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Did you use a known or unknown donor? Share your experiences - Page 2

post #21 of 44
There are 2 sperm banks down there that are gay friendly. Have you tried calling and asking for a referral?

San Diego Fertility Center
11515 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA, 92130
(858) 794-6363
fax: (858) 794-6360
email: reception@sdfertility.com
website: http://www.sdfertility.com

Fertility Center of California
6475 Alvarado Rd., Suite 109
San Diego, CA, 92120
(619) 265-0102
fax: (619) 265-1429
email: ctr@fertilityctr.com
website: http://www.fertilityctr.com
post #22 of 44
We aren't quite to that point yet (as we will TTC in May), but calling the banks is a good idea. Of course now, I'll have to call to see what they say. I'm with Kaiser, so I'm not sure what will be covered and what won't. I don't think any medical insurance deems AI 'medically necessary' for a woman in a same sex relationship.

I will call the banks and see if they can recommend anyone. Thanks

Sorry OP, I didn't mean to hijack your thread.
post #23 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thank you Kincaid!

Kincaid! You just made my day! That info is so helpful. I had no idea the policy for directed donor sperm had changed. So glad to know. So tell me this- basically once the semen is stored at a clinic, it is legally the same as an ID release donor? Do you have to inseminate at the clinic for this to be true, or can you still inseminate at home?

Did this mean you didn't have to do the whole termination of parental rights thing? I don't know your family situation, but here 2nd parent adoption is very easy. But with a known (inseminating at home) donor you have to do the TPR for the donor. We would have legal documents between us and donor either way, but less court crap would be nice.

So many questions, sorry.

On a happy note, DW seems more on board with my baby-making agenda timeline lately!! : Thank GOD!
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 

also, I forgot

Kincaid and anyone else who might now -

One of my only concerns about going the "frozen" route is that I've heard men with even good sperm counts sometimes have sperm that doesn't freeze and thaw well. Have you heard this? We might just have to get a sampe frozen and thawed and have sperm count tested I guess, and then go from there.
post #25 of 44
Beth,
My understanding was that if the sperm had been processed through medical personnel and you are able to document that fact, then there are no "parental rights" to terminate. This is certainly the case in my state. However, somone told me earlier today (elsewhere) that it was not the case in her state. I don't know what would be different but you never know... I would definately see if you can find the specifics in your state.
They will run the numbers on the samples for you when you do a clinic IUI, or when your donor makes the deposits (usually included in the fees). Unless your donor has male factor issues, the freezing won't decrease your odds too much to worry about.
post #26 of 44
Thread Starter 
Kincaid,

According to HRC's website:

In California, Ohio and Wisconsin, a known donor releases himself from legal responsibility if the procedure is performed with a physician's involvement.

Perhaps you live in one of these states? I live in Minnesota, so it sounds like even with a clinic, if there is a known donor we would have to do a termination of parental rights - which I don't think is a huge deal, I think they just do it before the adoption.

-Beth
post #27 of 44
Beth,
No, I don't live in one of those states. I saw that a long time ago on HRC's site. They say that one one screen, then on another screen they say that a directed donor does not have any inherent legal relationship with the exception of a few states (states that say only married women can have donor insem - yes, there are states which have laws stating that only married women can have donor insem.... which are bogus laws, of course).
Anyway, HRC's info had a lot of errors/misunderstanding in it, in my experience so I would see if you can find any info coming from your state
post #28 of 44
Thread Starter 
Kincaid, (btw everyone, sorry this has turned into a conversation between me and kincaid--I was going to PM but I thought maybe others could benefit fromt the info too...feel free to jump in!)

I checked the Minnesota statute and it says:

Subd. 2. Donor not treated as biological father. The
donor of semen provided to a licensed physician for use in
artificial insemination of a married woman other than the
donor's wife is treated in law as if he were not the biological
father of a child thereby conceived.

Notice the word "married" in there. I think our best bet will be for us to call our attorney about all this. She pretty much works with lesbians and our families exclusively, so I'm sure she'll have the scoop.

