I can see that it might make a child feel insecure/unwanted. Children with absent fathers (like my DS) can also grow up happy/secure. My DS had more difficulties dealing with his erratic/irrational absent father than my DD did with not knowing hers. I've remarried to a wonderful man and am now living a 'traditional' family life, but I don't feel our life before was 'less', it was different.

TJEckleburg Fri 02-Oct-15 09:48:48

Of course I wouldn't have rather not been born cote. But making the best out of a situation that arises (as many many people do, wonderfully well) is not the same as deliberately causing that situation to arise.

My kids both have learning disabilities. It doesn't make me love them any the less, or value them any the less. And we have put in place all sorts of strategies to counter them and stop them from hindering their lives. I wouldn't change anything about them (well, actually if I could stop my dyspraxic son from losing everything I would definitely change that). And if I had been told when pregnant of their diagnoses I would of course have still continued with the pregnancy. But if someone had offered me a drug whilst pregnant that would cause my embryo's to become dyslexic children I wouldn't have taken it.

I don't need or expect my life to be problem free, but I wouldn't plan to take actions that would definitely cause problems. And if you've grown up with knowledge of both of your biological parents you really can't understand how difficult some people can find it to not have that knowledge

Preminstreltension Fri 02-Oct-15 10:07:19

I have two DCs by donor and I am single. I had the option of using a male friend but actually I rejected that option in favour of using an unknown donor with ID release for the children when they are 18.

My reasoning was that I actually think it is very difficult for children to know that they have a father and to see him and know who he is but to accept that he won't be their every day daddy who does all the other things that daddies do. My possible donor is still my best friend and my children adore him but if he was their father, they wouldn't understand why he doesn't want to be with them all the time. They would experience that loss every day. Daddy comes round but Daddy doesn't want to be here all the time . Yes they'd have access to their genetic heritage from day 1 but I can't really deal with the concept of being a father but not really.

Now perhaps I'm as influenced by my childhood experiences as you are TJ. I know my father but he left when I was 6 and the loss of the person who is supposed to love you most in the world is still the biggest loss I've ever had to deal with. It's a hurt I still carry around with me. I'm sure that influenced my decision. I don't want my children to feel the loss that I did. Of course they will lose out on the genetic inheritance knowledge but that's why I've chosen an ID release donor.

So far (at age 9 and 6) my children are very happy, loving and loved. I'm sure we will have our travails but my job will be to help them as much as I can with the journey they will have to go through.

almondpudding Fri 02-Oct-15 10:19:44

I don't think sperm donation is like adoption.

Adoption generally means that the mother had an unwanted pregnancy, or there was neglect or some other very difficult situation.

That is obviously a lot of distress around someone's birth and early childhood.

Sperm donors presumably are happy to donate and for children to be produced.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Fri 02-Oct-15 10:56:23

It can be very very difficult not knowing anything or very little about a biological parent the desire that feels like a need is incredibly strong can be overwhelming hence why so many children look for a their biological parent/s

Not knowing where you get hair colour, eyes, or certain traits (and it's incredible what is passed through genes) can though not always be a very painful experience and impact how you identify yourself

Like I said before love and secure upbringing of course is the most important thing but we are more complex than that it is not so simple that the child is very much wanted

CoteDAzur Fri 02-Oct-15 11:06:04

"Of course I wouldn't have rather not been born cote. "

Similarly, I suppose you would agree that any child would rather have been born and not know his father than not be born at all.

So, why are you telling people they shouldn't have children if said children will not know their fathers?

ALassUnparalleled Fri 02-Oct-15 12:41:06

It can be very very difficult not knowing anything or very little about a biological parent the desire that feels like a need is incredibly strong can be overwhelming hence why so many children look for a their biological parent/s

Or on the other hand it can matter not all. I know my biological father's name and that my mother met him in France. And that's it. He never came to the UK and my family (which as far as I'm concerned means my maternal grandfather's and my maternal grandmother's respective families) never met him. This does not bother me in the slightest.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Fri 02-Oct-15 12:49:46

Well if you read my post you will see that I mentioned that is not always how it turns out but what about when it is and no matter how wonderful your upbringing can be that still might be the case

Jw35 Fri 02-Oct-15 12:55:46

My 9 month old was conceived using donor sperm. I am trying for another baby with the same donor (in fact I just miscarried so trying again in November). It wasn't through a sperm bank though it was through a website called

I met him in my home, he did the business in my bathroom and I paid him £70 plus petrol then performed self insemination. The baby is perfect, born 9lb 8oz in December.

I'm a single mum with an 12 year old daughter as well through a previous relationship. I'm 35 and single and wanted to expand my family on my own.

I have no idea whether what I'm doing is right or wrong, I will have to find out when the baby and the soon to be baby are older and can tell me! They're really the only people it concerns.

I have never felt so happy in my entire life.

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