How did you ask your Known Donor? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Today dw and I thought of another potential known donor (we thought we'd exhausted our possibilities and were moving on to the sperm bank), someone who we actually want to ask if he'll do it (other potentials have been eliminated before reaching this stage). But HOW do we ask? He's one of our neighbors (though we're moving in a few weeks), and we don't know him especially well (which I think might make asking him easier?). Do we just knock on the door and ask if we can borrow some sperm, the way we'd ask to borrow some milk?

I'd love to know how others have approached their KDs!



Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 & 12) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#2 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 05:26 PM
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My (almost) wife and I are about to ask her brother. Like, maybe tonight! EEEK! : She's way more nervous than I am. I am basically going to say, "We want to start a family. We want to know the kind of love you have with your new daughter. Unfortunately, we need a little help in that department. So, we wanted to discuss the possibilities of you helping us with that. (gauge his reaction, possibly laugh nervously with him. lol) We are looking for someone related to Catgrrl so the baby will be biologically related to her. We want someone that would be able to maintain an Uncle relationship, even though the child would be biologically theirs. We want someone that is fine with having no say in how our child is raised, who would give up all parental rights, and someone who is willing to sign legal documents attesting this. There would be a sperm donor agreement, payment for sperm, and no legal or monetary ties to the child in the future. Please think about if you would be able to help us in this way." We're pretty sure that he'll be honored and excited to say yes! Cross your fingers for us!

Now, if it's a neighbor, the conversation might be a bit different. Maybe send him an invitation for a backyard BBQ at your place, and then ask? Or set up a time to chat, rather than just knocking on the door. But, eventually, I would say "Hey, ever thought about being a sperm donor? Want to help us have a family?" And then tell him what arrangement you're looking for.

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#3 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 06:11 PM
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Well we asked two my partner's brother and one a friend. We had planned out exactly what we were going to say to my BIL and my partner was going to do most of the talking since she is his sib, but that didn't really work out. We told him we had something important to talk with him about (we were alone with him at our house having dinner) then my partner proceeded to um and ah for what seemed like an eternity. So I jumped in and came right out with it. He was flattered and happy that my partner wasn't about to break some really horrible news as that is what it appeared she was going to do. He, of course said he would need to think about it, returned to Seattle, and then took an very long month to reply. He did it in a very long letter explaining all the soul searching he went through and in the end decided he couldn't do it for two reasons: 1. he wasn't sure he would still feel like just the uncle and not have fatherly feelings. and 2. he had major concerns about how the rest of the family would react. In hind sight I am so glad that didn't work out.

The other was a not-super-close friend. He had presented himself as an option about 1 1/2 before we ended up formerly asking him. We tried for over a year with annonymous donor sperm and that was a no-go so decided to change paths. We invited him over so it was obvious what we were going to ask him so again I just came out with it and he said yes on the spot (clearly had thought it over quite a bit) and then we laid out what our expectations were as far as any future role he may or may not play.

Now that our son is 3 1/2 I am so glad the known donor route worked out for us. He has a minimal role with the donor and the donors family (we are actually going to spend the weekend with the third Grandma this weekend).

Good luck to you!
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#4 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 06:34 PM
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DP and I had her brother over for dinner. After dinner, DP just asked him straight out. "We've been thinking about having children and weighing our options for who a potential donor might be and wanted to know if you are at all interested." We didn't talk much about specifics the first night, just let it have a chance to sink in for him. We got together about a week later with the express intention of talking more about specifics. It worked well for us.

If we end up having to use a different donor, we'll probably ask our next door neighbor. Not sure how that would go exactly. He knows we are trying with DP's brother as the donor, so that might make at least getting the conversation started easier. But I expect we would just say it straight out again.
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#5 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 06:52 PM
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DP told her best friend that we were thinking about kids and that we were on the prowl for a KD. The best friend then discussed this with her devastatingly awesome boyfriend and he/they offered to help us out. Of everything that they are doing for us, the thing I'm most grateful for is the fact that they spared us the awkwardness of having to ask! :
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#6 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 06:58 PM
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Our KD is DP's brother. Basically she wrote a note and stuck it on his front door (he was out of town for the weekend, no cell phone). It went something along these lines:

We want to have a baby. Will you help us? Come over to talk when you get home!

