Resources for Potential Known Donors? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-26-2005, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH and I are considering him being a known donor to a lesbian couple we have known for many years. I'm wondering whether there are any resources to help him (and me, maybe?) as we think about the issues involved in this decision. I am very much in favor of it, but definitely want to make sure the two of us have explored things so that we have absolutely no hesitation and are prepared for any possible consequences (well, as much as possible . Thanks for any help you can give!

- Nicole

Nicole, mama to a seven year old wonder and a three year old joy and caretaker to 3 kitties and 9 hens. 

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#2 of 10 Old 08-26-2005, 12:24 PM
 
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I'm curious too. We are hoping to use a KD and I haven't been able to find that many resources for him.
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#3 of 10 Old 08-29-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth by Kim Toevs talks a lot about using known donors and the risks involved. The book "Helping the Stork" might discuss it as well but I haven't read that one.

Seriously?
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#4 of 10 Old 09-17-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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Hi,

We used a known donor and the the donation/storage facility required that all involved parties have a counseling session. My partner and I met with the psychologist for an appointment, and she also met with our donor and his wife. This was required prior to him donating any sperm for us, to make sure there weren't any issues that hadn't been discussed or hadn't come up yet. I was a really nice service. Perhaps the place you would donate through might offer a similar service?

Good luck!
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#5 of 10 Old 01-12-2006, 02:03 AM
 
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I'm reading a book right now that is written more for recipients than for donors, but it does bring up some interesting potential issues and I think would be helpful for you. The title is Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families.

We are about to embark on TTC#1 with a known donor. We didn't do any counseling, but I do think that would be a good idea, to help you think through everything. Also, keep the communication lines open and draft a contract with lawyers to protect everyone legally. The contract helps you all to be VERY clear when you may have a tendancy to gloss over things in the warm and fuzzy stage of discussions.

I have to say that I think it's great that you and your husband are open to this. It's such a wonderful gift.

Megan-39, Postpartum Doula, DW to Sacha-40 (18 years together) and Mama to Finn Alexander born 4/2/07 and Zivia Littlewood born 8/23/10

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#6 of 10 Old 01-13-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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On another list, someone recommended this to me:

Children, lesbians, and men: Men as known and anonymous sperm donors by Geoff Lobenstine. It's a resource available through the Men's Resource Center in Amherst, MA (www.mrcforchange.org) and is only $10 including shipping. Either donate online and put the name of the title in the comment box, or mail them a check at 236 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002.

From what I've heard it's great and includes the voices of many men and their experiences, so we ordered our copy pronto as we are gathering information for our potential known donor. I'll post a book report once it arrives.

Megan, I found the book you're reading online, but haven't found many reviews. How good is it?
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#7 of 10 Old 01-13-2006, 12:29 AM
 
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The book is really quite good and I've gotten a lot out of it. In many ways it has affirmed the feelings/issues that have come up for us so far and gives us some ideas for how we will talk to our children about their donor (just getting into that part of the book). I would recommend reading it if you're using a donor/surrogate of any sort. The booklet you're ordering does sound good. Please do let me know more about it when you get it. Our donor would like that I think but I'd want to pre-screen to make sure it wasn't all about men who were actually having more of a co-parenting role. Don't want to give the boy any more ideas/feelings that way!

Megan-39, Postpartum Doula, DW to Sacha-40 (18 years together) and Mama to Finn Alexander born 4/2/07 and Zivia Littlewood born 8/23/10

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#8 of 10 Old 01-13-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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I think some great resources are posting on sites like this and talking to other people, both recipients and donors. Hearing other peoples expieriences has been very helpful for us. My partner's brother (with the support of his wife) donated to us. I carried the baby of course! It has actually been a very stress-free experience for everyone. We did a lot of talking in the beginning, but after our son was born, it just felt very clear to everyone that he is our baby. We wondered if he would have crazy attachment feelings once he was born...but he really felt from the beginning, as did his wife that they were helping us have a baby. Thus far it still feels like that. Somtimes we all forget that he is the donor! But I don't think I could do what he did without more emotional strings. I think it really depends on individual personalilties in addition to lots of open, honest communication. But it can be done!!
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#9 of 10 Old 01-15-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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Hi, I just wanted to comment that since my original post to this thread, we found another known donor for our known donor to talk to. This wasn't easy to find, but luckily we did and they both happened to live in the same city and were able to meet in person. I just wanted to put out there that this was one of the most helpful things for our KD and he said it really "sealed the deal" that this was the right decision for him.

I also wanted to add that it seems often many queer women (us included) are nervous about our KD wanting "too much" contact, visits, involvement, etc. after reading things or talking to people. I just wanted to add my perspective - the KD our guy met with is *very* involved with his donor offspring, and not in a way my wife and I would be comfortable with with our KD. However, I decided that it would be better for our KD to see and hear what that was like, and then if he decided that is what HE wanted we would know he is not the right KD for us. This obviously was taking a risk, but I thought it better for him to make a really educated decision. In the end, what happened was our KD was *even more sure* and wanted to clarify that Rose and I did *not* want him to have that kind of involvement with his donor offspring. Just wanted to share our experience because it took FOREVER to find any queer women who would "let" their KD talk to our KD. Which in my opinion, is kind of weird.
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#10 of 10 Old 01-15-2006, 03:20 PM
 
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Beth, we just don't know anyone personally in our (large) city who has done this. Guess we need to hang out with our own kind more, huh? Anyway, I wanted to add that no matter what we think/say we want now as potential mothers and no matter what they (donors) think/say they want now, I believe all of that can change once there's a real life baby involved. And that's why using a known donor still scares me a bit...even though we're going to be sperm free no longer as of tomorrow.

Advice for all is to make sure you have a contract that is as legally binding as possible, using independent counsel for both parties. For us this really helped clarify to our donor that we were really truly the ONLY parents and that we could rip that child away from him completely if we so desired. Before that I think he was more having warm fuzzy feelings and not totally looking at reality and accepting the gravity of what he was about to do.

For us, negotiating the emotional stuff around using a known donor has been definately the hardest part. Since our donor does want to be involved, I think that will get even harder once we have a kiddo. I'm so hopeful that the amount of contact we decide we want will satisfy our KD and that his feelings won't be hurt. But, as we've discussed, we must do what's right for us, even at the risk of hurting him, which would suck.

Megan-39, Postpartum Doula, DW to Sacha-40 (18 years together) and Mama to Finn Alexander born 4/2/07 and Zivia Littlewood born 8/23/10

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