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sperm donation between friends

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I'm looking for some insight on this topic from donors or receivers who have stayed in a social relationship with donor/parents. My partner and I have been in a het rerlationship for around 10 years, and have 3 kids ages 6,3,1. we have been asked by a queer couple for a sperm donation from SO. These are close friends, one of whom I have been close to since first year university (13 years). I have no qualms about them having kids not do I have any "moral" issues with queer parenting or sperm donation. However, we are trying to think it through and am sure there are things we are missing plus we have no one with experience to talk to about it. The things we agree on are this ~ it will all be in the open, our families, friends and kids will know who the sperm came from ~ Dh will sign away legal rights and non-bio mom will adopt ~ we will have an ongoing relationship between the families (this would be true anyway).

Here are the things I am thinking about:
~What does this mean for our and their kids who have not consented to the legal/social boundaries? What happens if we have a falling out or someone moves away etc?
~Is it weird to ask them to consider making us guardians if anything were to happen to them ( i suspect this might happen regardless)?
~ How has this worked out for others?
~ What else should we be thinking about?
~We live with 3 of our 4 parents (grandparents to our kids), what would this ongoing social relationship mean for grandparents on our side?
~What are the advantages of a personal donation vs spem bank

We are meeting with them soon to talk about these issues but I would like tohave given it some real though in advance of that.

Gotta run im sure ill think of more.....

heather
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Seriously? no one? How about good resources then?
post #3 of 7
there's a blog out there with a somewhat similar situation...let me see if i can track it down, i haven't read it in a while.

http://dosmamas.wordpress.com/

and

http://letterstothebabiesthatlived.wordpress.com/

you might have to refer to some older posts but there are details in there.

g
post #4 of 7
(QP can be a bit slower than some other forums as there are fewer of us...hence the timing).

Our close friend is our donor. He is, however, gay, partnered, but without kids. So it's a different situation. I really want to write more on this but am planning my class for tomorrow and am behind and exhausted!

More to come.
post #5 of 7
We use a known donor but he is gay, childless and unpartnered so it is so much less complex.

As for the difference between a sperm bank and fresh donation, yes, there is a huge difference. Frozen sperm, because of the freezing and thawing process, only lives for about 24 hours in the uterus and tubes. (Fresh lives about 3 to 6 days.) This means that the timing of each insemination has to be perfect since the egg starts to break down 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. It can be REALLY difficult to pinpoint ovulation down to a matter of hours for the timing to work.

There is also the cost issue. I know it sounds crass to bring up money when you are talking about a future child but it does play a factor. Sperm banks charge anywhere from $250 to $600 per 1cc vial, depending on the bank. It is common to use 2 vials each cycle to do two inseminations. There is also tank rental and shipping fees which vary greatly. When you consider that most people take more than just one try to get pregnant, the cost can add up. I used the "bargain" sperm bank and only used frozen for 8 of my inseminations (none resulted in pregnancy) and spent $6,000 just on sperm. When using frozen most people do intrauterine inseminations that must be performed at a clinic. My clinic charged $150 per insemination. I was lucky enough to have 50% limited "infertility" coverage so I only payed $150 for two inseminations. We make enough money to be comfortable but this was pretty difficult to sustain every month for 8 cycles.

Even with all the hassle of timing and cost with frozen I have no regrets because, at the time, I didn't have a known donor I felt comfortable with. It is much more important that everyone is comfortable with the situation than just to avoid the drawbacks of using a sperm bank.

As some one who has gone through a couple known donors and been through the negotiation process with several more I would say you are on the right track thinking carefully and asking a lot of questions. I've seen a lot of known donor situations turn bad because no one thought to ask the other party or themselves those difficult questions.

I would strongly recommend that you look at the chapters on known donors in this book "The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth" by Toves and Brill. It is one of the best books on this subject. The rest of the book would be a great resource for your friends once they start trying as well!

