Anonymous sperm donor or known donor? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Did you choose an Anonymous sperm donor or a Known sperm donor?
Anonymous donor 13 46.43%
Known donor 15 53.57%
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#31 of 40 Old 10-21-2012, 01:13 PM
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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.  

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#32 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 12:28 AM
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Having your name on the birth certificate does not do anything in terms of legal guardianship. If the non-biological parent wants any legal rights with the child, they need to go through a step-parent adoption process.

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#33 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 11:18 AM
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone else wonder/worry that even a 2nd parent adoption wouldn't hold up in a deep-red state with a homophobic judge? We just finished ours (yay!) yesterday, and I'm grateful to have it granted, grateful to have both of our names on the birth certificate, and not expecting to ever need to fall back on it, but I just wonder if someone was really dead-set on denying parental rights if they could get around the second parent adoption because they feel like being jerks. Anyone have any knowledge?

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#34 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 12:16 PM
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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.

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#35 of 40 Old 11-16-2012, 08:16 PM
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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.

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#36 of 40 Old 11-17-2012, 08:57 PM
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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. 

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#37 of 40 Old 11-19-2012, 07:16 PM
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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. 

For greater things are yet to come...

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#38 of 40 Old 11-19-2012, 08:02 PM
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I just did my first insem with a KD this weekend, so no real idea how it's all going to work out, but I can tell you why I chose to pursue a family via this route. Here are my reasons, in no particular order:

1. Time and Money
Since I'm lucky enough--seriously, incredibly privileged--to have access to fresh sperm (well, a willing, if long-distance KD), I hope it will give me more flexibility in the TTC process (multiple insems, longer sperm life, etc.) and hopefully save money as well.
(Oh, and I know plenty of folks have already responded to IVFwomen, but I gotta feed the troll a little: I absolutely don't have the money for frozen sperm, and I think I'll be an awesome mom, for so many reasons that have nothing to do with money. I'm 34 and know I need to get my butt in gear if I want to have a good chance of getting pregnant without wracking up a ton of debt for ART as my fertility starts to diminish. I can't wait until I'm absolutely financially stable to start a family. It's that impossible bar that straight people don't have to hurdle. Also, not only is it completely classist to say that if you can't afford sperm, you can't afford a baby, it's a ridiculous argument. If I spend $10,000, or $50,000, or much more, on getting pregnant, that's $10,000, $50,000, or more that I won't have when it's time to pay for childcare or start my kid's college fund. That's not the financial choice for my life or my kid's future that I want to make.)

2) Family
My mom died unexpectedly when I was 27, and her death left me feeling very much like my whole family was gone in one fell swoop, because she was my tether to the family. Losing her made me really realize for the first time how important it is to have people in your camp, as many as possible, who love you as much as possible. J, my KD, is already very much a part of my chosen family, and my kid will be part of that family as well. He isn't going to be a parent, but he loves me and he's going to love my kid. And love is a good thing, even when it's not the easiest route, when it requires hard work and negotiation and communication. I want my kid to be bathed in that love, and this is one way to expand his/her reserves.

3) Trust
J is a really close friend. I trust him not to come back and demand custody, or condemn my lifestyle, or something like that, because he loves me and wants me to have the family I've always wanted. I've heard the horror stories that we all have of bad stuff happening with KDs changing their minds, etc., and I completely acknowledge that's a risk. But that's a risk for everyone who has a baby with a partner, biological or romantic. It's an acceptable risk in this instance, because I trust him, because we've talked through all of the issues we could possible anticipate (the donor contract, even though it's non-binding, helped with this, because it moved things from the frame of "I'm afraid you'll steal my baby" into a "here are some things that we need to consider (even if we would never do such a thing)" framework), because it's clear we're both dealing in good faith, and because in the event that something comes up, we'll work through it like people who love each other.

4) Rocking genetic material
My KD is awesome--he's whip-smart, funny, kind and genuine, and trying to make the world a better place every day. He doesn't want kids of his own, and I think those are genetics that deserve to be passed on. If a kid comes of this whole endeavor, and it's half as smart, funny, geeky and special as J, I'm going to be a very happy and proud mom.

5) Making our families, our ways (political?)
I'm very glad that folks who need or want anonymous donor sperm can get it (For instance, I don't have a partner whose legal rights could/would be jeopardized by DIY at-home insems using KD sperm.), but there's a long history of structures and processes around gamete donorship and adoption being created to obscure facts and create a new reality that privileges a heteronormative and exclusive view of family and parenthood. So, a part of me takes great joy in the possibility that I might be doing something transgressive while pursuing a goal of having a kid that could certainly be viewed as heteronormative in the extreme. My family is going to be messy and complicated and queer, and that's a-okay with me.

37, hoping to have a new member of the family in 2016, to join my queer clan: Me
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, Things 1&2
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, my long-distance KD/cheerleader (the guy who's been telling everyone what a great mom I'm going to be)
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, and the rest of the superheroes and sidekicks
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#39 of 40 Old 03-22-2013, 09:52 AM
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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.

Loving stepmom to daughters aged 13 and 17. Naturally birthed my littlest one 6/21/13.

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#40 of 40 Old 03-23-2013, 05:07 AM
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We might have used a known donor if we'd had a very close friend who we trusted, who didn't have major addictions, and who we didn't mind potentially processing with over time. We didn't have that person in our lives so we chose a WTBK donor from a bank. We do think it is vital that our children have the option to get more info from the donor. They may have no interest but if they do we wanted them to have that option. We passed up a donor who was a remarkable match to my partner bc he was only a "may be" willing to be known and we didn't want to take that risk. The good news is that everyone gets the right child for them. Our donor is "perfect" bc our children are "perfect" for us. (and I have no doubt that that would have been true with any donor.) As our oldest grows we continue to feel really great about the choices that we made bc they were right for OUR family.
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