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Donor conception

Having another baby as a single mother

6 replies

AnnieMay100 · 13/03/2019 15:05

Hi everyone, hoping someone here who has been through donor conception could give me some advice.
I am a single mother of 2 children aged 12 and 10. Divorced from their father 5 years ago, who still sees them regularly.
I have stayed single as I haven’t met anyone I have a connection with, so now I feel my time is running out to have another baby. I always wanted 3 and were ttc when the problems began between myself and xh, so the longing has never gone away in 6 years.
I have been looking into donor sperm and going it alone but I have some concerns that are holding me back slightly.
How will this affect my two children? Could they resent the baby as our usual routine will be disrupted not to mention sleep and freedom to do what we chose will be altered.
The baby will not have a father involved whereas my 2 children do, would there be resentment to baby’s older siblings that they go to visit their father but the baby only has me. Also the baby always having my attention while they have to visit their father and get less time at home.
I have a good stable job, own my own home and we have a good happy life. I just feel these issues could cause problems in our family if not handled correctly and I don’t want to hurt my children. My family are unsupportive and don’t agree with my plans, they say I am too old and should give up my desire for more children but in my heart I can’t. My children have always asked for a new sibling so I don’t doubt they would love the baby. I am completely stuck and need reassurance I would be doing the right thing.

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Persipan · 13/03/2019 18:08

Hello! I am single and have been trying to conceive for some time - I don't have any children, though, so my situation is a bit different.

One observation I would make here is that your post is very focused on the possible impacts on your existing children, and less on the possible impacts of donor conception on any donor-conceived child you might have. So, for example, you're thinking about whether your children would resent a baby getting to spend more time with you - but how might that child feel about their older siblings being able to have a relationship with their father, something a donor-conceived child in this situation probably wouldn't have? Of course, it's perfectly natural (and very sensible and thoughtful and empathetic) to be thinking about the impact on your children, - it's definitely something that needs careful thinking through. I would recommend having some specialist counselling to work through all these thoughts and feelings. You can generally access this through fertility clinics (and, in fact, it's usually a requirement before using donor gametes anyway).

May I ask how old you are? I don't mean to be insensitive, I'm asking more from the point of view of your treatment options and likely odds of success. Were you thinking of formal treatment through a clinic or did you have some other arrangement in mind? It's probably a good idea to take a careful look at your odds of success, and the likely cost implications of treatment, in making a decision. How much could you afford to spend on treatment, and how will you feel of you aren't successful? Practically, if the best treatment for you turns out to be something more complex like IVF, is this workable for you?

I'm not asking those questions to put you off, at all. I am on this road too, after all - so clearly it's something I consider both possible and worth pursuing. I'm more asking because, I've been on this road for quite a while (4 or 5 years, at this point) so I guess I see it from the perspective of, it's not always easy. And I do think it's important to think about that side of things, and about good self-care, as you decide what you'd like to do.

Best wishes to you and your family, whatever your choice!

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Persipan · 13/03/2019 18:09

Oh, and I forgot to say - also check out the Donor Conception Network. They have tons of resources which could be really helpful to you!

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AnnieMay100 · 16/03/2019 17:41

Thanks for your reply I’m 35
My main concern would be the baby not having a father figure but i do of course have to consider any problems my two children could face if I went ahead with it
I’m looking into my options but putting it on hold while I think it through more

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GreatestShowUnicorn · 07/04/2019 00:01

In your situation I don’t think I would. That said I’m currently in a similar situation but just with one DD whose 8 I desperately want her to have a sibling.

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CrunchyEggshells · 07/04/2019 00:17

Hi, it seems like you are thinking through things very carefully. I don't think it would be the wrong thing.

I think that you're right there are complications and difficulties, but that could be the case in other scenarios too (not just a child conceived through donor sperm).

For instance, if you were to meet a new partner and have a child with him, your older two might feel strange about you, your partner and their sibling forming a cohesive family unit and spending time as a three when they were at their dad's. Yet that's a scenario that is much more common and questioned less.

So in that sense you could maybe consider that the impact on your existing children is there but isn't that different from what it would be in a more "conventional" setup with a new partner on the scene.

Regarding how things would be for the potential new child conceived by donor sperm, I can definitely see your concerns but I don't know whether they would be likely issues in reality. I wonder if it might be possible for you to find an expert (e.g. child psychologist) who has experience how a situation like the one you are proposing is for the donor-conceived child in practice.

This is just conjecture, but I wonder whether a new child might not feel jealous about his or her siblings' father at all, instead relishing alone-time with you. Also, with such a big age gap, I suspect it's less likely the children would be making comparisons between one another.

It must be tough that your family are not on board; do you have friends you can talk things through with too?

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TeaForTheWin · 07/04/2019 00:22

I wouldn't. Single mother stuff aside, it really isn't fair to deliberately bring a child into the world without a father figure. I'd hesitate to say selfish...but I guess it sorta is. So no, you cannot say it would be the 'right' thing. Because it wouldn't. However, that isn't to say it isn't the 'right thing for you'.

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