ETA: From Family Pride Coalition:
Existing State Laws. Minnesota law explicitly allows unmarried women to undergo donor insemination. The law allows a woman to obtain semen from a licensed physician for artificial insemination and strips the donor of any legal relationship to a resulting child.
post #29 of 44
That is great news The more options you have the better.
post #30 of 44
Thread Starter 
Another cool thing I just found:

http://www.gayspermbank.com/overnite.html

Basically, you can do IUI with using fresh sperm if you donor lives in another state - they overnight "male" it, hehe. But I would need to find a clinic here that can process it to take out the buffer for IUI *and* be willing to do it with fresh sperm. Pretty neato though.
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunadoula
Another cool thing I just found:

http://www.gayspermbank.com/overnite.html

Basically, you can do IUI with using fresh sperm if you donor lives in another state - they overnight "male" it, hehe. But I would need to find a clinic here that can process it to take out the buffer for IUI *and* be willing to do it with fresh sperm. Pretty neato though.
Yes! There is another kit that is even more popular called Bio-Tranz link. It is used a lot by people going the surrogate route who have a surro mom in another state. The RE who developed it lives here in my town - that is his clinic's site. It is in walking distance of my house!
You don't have to re-buy the whole package every time, you can buy more "buffer" vials and re-use the same kit. Then you ship using FedEx. You can do a home ICI or IVI insem using the buffered fresh sperm, but you can't do IUI with it unless it is washed at a clinic. Meaning it's okay in the vagina but not up into the uterus.
If you browse around on the board surromomsonline.com (do a search for Bio-Tranz, shipped sperm, etc) you can read success stories of surrogates who got pregnant at home with intended parents in another state.

If you are nervous about the viability of the shipping, here is a cool trick. You can see if the sperm are "alive" or not by putting a small amount on the lens of a ferning/saliva microscope. Or you can use a kids microscope set. I have friends who with frozen bank sperm always did a quick check on their saliva lens for psychological assurance that it was "real", LOL.
post #32 of 44
Thread Starter 
Kincaid, you're like the resident expert in getting sperm! What you just described sounds great - then we wouldn't have to even deal with a clinic. I'm not totally opposed to a clinic, but I don't want to have the whole argument with them about freezing vs. fresh if that ends up being an issue (I'm still reading that about only 1 in 6 men's sperm even survive's the freezing process at an acceptable level to the WHO).

thanks so much for all the info!

ETA: btw fed ex even has *same day* shipping now, across the country! expensive, but hey, still cheaper if you're not having to buy sperm.
post #33 of 44
Wow! That is quite a bit of information! I don't really have anything new to add, only my own story, and how we came to the decisions we did. When we first decided to TTC, we thought about asking a close friend of ours. We had casually mentioned it to him, but not really discussed it, but then changed our minds for several reasons. One, as close as we are, we were afraid that it would be difficult for him, and us, to not see him as a "father," and felt that it would be unfair to him, and that it may be more difficult for him than he would think beforehand. (does that make sense?) Also, since he really is a closer friend of mine, and people have thought things in the past with us anyway, and since I would be carrying the baby, that my dp would feel resentment at some point, or that it would be too difficult for her to separate him from his sperm. So we decided to go through a sperm bank, one that our Dr. used regularly. And we decided to go with the the non ID release donor, because, we felt it would be confusing to ds when he gets older, to tell him that donor is not "father" in any way, but he can locate and contact him. We felt it would blur the lines too much, and by taking away that possibility, we would prevent ds from having to make that kind of decision. I'm not saying it was right or wrong, but I feel it was right for us. Our ds will always know who his parents are - not the same as parents who gave us dc for adoption. Which leads me to my last point - now that we are working on the adoption - had we used a known donor, it would be a lot more difficult to get through the second parent adoption, as he would have to give up his parental rights first.
All in all - I am happy with the way that we decided to go about this. Our dr. was excellent, and talked us through each decision without any bias at all. We were very fortunate, as I needed no fertility drugs, and was able to conceive after one try. And we have been blessed with a beautiful, happy, healthy ds, who just turned 1 on Saturday, and has already changed our world, and the world of those around us, by proving that two women can raise a child just as well, or even better, than a man and a woman.
post #34 of 44
I have enjoyed reading this thread and it has sparked a lot of discussion at our house! We have always known we would use an unknown donor (we don't know anyone KD appropriate, plus not interested in any relationship with donor) but the anonymous vs. ID-release discussion has been difficult. My partner absolutely feels equal as a parent, but she has had trouble reconciling feelings about not having a biological connection to the child(ren). I think this is related to how others will perceive our family but maybe also some internal fear or conflict. This comes out when we discuss things like last names (our children will have hers) and the possibility of using an ID release donor. She doesn't want to because she doesn't want the child to feel they have another 'parent' anywhere or that the other half of baby's genetics would compete with her role as parent. I mentioned the donor sibling registry as an option for contact with donor siblings possibly without contact with donor, and she liked that better but feels if we have several children, they would have one another for the full biological connection.

I personally would prefer a completely anonymous donor but I am concerned our child would feel resentment toward us for that choice, or be troubled by a desire to track down a donor for some connection or genetic link. My partner's position on that is that our parenting is more important than genetics, and of course that is true but I think about adopted people who have fabulous parents but still feel a desire to contact biological parents. I plan to describe the donor sperm role to our child(ren) like any tissue or fluid donation. People usually don't meet others who donate bone marrow or blood, yk? With DNA, though, I recognize things may be different.

