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Old 12-05-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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I'm in Australia and not 100% clear on US laws but I think in states where there is second parent adoption, all rights and responsibilities are automatically relinquished by the donor.

PleasantStreets - I don't agree entirely with what you've said - I can imagine a situation where prospective parents would prefer not to use their savings to get pregnant so that they can ensure a reasonable cushion for emergency situations once the child/ren are born. I also think that you need to consider class in queer babymaking situations. Everyone who has the love and commitment to raising children should be able to. As queers, we consider and plan babymaking / child rearing with such detail and intensity and should be trusted to make our own responsible decisions. If someone on a low income wants to have a child, they should be supported and encouraged in doing so. Their finances and associated struggles are their own business as is the case with poor hetero parents.
For the second parent adoption - yes, the parental rights are relinquished in the adoption, but you want to make sure the sperm donor is willing to relinquish them. If he won't give up his legal rights/responsibilities, the second parent adoption won't happen.

I agree with what you say about $$$.

I used to have full coverage through my union for fertility treatments, including sperm. I was in Canada then, and it cost $700 per month for two vials, and that was with the cheap (local) shipping. If I had bought the sperm through the fertility clinic instead of through my doctor's office, they add a markup for a bunch of tests (sperm counts, mostly) that they run - $1100 + $300 for two IUIs = $1400 per month.

That would have bankrupted me. I know that kids cost money, but here's the thing - I would rather toss that $1400 per month in the bank and have it buy me an extra month off work, a month of daycare, or whatever.

In three tries, I spent about $6,000 including transportation, sperm, OPKs, medication, IUIs, semen analysis, etc. That was on top of what was covered by provincial health care. I got almost all of it back, and I'm not including time off work, though I only missed a couple of hours here and there. I was only working part time as a nanny, but I was a full time grad student and it all went down in the summer months. It didn't have an impact on my teaching, though it did impact my work time, but as an academic, that doesn't translate into dollars as easily, though it's not without value.

However, financial reasons aren't the main reason that I've changed from a anonymous donor to looking for a known donor.

I'm now looking (in a half-hearted way - let's say I'm open to beginning negotiations if I meet the right guy, and the search will ramp up in May or so) for a known donor. That was my first choice anyway, but I had gone with the sperm bank and an anonymous donor because of various factors. While cost is not my primary consideration, it's certainly a factor, and it shouldn't be underestimated how much of a role cost can play.

Of course, class factors as well. I know a few middle-class with working-class roots families who chose a known donor in part because of cost - while they had the money, they couldn't fathom spending it on sperm. I think similarly.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:10 AM
 
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I had a known donor and I spent a LOT of money on sperm. We gave him $100 or $150 per "donation" into a ziploc, then we gave him $1000 when we had a viable pregnancy at 12 weeks, then another $1500 when the baby was born, when he signed the termination of parental rights. (I may have the numbers a little off but if so they're a little low.) We considered this a business deal, but we wanted to know our donor at least somewhat. We met him/asked tons of questions/got to know him like maybe five times before the donations began. We also had him tested, his mom and he completed a full physical family history, and we made absolutely sure that he wouldn't change his mind by picking someone who, essentially, saw sperm as waste and just needed the money for to keep his car running. DP and I had very experienced queer lawyers helping us with all the appropriate paperwork, and he signed a contract before we got started, we tracked all money spent on the sperm and "signed for reciept", he signed the termination of parental rights, and DP adopted our daughter.

I am SO GLAD we chose a known donor, and I think of him fondly quite often, though I haven't seen him since the last time I picked up swimmers in his college parking lot 18 months ago. In part, we chose this donor because he looks a little like my cousins, and and he seemed familiar to us. We had a lot of donors outside our race, and though we considered them, DP and I are both of the same race and ethnic backgrounds and we wanted our baby to look like she would "fit" with either of us. It's egocentric but, to be honest, this entire process is egocentric, for gays or straights, it's just that straight people don't have to get all angsty about why they chose their partners with whom they'll make kids.

Do what's right for you. That said, consider that paying a known donor will make it MUCH more attractive to them, particularly in a college town. PM me if you want the details of what we did/how we worked it out.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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B]PleasantStreets[/B] - I don't agree entirely with what you've said - I can imagine a situation where prospective parents would prefer not to use their savings to get pregnant so that they can ensure a reasonable cushion for emergency situations once the child/ren are born. I also think that you need to consider class in queer babymaking situations. Everyone who has the love and commitment to raising children should be able to. As queers, we consider and plan babymaking / child rearing with such detail and intensity and should be trusted to make our own responsible decisions. If someone on a low income wants to have a child, they should be supported and encouraged in doing so. Their finances and associated struggles are their own business as is the case with poor hetero parents.



