How to ask a (not so close) friend to be a sperm donor? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 14 Old 03-31-2010, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A little backstory (the below post was copied from another board I have been on for a while...): I am a 27 year old lesbian in NY, and my wife is 28...When I was 23 I was treated for a bone tumor, and that has left me relatively infertile. With medical support, I can make 1-2 eggs a month (we don't know what happens without medical support), and I've done 2 IVFs with cryobank frozen sperm so far with no luck (one egg each time). My docs tell me that in a situation such as mine, they would often recommend switching the IVF to just "timed intercourse" with my husband, however...yeah, not gonna work! So, we've been thinking more and more about finding a KD, and have posted on some message boards looking for a fresh anonymous donor, but those have been sketching me out. OK, on to the post, and I apologize for its length:


OK, so last night I had this VERY vivid dream about my life about 8 years in the future. Basically, the dream itself was pretty short and basic, but it was one of those dreams where you wake up knowing a lot of backstory that happened "before" the dream...

Basically, in the dream, DW and I had 2 kids (one 5, one 7), and we were at our friend J's house for their piano lessons. We were all chatting and having a good time, and Jody's landlord (also the organist at our church and the director of the chorus I am in) came down from his apartment, and the kids ran from J's piano yelling "Uncle G!" and gave him a big hug. In general, everyone was super happy and it was spring/early summer, and it was just awesome.

The backstory that I "knew" in the dream: G was our sperm donor, and was incredibly happy because he never had a chance to have kids, and was glad to be "uncle G", and our intention was to tell the kids when they were old enough to ask, basically.

This is ridiculously weird. DW and I were talking about how we wish we had someone that we knew who we would be OK with asking, and who could possibly be ok with knowing his bio kids, but not parenting them. We sent out requests to websites dedicated to sperm and egg donors for infertile couples, and got a few "hits", but mostly from guys who seem to get their jollies from making as many kids as possible (lots of cut & paste form letters, most of which say "well, I prefer natural insemination, as that always has the best results"), and one guy who looks disturbingly like my dad, but who seems to be a conservative and has not responded to me since I sent him an email asking if he'd be willing to give sperm for Rachael too in a few years. And since that brief foray into the world of weeding out sketchy guys who want to give us sperm, we're not truly comfortable with that, I think. Either I don't want to know him at all (truly anonymous donor--either through a bank or a friend of a friend kind of situation), or I want him to be a friend.

So...I have no idea why I had this dream about G specifically. He's absolutely freakin' adorable, and yes, I totally have a crush on him, lol. He's not really what we were looking for in terms of appearance at all, except that he's tall-ish. He's about 5'11"-6' tall, dark hair, older (51), and, well, we don't know him all that well. From what I know about him, he's very clean (both ways: he cleans a lot, and seems to live very simply and healthily), likes cats, is shy, funny, an AMAZING pianist/organist, a great landlord, and one of the sweetest guys I've ever met (and yes, he's a big ol' queer). But I would have no idea how to ask him, without TOTALLY feeling wicked weird about it. DW agrees, though, that the more we think about it, out of all the guys we know, we could actually see him as an "Uncle G."

I don't really know how in the world I would even think about asking him! That, and he's only a few years younger than my parents (although he doesn't seem it), so I'm not really sure why this keeps bothering me. Any advice? I'm posting here since I can't ask my friends who know him--goodness knows it would spread through the church like wildfire, lol.

It does not help at all that all 3 of us (DW, G, and I) are somewhat socially awkward and incredibly shy. He seems to be quite the firecracker once you get to know him, and I am working on it, but it takes a while to get there, and he and I (not DW, she's not as involved in the chorus as I am) are just to the point where we do more than nod and look away when we see each other. We talk sometimes, mostly about chorus and church stuff, but usually that still involves lots of awkward silences and blushing. How does a quiet skinny shy gay man make this quasi-butch lesbian blush!? *sigh*

Regardless, any tips or ideas? If you had a KD, how did you ask him? Was he a super-good friend, or someone on the outskirts of your circle of friends? I feel like I'm in middle school wanting to pass him a note "Can I have some of your sperm? Circle Yes or No"

PS: pretty much every straight woman in the church would be super jealous if I had G's babies. He is a very desirable commodity--in fact, most of our friends who are or were single, have all said how disappointed they were when they found out he was gay, lol. He is very attractive, if a bit on the skinny side.
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#2 of 14 Old 03-31-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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Ha! I didn't really ask my KD, I hadn't really thought of him, because he was right under my nose, but he knew my then-KD was moving, and I tried to recruit his help to find a new KD....and then he was like "Let's talk about this..." I wouldn't, you know, on purpose do it this way, it's not a great strategy, but that's how it went for me.