I'm sorry I'm so long-winded! This issue has been on my mind a lot lately, though. Have any of you experienced similar issues because one shares genetics with the child and one does not, and how have you worked to reconcile that? Do any of you know teens or adults who were conceived with donor sperm? How do they feel about things?
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by venustx
My partner absolutely feels equal as a parent, but she has had trouble reconciling feelings about not having a biological connection to the child(ren). I think this is related to how others will perceive our family but maybe also some internal fear or conflict...
We are BOTH not biologically related to our child, so I can't speak to the situation where one of you is and one of you isn't, but I can tell you with my whole heart that biology is really such a small part of mothering, in my opinion. I know that my partner and I both completely feel bonded and connected with our adopted daughter on both physical and spiritual levels. The physicalness surprised me, I have to say, but I think the constant, daily care that a baby requires, plus our commitment to holding and touching our daughter a lot has really bonded us physically. This might be controversial here, but the fact that we both fed our daughter also contributed to this, I think, and I wonder if anyone on the board could comment about having the non-breast feeding mother use bottles or a supplementer to feed their child - has anyone done this?

[/QUOTE]Do any of you know teens or adults who were conceived with donor sperm? How do they feel about things?[/QUOTE]

The first cohort of donor sperm babies born to lesbians are now in their early 20's and I wonder if COLAGE (a group for children of gays and lesbians) has anyone who's written about this? I know that Abigail Gardner has a relatively new book out - I haven't read it, but it might contain some information about this. As an adoptive parent, I have found it incredibly helpful to hear adult adoptees talk about their experiences.
post #36 of 44
There are a number of teen and adult DS children on the DSR list and reactions seen mixed. Some don't care and some are pretty bitter that there parents went the anon route.

When it comes to BF there is usually some issue going on and more then a few times has it turned out to be like Rosie's situation with her g/f : The non BF partner just couldn't handle it. I've even heard of a situation where the bio mom refused to BF so the non bio mom did but it didn't work out in the end as she couldn't make enough milk. She was pretty devastated and angry at the bio mom at them ending up needing to use formula.
post #37 of 44
While my partner isn't interested in inducing lactation, she is completely supportive of me bf so I am not worried about that. We plan to introduce a bottle at an appropriate time so she can feed the baby also. The bottle will contain breastmilk, so why not? I guess a lot of people feel pumping/dp feeding are unnecessary but that is a solution that will work for our family.

It helps that she really can't stand Rosie O'Donnell anyway, but my partner had a lot to say about her forcing Kelli to stop bf, and none of it was nice. I was actually proud because she was very mainstream when we met, but is now totally on board with breastfeeding, no circ and even suggested cd. I'm so proud.
post #38 of 44
Thread Starter 
venustx- My wife is also concerned about the whole "not being biologically related" issue. She feels using a known donor could make this worse, that people will think its my and the donor's baby. I don't think that will happen, especially since our potential donor lives halfway across the country. But I respect my partner's feelings and have told her that ultimately I feel she gets more say in the known donor vs. unknown donor decision. That said, we would for sure use an ID-release donor. I think every family has to make their own decision, but I stronly feel I want to give my child the option since it is available.

In my experience of knowing lesbian families who have dealt with this issue, after the baby has arrived most seem to realize that it's not really a problem - they know it's their baby! I don't personally care about the biological connection to my future child - I just want to experience pregbancy, birth, and nursing if possible. If these things weren't so important to me, I would adopt.

Diane - I like how one of the books out about lesbian conception/pregnancy/mothering addresses the breastfeeding issue. The fact is, some partners obviously feel left out, just as some dads do. I like how the author (I think it's stephanie brill) discusses ways to make it work - respecting the nursing relationship and the importance of letting the milk come in and get established, while helping couples find a workable solution and both moms examine their feelings. I also think in an adoption situation it makes perfect sense and is great that all parents can feed the baby.
post #39 of 44

Using Father in laws sperm

Has anyone ever heard of using a husbands fathers sperm?

Emily
post #40 of 44
We are using a known donor... to an extent. He was not known by us prior to us placing an ad on gayfamilyoptions.org. We placed an ad. He answered it. We had legal paperwork drawn up. As did he. We signed both sets, although with except a couple of things they were identical in nature. In his set, he had an extra point that he would have no rights no name said child. LoL. Our donor is also a donor for a local sperm bank. That was helpful in that we have access to his genetic screening, test results, sperm counts etc. We were also able to call the bank and order a donor profile. Just to have. It was also a bonus that he is willing to work with us again if in the future we wanted to have more children.
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