It takes much more than love and commitment to raise a child. Money is a real, true, (ugly??) part of raising a child from the time they come home to childhood illnesses to educating them and beyond. I do not believe any person/couple should have a child/ren out of pure desire without realizing all that is involved with raising said child/ren. It is not the responsibility of everyone else (public assistance, etc) to raise a child. I am all for extended family and friends being part of the child/ren's life and being involved in raising the child--that's who parent's should be able to go to when they need support. Just seems extremely selfish to think "I want a child so I will have one--and who cares about the reality of the situation"
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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Geez, we're not going to get into right wing classist diatribes in the Queer Parenting forum now, are we? Let it go. Just because someone can't afford upwards of $1000/month to get pregnant doesn't mean they don't deserve a child or they haven't thought it through and other people have the right to harp on them and blahblahblah...

This kind of rhetoric in here I find extremely disheartening. To say the least.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I said it before and I'll say it again....... IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

We know kids cost a lot. If we were straight this wouldn't even be an issue. Why spend ALL that money *IF* we don't need to. And besides... we want our child/ren to know where they came from... the other part of them. We want someone that we can reference to them... so they don't feel as if something is missing... or heaven forbid if something was medically wrong and we needed info or something that we couldn't provide as we wouldn't BOTH be the birth parents. I know people who have donated to banks and honestly... it's frightening. I'm not trying to say banks are horrible. I'm not even against banks... it's not even completely out of the question... that's why I stressed the word PREFER.

Banks are what works for some people and I think thats great. It's not what we PREFER and it's not about MONEY. We have money... maybe not thousands of dollars... and if we did... that's not how we would want to spend it if we could help it. My insurance covers lots of things but fertility stuff is NOT one of them. This entire process is all at our own expense.

And if I'm going to pay someone to help us... I'd at least want to pay someone I know... to help that person out too. No amount of money is enough to reimburse someone for helping us so greatly... I don't even think there are words for it.

Alright... I'm going to step off my "it's not about money" soap box now.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:58 AM
 
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PleasantStreets:

One of the many reasons we chose a KD was the financial issue. It isn't that we don't have money. We realize that children are expensive, however one factor was hey-we can get sperm for free, or we can pay 400-1000 dollars a month for who knows how long. We would rather spend that money on college savings, or daycare or anything. Of course there were other reasons. We want our child to know his heritage, and to know about his family tree. We have met so many adopted adults who are seeking their birth families-that we made this choice.

Not that we didn't pay-we took our KD out to lunch for about a gazillion times while we negotiated a contract. We also paid for him to get tested for genetic diseases as well as STD's to the tune of about 800 dollars. Also we are now paying about 2500 dollars for a second parent adoption. I do know that this is significantly less than what other people who TTC for over 6 months with frozen sperm pay.

I know kids are expensive, however just because I chose to not spend hundreds of dollars a month on sperm, does not mean I don't know the cost of raising a child. Straight people get to just have sex and get a baby. Just because I had to work at it-does not mean I don't get to raise my child and not have my ability to provide for him questioned.

Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FtMPapa View Post


I used to have full coverage through my union for fertility treatments, including sperm. I was in Canada then, and it cost $700 per month for two vials, and that was with the cheap (local) shipping. If I had bought the sperm through the fertility clinic instead of through my doctor's office, they add a markup for a bunch of tests (sperm counts, mostly) that they run - $1100 + $300 for two IUIs = $1400 per month.
Hi FtMPapa!

I'm mainly lurking in this forum since my partner and I are not going to start ttc for one or two more years (I can't wait!!) Anyways, I'm very interested in learning more about what you said about your union covering fertility treatments (we are in Canada too)

Thank you!!
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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Hi FtMPapa!

I'm mainly lurking in this forum since my partner and I are not going to start ttc for one or two more years (I can't wait!!) Anyways, I'm very interested in learning more about what you said about your union covering fertility treatments (we are in Canada too)

Thank you!!
It was a negotiated benefit through CUPE 3903 - the graduate student union at York University (Toronto).

Some extended health plans cover fertility treatments, what's not covered by OHIP (for me, in Ontario). OHIP covered the actual fertility clinic - things like bloodwork, ultrasounds, and an HSG test, with no questions asked. I didn't present myself as being infertile, I had never tried to get pregnant before, and I didn't have a history of having unprotected sex with sperm bearers.

My extended health through my union covered the costs associated with Clomid and other drugs, the costs of the sperm and the inseminations. It's very unusual to have that kind of coverage, as far as I know. I think the reason we had it was that it's a self-administered plan - basically a pool of money that the union uses to fund its members for things not covered through our more typical extended health plan through green shield or blue cross or whomever it is, I don't remember now.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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Well, I can't say that I really have a good reason. I just think that if I had a choice I'd prefer someone of the same race. Not to say I'm not open to other options but I'm not in that situation. If I were I'd definitely weigh my decisions more carefully. Sorry, I hope what I said wasn't offensive.
Oh, I wasn't offended, just curious.

turtle and I are choosing to use a donor of another race than we are. We both appear to be run-of-the-mill white chicks and, honestly, we both think that there are more than enough white people in the world already.

There's more to it, of course, but that's our stock answer at this point.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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Oh, I wasn't offended, just curious.

turtle and I are choosing to use a donor of another race than we are. We both appear to be run-of-the-mill white chicks and, honestly, we both think that there are more than enough white people in the world already.