Probably wouldn't work too well with a neighbor though

Mommy to a wonderfully passionate little one
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#7 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 07:38 PM
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My DP's cousin is married and has kids and one day we were hanging out and we got to talking about how we have wanted another child for years and his wife said, "why doesn't Steven give you his soldiers"? We giggled uncomfortably, yet, hopeful, and he said, "yeah, why not"? He ended up being serious and we started trying on my next cycle! So I guess, we didn't even have to ask.

A few years ago, Missy asked her boss (who is really a great guy) if he would do it, but he said no. I guess everyone is different.

I don't know how you would ask your neighbor....I guess invite him over for dinner and ask.

Anyway, good luck in all you do! I hope you get lucky
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#8 of 21 Old 07-25-2008, 10:08 PM
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Our loveliest of donors offered to do it for Katie before she and I were even together! Once we were together, he reminded us frequently that he was ready whenever we were. I think it goes along with his MO, which is that he was put on the planet to help us make a family. I kid you not. Amazing, he is.

But, when it was actually time to ask formally and talk logistics, we were 3500 miles apart. So we both got on the phone together. Katie and I both drank wine to calm our nerves. We talked for a long time about what we all wanted besides his sperm, which was really important.

I like the dinner/BBQ idea, or perhaps a playdate at a park or something. Something informal. I think it's totally fine to acknowledge the potential awkardness of the conversation, as it's not one that many people are a part of in their lives. Then just ask. I guess the only other piece is to really prepare yourselves for whatever answer he gives.

Best of luck. I'm rootin' for you all out here...


Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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#9 of 21 Old 07-26-2008, 02:39 PM
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We asked dp brother over dinner. We prepared by tring to think of the questions he would have and having responses ready like how we would legally set things up, the testing he would have to go through, etc. He mulled it over for about 2 weeks and said yes. The funny part was that after the yes we were all extremely shy and didn't try for a couple of months. Also, it was Mardi Gras and we all really wanted to enjoy it. The other thing to consider is thatour kd is in a longterm relationship and his girlfriend didn't want him to do it, but he did and we have a beautiful set of twins that are 13 months. One looks like dp and the other like me! Don't take it personally if they say no, it is a huge decision.
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#10 of 21 Old 07-26-2008, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by megincl View Post
Our loveliest of donors offered to do it for Katie before she and I were even together!
The same is true for us. Our KD is someone that DP met while they were both doing their undergrad. He's been her friend ever since, and offered to be a sperm donor for her some 10 years ago now. He was the best man at our wedding and we see him often even though he lives thousands of miles away, so it was really easy to start the conversation with him when the time came to get down to the specifics.

The only thing I wish is that he was still in grad school now instead of the working world. When we conceived E, it was easy for him to fly to see us on whatever days of the week were best in my cycle. Now we're pretty much limited to long weekends - it'll be earlier in my cycle when we try this time around, but I hope it'll still work out.

Good luck to you in your approach. Please do let us know how it goes.

lemurmommies, loving wife to ruvalokiteshvara, proud moms to our intact son E (12/06), and mourning the loss of our daughter Noelle (stillborn 12/08).
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#11 of 21 Old 07-26-2008, 10:41 PM
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we initially wanted to use a friend of mine that i had known for a long time and in fact we had been in a band together. we asked him when he was visiting from out of town with his wife (ex-lesbian, don't ask...). he said he was honoured but would have to think about it and get back to us. he finally said yes and we started to put our plan into motion...only to discover that he and his wife had been trying to get pregnant with no success and that she was having fertility testing. the next we heard they were moving to adoption. it just seemed like it would be super awkward for me to have his biological child when his wife could not and we decided to use a sperm bank instead.

roll forward to 2008, our son is about to turn 1 and they are still waiting to adopt and are moving to international adoption now.

i wish things would have worked out better with our kd situation but we didn't want to take the chance of visitation rights etc...