The long part is not the asking, it's the talking about it. If you think of it that way, maybe you can take some pressure of yourself.

Before you go into the first of those likely to be many conversations, it's good to have an idea of what you are looking for in a donor relationship, but be prepared for that to evolve.

I can also say that I've had two KDs and have very different relationships with both, and had I conceived with the first KD, the donor relationship between kid and donor would have been very different too. So the relationship you seek may depend on the donor.

I did IVF myself, it's not easy, I can't imagine how hard it must be for you.


Now I feel compelled to trouble shoot your fertility, feel free to ignore if you don't wanna go there... Have you considered doing IVF with your wife's eggs? Not the question you came to ask, but it sounds like you might be a great candidate for that. Also, did your clinic suggest doing a stim cycle, and converting to IUI instead of "timed intercourse"? This is common with under-response. And what's your stim protocol? You have a specific situation, quite uncommon, and if my extended (3 years + 2 years of prep) fertility pursuit has taught me anything, it's find the best clinic you can...it's amazing the range of different treatments and philosophies. (Seriously, I had one clinic that wanted me to try Clomid for 3-6 months, the other was like "Sure you could try a round of injectables, that seems reasonable," and I did that and then IVF. I'm finishing my first trimester, if I had been treated by the first clinic, I would still be hanging out on Clomid doing OPKs (they didn't want to do even cycle monitoring for me. Of course, they were ridiculously stupid with me, but I think that's another issue.) Jus' sayin', there's a range out there. Be at the best clinic you can be, and usually, that means the biggest.

I would also caution you away from specifically donor websites. I've heard a lot of sketchy stories. Craislist or Kijiji or your local online classifieds can be a good choice, but be prepared to do some heavy duty screening. I had probably 20? guys reply to my first ad, and I only even e-mailed about four of them back, one I talked to on the phone, ruled him out, one I e-mailed with for a while, he flaked repeatedly, the third had a wife he didn't want to know about this (Uh...ok...so you want to be known and have a potential relationship with my child, but your wife can't find out?)...so yeah, be ready for that.


Welcome to the forum! I'm hope you stick around!

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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#3 of 14 Old 03-31-2010, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Papa,
Thanks for the input. I think once the question is broached, it will be easier to talk about it with him (I just reread my post and realized I left some names in there...oops!). I know what I want, and in terms of a relationship with the kids, I'm ok with whatever level he wants, as long as it stops at "Uncle G"--we would love it if our kids knew who their father was, but he's not "Dad"...they'll have 2 Moms, and an Uncle (or an anonymous number from a cryobank, depending on how April goes). Or, I'm ok if G didn't want them to know, that's OK too. We've thought about how a KD would work, but until I had that dream, I would never have thought of G at all. Ever.

In terms of the fertility treatments--they could switch to IUI, however I only have one sample of sperm at the clinic, and they've been "scraping" it for sperm, so it is not prewashed, and it cost a HECK of a lot of $. And they also charge an arm and a leg to test and wash fresh sperm, none of which would be covered by our insurance. It certainly is an option, but my clinic agrees that for me the issues are not with getting sperm where it needs to go, but getting the eggs to grow and mature properly, so that AI and IUI should have very similar success rates.

My clinic is GREAT--OK, they have great success rates, however getting information from them is like pulling teeth. I am getting super frustrated with their lack of communication, but they're the only ones in the area who deal with issues like mine (Diminished Ovarian Reserve). They did suggest IVF right away, and the only issues have been tweaking my medication protocol.

Thanks for the welcome! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, and congrats Papa!
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#4 of 14 Old 03-31-2010, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Papa,
I just realized that I never addressed the issue of using DW's eggs!