There's more to it, of course, but that's our stock answer at this point.
Wow.

You know that there are far more people in the world who are not white than there are white people, right?

I'm interested to hear the more to it part, race is something I've gone around and around on with various friends, from my friend who said "But pick an ethnic donor...ethnic babies are the cutest!"

(You know, because I'm not at all ethnic, white though I am. And because that's not at all a completed messed up notion.)

Another friend who was shocked when I said I would consider a known donor who wasn't white. She argued that my child would already have so much to deal with that being mixed race wasn't going to be fair, even if it did mean having a relationship with hir other parent.

To her mind, it would be Ok if I was partnered with an Asian woman to have an Asian child, but not if I was single.

Race is such a complicated issue - I wish our community could have more insightful conversations about it. We are so intentional in our creation of family, and race needs to be part of that conversation, especially for white folk.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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Yes, I know there are more people in the world who are not white than who are.

For each of us individually, there's never been a question that our kids wouldn't be white, for all sorts of reasons. It's not a "Oh, brown babies are CUTE!" thing at all, it's more about what we feel we're called to contribute to this world and what we're called to do while we're in it.

I'm happy to say more about it, but I'm not sure what more you want to hear? Are there particular questions you have?

ETA: Maybe we should take it to another thread, so as not to hijack this one. Thread is here.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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Geez, we're not going to get into right wing classist diatribes in the Queer Parenting forum now, are we?...This kind of rhetoric in here I find extremely disheartening. To say the least.
Can I just say a big : to thismama? What world did I just walk into?

We chose a known donor for many reasons. At the time, we didn't have much cash, but we knew we wanted a kid. So a friend donated, his tests were covered, we paid him $0.00 (we live in Canada, we couldn't pay him anyhow) and then went the semi cheapy route to adopt our kid ($1000, not that cheap, but better than $3000 we've heard quoted). Our next kid, we will do the same. We have a new KD, we will pay him nothing, AND, now that we can put our names on the birth certificate automatically in Ontario, we are going to do so and just have him sign away his parental rights on a form we got from our first adoption and have it notarized by a lawyer friend. We know things can get sticky, but we've had pretty good talks with our donors, and we realize that anything can change at any time (from our side, from our kid's side, from their side).

And yes, kids cost money, but we have in no way shape or form spent more than $100 on our kid every month. Our childcare is subsidized (ooo! we are letting the state pay for our kid, bad bad parents) he wears a lot of hand me downs, we use cloth diapers, he breastfeeds and we made his baby food (he now eats what we eat) he has minimal toys, most are hand me downs or paid for by nanas and papas and we have universal health care (thank goodness). Our big ticket stuff was purchased by friends and we found as many people with babies as we could so we could rotate clothes, toys etc. We've finally landed better jobs, so we are actually a bit more financially stable, but if we weren't we'd use as many state resources as we could. I'm not sure why there is this idea that poor people make bad parents.

As for the race question, I totally want to talk about it. I really agree that as queer folks we often get overly critiqued about race choices because it is seen as more of a 'choice', but we all know straight people are doing the same. So what do you do? We are an interracial couple, and we initially wanted a mixed race donor, so that our kid could 'match' us as we said. After investigating a whole bunch of internalized racism on my part, I realized how I've been conditioned to prefer light skin and this is what I wanted my child to look like (light skin, "good" hair). We ended up with a white donor (and a black donor for my partner) and have now fallen into the seemingly problematic need to 'match' our kids with our family (we have a light skinned kid, who, as we all know, could have come out any shade). I don't know - I certainly do not have all the answers, but I do know that it wasn't an easy decision for me as a black person TTC and using a white donor. I'm wondering how others who are differently racialized have thought through it (those of colour, those who are not of colour).
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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Okay, I know others have said it, but I feel like I need to comment on this as well...

HAVING CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE A CLASS PRIVILEGE.

Period.

It does cost money to raise children, but it also costs some queers a lot more money to make children, and I think that we as a community need to be very careful about not making family-making a privilege of those who can pay for it.

So many people have made very good points about this, and I'm not going to repeat them all. And yes, I know that for the original posters, money wasn't the issue. But for many people it is, and I think it's really legitimate to not want to start the process of parenting $6,500 in the hole (as I am, after six months of sperm banking it). I'm a grad student, and I actually borrowed student loans to pay for my sperm. Most people don't have this option, and I don't think that means that they shouldn't get to be parents.

I'm not going to keep going on here. I just want to make a request that we remember in these forums that not all of us are middle-class, and that doesn't mean that we shouldn't get to be parents.

-That crazy commie queer single mama who plans to insure her kid through the state subsidized health care program, if the president doesn't dismantle it first...

A, partner to J, mama to O, now with a new username!

Building queer family since 2008!

(and oh, did i mention we're having twins?!?)

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Old 12-10-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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I'm a lower income single mama by choice. Crazy commie too Angela!
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