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#12 of 21 Old 07-27-2008, 06:26 AM
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Known Donor, to be or not to be.

“We have a question to ask you. We just want you to know you can feel free to say no, and we will not be hurt and it will not change our relationship or our love for you. “

“Well as you know, we have been thinking about having children. We have thought about this a lot.”
“We were wondering if you would be interested in being our donor. Not a parent, but a known donor?”
“Yes, Definitely.”

This conversation was the beginning of what turned our best friend into our family.

When embarking on our own biological child creation we read many warnings about not using known donor sperm because of the legal concerns. Yet, we struggled what our future child would think of not knowing their biological father. Legally a known donor could always try to get custody or visitation of the child. Likewise, a biological mother could try to get a biological father to pay child support.

We fearfully read all the legal warnings. What if our donor tried to take our child away from us? That wasn’t the arrangement we wanted to create. Instead we hoped to have our child know who their biological father was, without ever losing any parental rights to raise the child as we desired. Likewise a child can only have two legal parents. So if your biological donor has rights then the child, then the partner, or non-biological parent cannot obtain any guardianship rights.

We weighed the pros and cons and decided there was one person in our life that we could consider as our child’s biological father. We figured he would say no, and then we would buy sperm. We rehearsed how to ask him over and over. We were not asking him to be a father or a parent, but to be a known donor. We never expected him to say yes. He did. In fact, he said yes so quickly that we had to slow him down and tell him to think it over for a few weeks. We went on to describe the process he would have to follow:

Steps to Becoming a Known Donor:
1.Decide if the parents are on the same page. (For purposes of this article parents will mean the people raising the child. We do not consider our donor a parent. We consider him to be a biological father.)
2.Do you agree about what the child will know about the biological non-parent?
3.Do you agree on visitation if any? (If the child isn’t going to visit the biological parent, why use known donors?)
4.How they will be addressed (by name or other reference like mom, dad etc.)?
5.Donors, are you ready to relinquish control to these parents and let them raise your biological child as they choose – unless you arrange for something different?
6.Do you agree on how the birth certificate will read? (Ours only has the birth mother’s name because in Wisconsin same-sex couples cannot be named as joint parents. Our donor is never named in print.)

7. Get tested – everyone who is biologically involved should be free of every sort of sexually transmitted disease. Talk this over with your health care professional. Our donor also refrained from sex with partners during the whole testing process and the entire insemination process. He shared copies of his test results with us.

Next, we urge you to get the semen tested for morphology and motility. This test helps you determine whether or not your sperm concentration is above the minimum standard of 20 million/ml established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Most men with fertility problems have a sperm concentration below 20 million/mL. We have known of folks who inseminated for a year without success who did not do this test. How sad to invest a year of your life counting days, tracking ovulation only to have sperm that wasn’t able to impregnate. Our doctor wrote our donor a prescription for this test.

8. Draw up legal paperwork. Talk to a lawyer who specializes in family law for the LGBT community. Our lawyer had us pay the donor for his sperm through her office. Then she had him sign an agreement that he was John Doe. John Doe then signed another agreement saying he would not sue for any visitation or parental rights. We signed saying we would never demand any financial payment or support. These documents are kept private--never seen by anyone. I urge you to do them because the documents invoke important conversations. They let us all get on the same page. Your child is worth that effort.