Yes, this is an option we are thinking about, but there are some emotional issues there--DW feels like any egg that she makes should be incubated in her uterus...she's not 100% OK with being separated from her eggs, even though in her head she knows it's OK...if that makes sense. One of my friends suggested that we "swap" because often pregnancy will jumpstart someone's hormones and get their fertility back in shape, and so chances are if I were pregnant with her eggs, we'd be able to use my eggs to get her pregnant. We kind of got in a fight when I mentioned that to her and her response was "I don't want your eggs." Period, no discussion. So, yes, we have some issues to work out. I'm hoping I can get pregnant with my own eggs soon so that these issues do not become that apparent.

Thanks again
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#5 of 14 Old 03-31-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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Hi - we have experience now with asking a few potential known donors to donate, and we found success with striking a balance between admitting to them that you feel nervous and embarrassed and yet somehow also asking like it s a perfectly normal request and that you have every right to ask. It is helpful to explain why you think they'd be a great donor and to repeat a couple of times that you aren't putting any pressure on them and you will be 100% ok if they say no. and also make explicit what you're looking for (i.e., in our case, "we aren't asking you to have sex with us...we're not looking for a dad, just a donor, who might be a friend to the kid if that feels right, etc...).
we also found it helpful to say something like - "we are starting to explore the known donor option and when we brainstormed men in our lives who we thought would be great donors, yours came up..."
i found the stephanie brill book super helpful in this regard.
good luck!!
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#6 of 14 Old 04-03-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Funny thing - I was just coming here to write this exact post (well, minus the awesome dream aspect). Hope it's ok to share my/our experience here, and that it doesn't feel like thread hijacking!

I am 25 and my wife is 26, and we are hoping to begin TTC (w/ me as the gestational parent) in the next 1-2 years. We have thought a lot about options for TTC, and feel strongly that a KD is what we would like to pursue. Weirdly, a problem for us has been actually knowing enough men - our circle of friends is almost exclusively women, although that is starting to change. We have a list of three men in our lives who we would think about asking to be our donor, with one of them the obvious "first choice". He is several years younger than us and the son of very dear friends of my parents. We want to ask him... well, NOW, because I feel like there needs to be lots of time to talk about the logistics and for him to think about what he wants to do.

But, I mean, we don't know him well. We see him once a year at a holiday gathering and always enjoy one another's company, but the relationship is more "distant cousin" even than friend. The prospect of actual asking him seems so daunting - I'd like to do the initial asking via email or letter and then follow up w/ phone or in-person discussion... both because my wife and I are quite shy, and also because I feel like it gives him the chance to have whatever his initial reaction may be without feeling he has to censor himself for our sake. Is that ok? Do people start that way? And how the heck does one compose an email like that?

Anyway, I'll be interested to hear more about what you decide to do and how things pan out. I do think I'm going to track down the Brill book, though, and maybe see if she has some ideas we can use.

Good luck to you! I loved hearing about your dream - it sounds so simple and lovely, and how amazing would it be if things really played out that way, and in 8 years or so you saw that scene taking place? Beautiful.

Sophia
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#7 of 14 Old 04-04-2010, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck with your "guy"!


We decided to ask a friend his advice--P is very similar in personality and age, and we were hoping he could help us decide how to ask G. Because P knows G somewhat, we were hoping to ask without P finding out who we were talking about. Unfortunately, P asked specifically, about 2 minutes into the conversation "It's G, isn't it?" Darnit P, I can't lie to you, so yes. *sigh*

Anyway, P suggested inviting G to a group dinner from Church, and having him at least see how DW and I are together--give him a little bit of social interaction with us, considering he almost never sees us together, lol. Then next week I'll ask him after chorus. P also wants to ask G how he feels about kids--we know that he is an awesome guy, but we don't know very many details about his life or beliefs. I feel kind of immature about this, but P is glad to do some scheming for us, lol. He understands how shy G is, and it's nice to have moral support. Although it does feel weird, because the more people that know, the more people will be making all kinds of weird faces at us every time we interact with G (our friends find themselves awfully funny sometimes )

In short, we'll be trying to interact with him at least once in a purely social setting before asking him in person. I have never emailed him, so emailing out of the blue would not come across as personal or endearing, although for me it would be WAAAY easier. Good luck again, and let me know how it goes, and I will do the same.

