Also, easttowest, I'm envious that you could use your brother as your KD! When DP and I first got together, we talked about doing the same with her brother, and were pretty stoked about the idea. But then as we got closer to actually making it happen, we realized that that while DP's brother may be into it, his wife is likely to be anti. She's generally rather cold towards us... We're not sure if it's the queer thing, or the tattoos, or the piercings, or the fact that we're renters, or that we choose to live far far away from the old family stomping grounds... At any rate, we felt like even asking DP's brother would lead to even more alienation from her, and so decided not to do it.
Anonymous sperm donor or known donor? - Page 2
Poll Results: Did you choose an Anonymous sperm donor or a Known sperm donor?
44% (12)Anonymous donor
55% (15)Known donor
I don't think she does, actually... Though I just asked DP her thoughts, and she says she can't remember!
Hmmm... Maybe despite having chosen to "afford to buy tested sperm from a sperm bank", we should be excluded from child-rearing based on our lack of firm legal knowledge...
I jest, I jest.
Seriously, though, I'm 95% certain that the way it works is that when we're filling out forms for the birth certificate, we show proof that the baby was conceived using donor sperm from a sperm bank (like a receipt?!), and that's it: We are both on the BC and legally the parents.
Both my DP and I are on our DD's birth certificate - the forms ask the gender of the "other parent." But, legally I believe she still has to legally adopt her. We used a KD but I thought it was the same thing either way. I could be wrong but I would definitely look into it if I was you.
We decided to use a kd bc we wanted our kids to have access to their genetic half. I also loved our ability to do this outside of the medical establishment and keep it feeling more intimate for DH and I. I also love the thought of creating this crazy alternative family. Our kd s will not have parenting rights or financial obligations but will be a part of our kids lives though we dont live in the same place so it's not consistent. I don't really think there is too much love a kid can get and think our donors are wonderful wonderful men and will only make our kids lives better. For too many reasons to go into I have zero fear that they could come after us legally even if they happened to both go bat shit insane and choose to do so.
That said, I respect everyone's right to choose to do what is right for them, we all come with different backgrounds that make different choices right for us and that is wonderful but those decisions should be based on choice and circumstance not fear and ignorance .
To receive all the legal protections under the law, a 2nd parent adoption must be done. I live in MA and although my wife and I are married and her name is on the birth certificate, we had to do the 2nd parent adoption because a lot of states don't recognize same-sex marriage and I wanted my wife to have full legal protection as our DD's mom in case anything happened.
I think a 2nd parent adoption would be even more important when a known donor is involved. Just because your names are on the birth certificate doesn't mean that the genetic donor has no rights/claims to that child. During the adoption, he would sever his rights and then you would never have to worry. I would definitely cover all your bases, you never know what could happen.
Here's an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics talking about why 2nd parent adoptions are important. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/2/339.full
Also, if you travel outside your state which allows for same sex parents names on birth certificate, the non-bio parents rights could be challenged. Personally, I feel most comfortable for my wife to have parental rights 100% of the time no matter where we go.
Way to go AAP.
Technically, we chose a Willing-To-Be-Known donor from a sperm bank, but I voted that we chose a known donor because that is our intention and purposeful choice. We feel really strongly that Everleigh be able to know the other half of her genetics one day, even if not today. She deserves the option, if she wants to know him and anything he'll tell her. My mother was adopted and only found out a few years ago, and her struggles to learn of her biological roots have greatly impacted how we viewed our decision.
Our state also does not allow both same-sex partners to be on the birth certificate, and specifically bans same-sex couples from qualifying for a second-parent adoption. We have medical powers of attorney in place, but nothing else at this point. Mostly, we don't worry about it because our families are very supportive of us and each of our equal rights to E.
NCLR did a big case that lasted a few years in Florida. It involved Jane Lynch's wife actually, Lara Embry. They gave her an award at their gala because she had been so great through the case, and Jane Lynch was also there that evening and that is when they met and fell in love. Awww... I was at the next table. Anyway, she and her partner had lived in Washington State, I believe. They were domestic partners and they each gave birth to a child. The did second parent adoptions for both kids. Then they moved to Florida and split up. The partner decided she wanted to keep her biological child and Lara would keep hers. At first, Florida sided with the partner, but NCLR challenged it because adoptions should be recognized in all states even if they would not grant them in that state. There were many appeals and it took a few years, but I believe that the state of Florida finally acknowledge that they had to recognize the second parent adoption and now they have worked out a custody agreement so Lara can see the other child. I'm sure there is more info on the NCLR website about this case and others. Since Florida is very tough on gay parents in general and they gave it up, I would hope that other states would also follow the rules, but you never know. Adoption really should be recognized by all states.
There was another case in Florida where a hospital refused to allow legally adopted children to see their adoptive mother who was dying in a hospital. (Her partner was also not allowed to be with her, but the question was about rights denied after legal adoption) She died alone. The family was from Washington State, where second-parent adoption is common. Such a sad situation.
We used a known donor...he is a good friend and now him and his partner have really become part of our family. I'm so happy it worked out the way it did because they have really been great to have in DD's life. She loves them, they love her, and in no way do the have a "parent" type of relationship. It's great! However, if we hadn't had someone we know & trust, we would have def. gone through a sperm bank, or done adoption. There are legal risks, and I wouldn't want to put my child's future in jeopardy because I met some nice dude on craigslist who turned out to be not so nice 10 years later when he decided to try to get joint custody. I personally would really only go the rout of a known donor if he is someone you truly know and trust, if there is any doubt, I would say it isn't worth the risk.