Today our donor sees our son once a week. They have a great relationship and we all have richer lives because of the great science experiment.
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#13 of 21 Old 07-30-2008, 01:40 PM
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Our super awesome donor asked my partner why we didn't have kids, and she told him because we didn't have sperm. She said she had been trying for years to get me pregnant on her own, but no luck. She told him about the frozen times we tried, and her cousin who had offered to help (but then we all felt weird). So he came back to work the next day and said he had talked to his wife and she said that she didn't care what he did with his 'stuff', it was up to him. Love that man, he is SUCH a gem.:
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#14 of 21 Old 08-06-2008, 02:28 AM
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Our KD is a friend of mine from school so I got to do the asking. I think it took me about eight weeks to screw up my courage. He and I are both pretty closed off so we spent a lot of time talking about nothing. Then after a long phone conversation I finally asked him. He pretty much said "yes" right away but he had to ask DH. Now we have the most beautiful little boy and an amazing friend as well. It's great.

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#15 of 21 Old 08-12-2008, 06:22 PM
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Thanks for this thread. It is something we are dealing with right now too. We have a couple of people in mind, but are really unsure how to launch the conversation. I'll be watching this thread with much interest!
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#16 of 21 Old 08-13-2008, 11:14 AM
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We also asked over dinner--our known donor is a close friend. We did tell him we had something to talk about at dinner, so we were all a little nervous! He said yes right away, but we didn't talk about details at that point, but asked him to think about it for a week, and then we could talk about details and questions we might have for each other (well, if I remember correctly, we did mention the first dinner that we didn't have coparenting in mind, but an "uncle" role for him) It's all worked out wonderfully--we have a 5 y.o. and now we're 21 weeks pregnant again, and he and his partner stuck with us for a 12-week miscarriage in-between. We used to live in the same city, but now we're on other sides of the country, so logistically it was pretty challenging, but emotionally very rewarding.

We've had to have very frank conversations about sex, sperm, my cycles, insemination logistics, so it's good to be mentally prepared for all that!
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#17 of 21 Old 11-20-2008, 12:25 AM
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I'm so glad some asked this.i new here and has been trying to find a KD for sometime and my DH don't really know alot of men so right now it's hard.but reading this thread has gave me some ideas(kinda).
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#18 of 21 Old 11-28-2008, 03:50 AM
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dp and i were at a house warming party at her sister's place. we were talking to a guy about random stuff and dp started talking about us ttc in a few months. she said we were ready and just needed to ind a donor. out o the blue he offered. he told us that he was supposed to be a donor for a friend of his but she changed her mind. he was quite excited to be able to give us such a gift. so now we are working on legal stuff and cycle stuff. hopeully in a few months we will be ready to ttc.
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#19 of 21 Old 12-06-2008, 08:25 PM
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I actually asked one of my friends if her husband knew of someone where he works who would be interested (he works on a college campus) and she wrote back almost instantly and said that she and her husband would be willing to donate and that they wouldn't even charge us. I hadn't thought a straight woman would ever volunteer her hubby...but it was great!
It was slightly awkward going to their house to get the goods at first, but now it's just funny.

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#20 of 21 Old 12-22-2008, 01:23 AM
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our dear friends were discussing their quest for a kd, but they found potential health problems with a friend of theirs, so i offered dh up as kd. dh agreed b/c he has always wanted many kids ASAP and i wasn't ready at the time. we had many conversations and they drew up paperwork which we had notarized. dh's name was left off the bc and he signed over his parental rights so they were able to get a 2nd parent adoption. we are so happy everything worked out well and have grown closer through the process. we live around the block from our friends, so we see them often. we look forward to donating to them again in the future (hopefully after we have a baby).

Angel (30), dh (31) (kd to H. 4/25/07 & K. 5/23/11), Vladimir 10/17/09 & Nikolai 7/6/11

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#21 of 21 Old 01-02-2009, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
Today dw and I thought of another potential known donor (we thought we'd exhausted our possibilities and were moving on to the sperm bank), someone who we actually want to ask if he'll do it (other potentials have been eliminated before reaching this stage). But HOW do we ask? He's one of our neighbors (though we're moving in a few weeks), and we don't know him especially well (which I think might make asking him easier?). Do we just knock on the door and ask if we can borrow some sperm, the way we'd ask to borrow some milk?

I'd love to know how others have approached their KDs!


I just asked "hey .. you got any spare sperm"....He laughed for a long time .. then said ...sure
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