I'm not on the board much lately but feel free to PM me if you want to ask any more questions.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by anarchamama View Post
Here are the things I am thinking about:
~What does this mean for our and their kids who have not consented to the legal/social boundaries? What happens if we have a falling out or someone moves away etc?
~Is it weird to ask them to consider making us guardians if anything were to happen to them ( i suspect this might happen regardless)?
~ How has this worked out for others?
~ What else should we be thinking about?
~We live with 3 of our 4 parents (grandparents to our kids), what would this ongoing social relationship mean for grandparents on our side?
~What are the advantages of a personal donation vs spem bank
nak.
Our DS was conceived using a known, hetero, partnered donor. Our situation though is different slightly though because they don't have kids yet, though they are TTC now. We are good friends and see them multiple times every month.

We've thought and discussed a lot of your concerns which i'll try to address.

Re: the donors kids vs donor kids r'ship. Our kids will undoubtedly be peers and friends and all will know the role KD took in conceiving our DS. We will also have lots of open discussions about the social and biological implications of this when it's appropriate. I hope, and expect that these discussions won't happen for several years. Kids can normalise a lot and I expect for the most part that they'll be able to deal with this situation with the facts ... I'm sure there'll be questions about sibling-hood and they may even joke about it but it only need be meaningful, if you make it so. Our intention is to let others worry about social vs biological r'ships and deal with them if and when we need to.

At the end of the day, our kids have autonomy and may well decide to 'be' siblings and there will be nothing we can do about it. It may be challenging to us but I think we need to honour that in some way.

Re: Guardianship - I don't think it's weird but it's not something we considered because we are mindful of keeping some social/biological boundaries.

Re: Grandparents and extended family. - We are lucky with our donor in that his family is in another State. I know that they know he donated sperm which resulted in DS. I have met them but long before DS was conceived/considered. They seem to have a good understanding of the situation and the social/biological roles and are respectful of it. I expect they find it a bit difficult but they're rational and reasonable and mindful of our wishes to keep them out. As with our donor, if in years to come our DS wishes to forge a r'ship with them, we cannot stop him and will do our best to facilitate it.

Benefits of sperm bank
. We didn't have an option of sperm bank here (Australia) but I think I'd have chosen ID release sperm bank if I did. We are incredibly open to the myriad of situations that may arise with known personal donation/conception but frankly, I'd prefer not to have to think, worry, hypothesise about it quite so much. I do however, think that kids have a right to know about the biology so believe ID release is very important. Others may disagree.

More to say but gotta attend to a grumpy babe.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by anarchamama View Post
Hello,


Here are the things I am thinking about:
~What does this mean for our and their kids who have not consented to the legal/social boundaries? What happens if we have a falling out or someone moves away etc?
~Is it weird to ask them to consider making us guardians if anything were to happen to them ( i suspect this might happen regardless)?
~ How has this worked out for others?
~ What else should we be thinking about?
~We live with 3 of our 4 parents (grandparents to our kids), what would this ongoing social relationship mean for grandparents on our side?
~What are the advantages of a personal donation vs spem bank

We are meeting with them soon to talk about these issues but I would like tohave given it some real though in advance of that.

Gotta run im sure ill think of more.....

heather
Our kd is partnered in a het relationship with no kids, and it's worked out really well so far--we have a 6 y.o and a 4 month old with the same donor/friend/honorific uncle to our kids . Not sure that I can address all of the questions, but we did ask our kd and his dp if they'd be guardians. We live on the other side of the country now so we have some second thoughts about that now that our daughter is older and her life would be more disrupted, so we might change that, but it was our idea, not that of our kd and his partner.

Our kd's parents are not grandparents to our kids, though they have met our daughter and know that our kd is the kids' donor.

The biggest two advantages to me are that the kids know their biological origins and can have an ongoing relationship with our kd and his partner, who we consider part of our extended family, and the cost (though because our kd was across the country when we conceived #2, it was still about half as expensive as using a bank/anonymous donor).

I know there are some informative threads on this that I've responded to in the past--you might want to search this forum under "known donor" to find out more.
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