We used a known donor and have had absolutely no issues. At all. We tried using ID release frozen sperm, in Canada, but after several failed cycles and new, more restrictive legislation looming on the horizon, we sold it back to the bank at a loss and threw in the towel. This was 5+ years ago. One of my best friends wrote and offered up her husband's sperm, and here we are, two kids later (and hopefully pg again right now!).
My only complaint, and it is not really a complaint, but I wish our donor was more involved. He's so incredibly awesome, was there for dd's birth (well, not in the room or anything, but he was there while I laboured and in our home when we came home with her), and we've now seen them three times for ~week at a time since her birth (one of those trips was to conceive ds, and another was just recently to hopefully conceive #3). He's really good with kids, and is really good with our kids, but I don't have a handle on how he feels about our kids vs other kids. I know he'll be available to our children as they grow if they ever want to ask him anything, and I also know that he'll be open to just hanging out with them (ie: going on a canoe trip or something). But, he just feels like the awesome friend he is. I don't know what sort of extra special mojo I was expecting, but whatever it is, we don't seem to have it. I have pretty intense feelings for him (he gave us children, for heaven's sake), but I don't think it's reciprocated on the same level!
His family is unaware of his relationship to us, because there is some fear that they would want access to the children. I am not against having our children meet/know them, but it is also not something we would seek out at this point, and is definitely not something we would want to do on a mandated basis
I absolutely do not regret our decision, and know that our donor and his family do not either. I can't imagine, now, using banked sperm. I wish our kids could be conceived in our own home without any additional apparatus, but they can't, and conceiving a child in the home of some great friends with a syringe and heaps of hope and love seems the next best thing. I'm so glad our sperm bank sperm didn't work out, and that our kids will always have a real, known person to put with the "donor" name.
We also didn't draw up or sign anything legal, and have never done any sort of adoption paperwork. My partner and I are named on the birth certificate. We (all four of us) realized that we were all taking a bit of a risk (we could go after the donor for support, just as he could pursue custody), but that we trusted each other and were willing to just step out in faith. I know not everything always works out the way you plan it to, but I just can't imagine the situation deteriorating to a point where we regret this set up.
I love hearing how people go about this - different journeys to and through the parenting thanks to donor conception. I don't know anyone else, in real life, who has used a donor of any kind, and it's so nice to read about real people living this sort of thing.
1. Time and Money
4) Rocking genetic material
5) Making our families, our ways (political?)
We used a known-donor, but are trying to keep his identity quiet. Early on, I was so excited about how perfect he was for our situation that I spilled it to several friends and family members and now I regret it. It's just something I wish we had kept more private. I have told everyone that we decided to keep it a secret, but they still slip up sometimes or want to talk about him anyway. Part of the reason we want to keep it private is because we don't want our girls to know right now. They have a lot of confusion around "dads" because their biological dad is an addict and he was in and out of their lives when they were young (before their mom and I were together), now they aren't allowed to see him (because he can't stay clean and is not a safe or healthy person for them to be around). Our oldest thinks of him as her dad and is sad about it, but our youngest never connected to him or spent much time with him and she often has said he's not her dad, but she hears her sister refer to him as dad and so sometimes she says he is. Anyhow, you see the confusion they have around it--I don't want them getting confused about their little sister having a dad--she doesn't have a dad, just a donor. So we are not telling them who right now. Of course if she turns up red-headed they'll have a good idea! Haha.
We chose to use a known donor for many reasons others brought up here. One reason is financial. It would have been very hard for us to afford using a sperm bank. Another reason is simply that I am a bit paranoid and want to know the type of person who is contributing to making our baby! I also want to have genetic and medical history available, which maybe you can get that information from a sperm bank as well, I'm not sure. I think it is good to have the option of our daughter knowing who her bio-dad is someday, and having the option to have a relationship with him--but to be honest, i do have mixed feelings about that. Still, I think it's her right. We were very lucky to have a friend like our donor. I don't think I would be this comfortable with anyone else being a donor! He is a super amazing, intelligent, creative, and hilarious young man. I've been good friends with him for years--we used to be housemates. He is one of the most trustworthy people I know. When we asked him to be our donor, he said that his immediate response was YES, but he needed to take some time to check his motives before agreeing. He needed to make sure his "caveman" was in check as he put it--that his motives were to help us bring a child into the world, not for him to "spread his seed" or be a parent in anyway. He took a week or two to really meditate on this and be sure that he could handle contributing his sperm with no parental role or rights. The fact that he spent so much time checking in with himself is pretty amazing, I think. He has often said that this is the best gift he could give to us and to the world, and he is confident and excited about what great moms we will be. He also agreed that if he is going to be around for things like birthdays (because he is a good friend of mine) he will be around for our older daughters birthdays as well. Basically, he has the option to play an uncle sort of role in our unborn daughter's life, but that would mean playing the same type of role in our older daughter's lives. I am curious how much he will want to be around, but like I said, he is a good friend and I'm not worried about it. We did draw up a known-donor contract which he was happy to sign and we got it notarized--but like has been said by others, how much that would stand up in court we do not know--the main thing is that it is an agreement and we trust each other. We won't put him on the birth certificate--just me, I think, and "unknown" in the father space. I know you can put your partner on the birth certificate, but I don't know what that means legally. As far as the government knows, I got knocked up by some random dude that I don't know! Ha.