Kate
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#8 of 14 Old 04-04-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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When we first started TTC, we had considered using one of our friends as well. He and his partner were somewhat casual friends of ours and we didn't know them all too well. For us, all we did was start talking about wanting to have kids in front of them and one offered up the other as a donor. So, had we wanted to, we probably could have had an easy donor right then and there. It came up a few times afterward, but I don't think I was as comfortable with the idea as the guys would have been. As a gay couple, I think they wanted to know they had a kid out there that they could spoil, but yet they wouldn't have been co-parents to, more like 'uncles'. We ended up using a bank, since that was what I was more comfortable with in the end. But I just wanted to mention that sometimes all you have to do is start talking about wanting kids and who knows, it might spark his interest and you might get an offer without even asking.

Loving partner to smartycat  ribbonrainbow.gif  . Enjoying life with our DS's- 4/5/09 and 10/29/10 love.gif!  Moms to three dogs and four cats.
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#9 of 14 Old 04-05-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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Good luck, Kate!
Sounds like a great idea to have that informal social interaction before asking the big question. I wish we had that option w/ "our" guy (D), but distance is a big issue (he's a 4hr drive away). How great that you have someone who can advise you on how to go about this! P sounds like a great friend

I don't know what to do about the emailing thing - I mean, I have never emailed D, but nor have I ever called him on the phone, which would probably be our next option... so either would be totally out of the blue for him. I am still kind of thinking an email would be the best thing (and yes, SO much easier for DW and me, I can't lie!), followed by us making the trip out to see D if he is willing to discuss the issue further.

Gah, it sounds so awkward! The other two guys who we have considered asking would be waaaaaay easier to approach, but right now D is really who we feel the most solid about and can sort of imagine how it would all play out.

Anyway, I will definitely update as this all develops, and look forward to hearing how it goes w/ G!

Sophia
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#10 of 14 Old 04-06-2010, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck with your email...I think age is a factor in this department. G doesn't seem like a big internet user--no facebook account, and his only email is his church email. I think guys our generation and below tend to live more online, and emails are more and more acceptable. For people generally older than us (we're kind of a transitional age), email is considered too informal and impersonal.

I will know more by next weekend...I hope you don't wait that long! I want to know! (I'm so nosy). It's so nerve wracking, knowing you're going to ask, but trying to psych yourself up for it .
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#11 of 14 Old 04-10-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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Hey, Kate, good luck this weekend and I look forward to an update!
It will probably be at least a few more weeks (if not a few months, though I hope that's not the case!) before we approach D about this. There have been some HUGE transitions/difficult events in our lives over the past 6mos or so, and we are still getting back on our feet emotionally (and financially). I am ready to start this process oh, about YESTERDAY, but DW needs a little more time, and I respect that. It's hard, though!

Anyway, I hope things go well w/ G!
Take care,
Sophia
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#12 of 14 Old 04-11-2010, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bad news. I talked with G today. He would say yes if he could--he regrets never having kids, and almost cried when we were talking with him. But he's HIV+. I've contacted the clinic to see if they will work with him, but so few clinics do, that it's a long shot. I know that places in the UK have done thousands of IVFs with HIV+ men, but it's not nearly as common in the US.
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#13 of 14 Old 04-11-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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i am sorry you were disappointed by this.
i just wanted to point out that once ya'll do find your donor, your kids can STILL have "Uncle G" and maybe that was the point of the dream, not that he would be the donor, but that he would become close to your family. This was someone you barely knew and i can tell that by now you count yourselves as much closer and definitely friends.
Good luck to ya'll and to G.

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#14 of 14 Old 03-08-2020, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by citygirl144 View Post
Hi - we have experience now with asking a few potential known donors to donate, and we found success with striking a balance between admitting to them that you feel nervous and embarrassed and yet somehow also asking like it s a perfectly normal request and that you have every right to ask. It is helpful to explain why you think they'd be a great donor and to repeat a couple of times that you aren't putting any pressure on them and you will be 100% ok if they say no. and also make explicit what you're looking for (i.e., in our case, "we aren't asking you to have sex with us...we're not looking for a dad, just a donor, who might be a friend to the kid if that feels right, etc...).<br>
we also found it helpful to say something like - "we are starting to explore the known donor option and when we brainstormed men in our lives who we thought would be great donors, yours came up..."<br>
i found the stephanie brill book super helpful in this regard.<br>
good luck!!
Hi citygirl144,

I am very interested in any example messages you sent to potential donors, I am also struggling with what to say - feel free private message me if that's possible on this site. Also which Stephanie Brill book was it that you found helpful? She has a few books out there.

Thank you!

Natasha
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