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maybe found known donor-big ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
hi everyone,

Sorry this is really long!!!

I haven't posted here before, but am an active lurker on these boards. am definitely queer & proud, and am trying to be a parent!

Trying to be brief ... here's my situation. My dp and I have been thinking actively about having kids & charting actively for almost 2 years! We just started inseminating with a donor from a sperm bank in July, and to our delight I got pregnant in August on our second try. Sadly I lost that baby in a miscarriage soon afterwards. We have been on hold for a couple of months since then, partly my own emotional recovery & also due to scheduling probs with our doctor.

Throughout this whole process we have resisted the medicalization of what to us should be a natural & beautiful thing (a bit naive maybe, but that's how we feel). At home sperm bank insem is not an option for us here, so we had reluctantly reconciled ourselves to a less-than-ideal Dr. On top of that, we had always struggled with the idea of having an unknown donor. Dp lost her dad at the age of 3 and while neither of us want to share parenting outside of our relationship, we also like giving our child the option of knowing their donor, esp. since dp

So....after the m/c and some waiting, a really great donor has walked into our life from an unexpected direction. I really feel like this is fate--this guy is really wonderful, seems quite open to the idea, we both like him & his values.

My dilemma:
1) I just asked him yesterday and he's not sure, but I ovulate on Monday at the latest (already getting signs) and I don't want to pressure him. Should I insem again with sperm bank sperm?

2) He's a bit uncertain about the whole thing--he's gay, but doesn't know anyone who's done this. Does anyone know of any books/ articles/ resources for potential donors?

I really feel like this is a good thing, an opportunity that wouldn't have come about w/o the devastating loss of the m/c, and a decision based on trust & hope rather than fear....but so many questions!

Thanks to all for listening!
post #2 of 5
Hi Jesse,

We used a known donor -- the absolutely perfect man for it, who felt he was put on the earth to help us create a family. Here's what I have to say about it: do not, absolutely, no matter how much you want to, rush into anything. We had conversations with him for years about this. As time drew closer to inseminate, we talked about the nitty gritty of things, had conversations with our families just to get them on the same page as us about it, etc. Having a known donor is SO different than using a sperm bank. And we had a big legal agreement before we started inseminating. None of this was because we didn't trust him. All of it was in the name of the most open and honest communication, and in really being pioneers in an area were few have gone before. There are so few public models about this, so one really creates the relationship/situation/etc from scratch. All of these preparations paid off. Not only did DP get pregnant on the first try, which I don't think is a coincidence, we now have the most wonderful, loving, evolving relationship with our donor, who will be an important person in our son's life forever. Now, I'm not saying you need to have conversations with your potential donor for years, but do take the time to really search your souls in order to figure out everything there is to talk about, ask questions about, etc before you begin anything.

Most of all, I want to tell you that having a known donor is a true blessing for us and I would encourage you to do what it takes, take the time necessary, for this to work out.

best of luck!

ps -- i'll be getting legally married (yeah massachusetts!) this spring. yahoo! thanks for paving the way.
post #3 of 5
We have also used a known donor--and so far the situation is wonderful--we entirely trust our dear friend and hope to have him in our daughter's life in a meaningful way for a long long time. I agree wholeheartedly with Megin, though--I would *not* rush into it--he should have time to mull over the idea, because he may discover things within himself that might take a little time to deal with/process. (I have heard this happen a number of times, where initially someone seems open, but upon further reflection he realizes, for example, that he wouldn't be able to relinquish a parental role in the case of his biological offspring--it so depends on the person, and if he feels conflicted in any way, you and your family are terribly vulnerable).

As for books--I know there are some out there, but I'm not sure exactly what they are--but what may be useful are some that have a discussion of how to ask a known donor that are aimed at queer women, like Rachel Pepper's book or "The Essential Guide" by Toevs and I forget the other midwife's name. At least these might bring up some of the issues that it would be useful for your potential donor to think about.

Also, we, like Megin, signed a known donor agreement--in the US they apparently don't really "hold up" as contracts in court--I don't really know about any of the laws in Canada--but it's always useful to have intentions clarified and articulated, I think, especially if things should change.

I don't mean to sound alarmist--after all, we've used a known donor, and are currently in the middle of our adoption process (which we should be done by now, actually, if we had our acts more together--maybe my nervousness is coming though!). But I do know of a number of bad situations where the donor's feelings changed and things got very messy. (I know of more situations that are working out wonderfully)

Best of luck--I'd go with the sperm bank this cycle (we also got pregnant quickly--on the 2nd try...) and keep talking, talking, talking, til you're at a place where you really feel like you know he knows what's entailed, and you're all on the same page.

Oh, also, it's really important to make sure he's fully tested for any STD's (taking into account the 6-month-waiting period that a disease like HIV might take to show up after unsafe sex). If you're not comfortable talking about safe/unsafe sex with him, it's another indication that you might not be ready to go this route quite yet.

I do hope it all goes well!!! To be honest, it was about 2 months from when we asked our donor until our first try with him, so not very long--but it took that long to get all the ducks in a row with the testing and paperwork, and we were all from the beginning very much on the same page with an understanding of the donor's role in our (now) daughter's life. (We had also known him as a dear friend, housemate, and political ally for several years, so had the framework to do the necessary work in a concentrated period of time.)

good, good luck! I'm glad for you that this avenue has opened up after the difficulty you've had--what a wonderful opportunity you have--
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks Megin & Simcon, it's really good to hear from folks who've been there.

Megin--I do really feel strongly that now that this opp has come up we should try & take advantage, I also have that feeling of, what if he backs down and we missed our chance to try this time...you know, the roller coaster. But in the end, I don't think 1 month will matter if this is the right guy!

Simcon--good pt. about unsafe/safe sex. I mean we do really trust him & his partner, but...there is a lot riding on this! I guess I don't know if I'd have mixed feelings if we got pg this time, knowing that we could have had a kd...
(if I was pg I'd probably just be ecstatic...but you know)
Generally speaking the laws here, despite the marriage stuff, still need some work in that area, we still need to 2nd parent adopt etc. & he would need to give up parental rights after the birth.

Btw, congrats on the upcoming wedding!! we got married the day after it became legal here, very exciting --you can see a picture of us with our marriage cert. here:

Thanks for listening & sharing your experiences--congrats to both of you on being mamas!
post #5 of 5
Oh, I just had to post--you two look so cute and happy in your picture!!

re: getting pg this time with sperm bank sperm... would it seem just impossible to take a little break while you move things along with your potential donor? If it matters that much, and you feel like this is the right guy, it might be worth it. If not, and you're interested in having more than one child (big if)--then even if you got pg immediately, you could still possibly have him as a known donor in the future (not sure what bag of worms you might open up with that decision--for us, we are not very invested in using the same donor, though would *love* to if that's what seems like it makes the most sense at the time)

best of wishes to you in your journey..
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