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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,<br>
We are a hetero couple, but I hope you won't mind the intrusion.<br>
It looks like we are leaning towards donor sperm (due to severe mf infertility). Discussions in our house are revolving around how/when to tell any child(ren) we may be lucky enough to end up with about their origins. We see a lot of value in the child alwas knowing about the donor, and will use a donor with ID release, but dh is afraid of the innocent comments our child might make to others. In the vein of, "My daddy didn't have any sperm, so he borrowed some from another man" in a crowded shopping centre or at a party. But, if we wait until the child is old enough to not make that sort of comment, then he/she will be old enough that the news is going to be a shock, a big deal, a betrayal of trust. We don't want that. Also, how do you explain this to a child? If we wait for our child to bring it up, it could potentially *never* come up. He/she will have a mother and a father, and if we don't bring it up, why would anyone think dh isn't the genetic father?<br>
Help? What have your experiences been? Things you wish you could do differently? What are you glad you did?<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Katia
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>selkat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7917409"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi,<br>
We are a hetero couple, but I hope you won't mind the intrusion.<br>
It looks like we are leaning towards donor sperm (due to severe mf infertility). Discussions in our house are revolving around how/when to tell any child(ren) we may be lucky enough to end up with about their origins. We see a lot of value in the child alwas knowing about the donor, and will use a donor with ID release, but dh is afraid of the innocent comments our child might make to others. In the vein of, "My daddy didn't have any sperm, so he borrowed some from another man" in a crowded shopping centre or at a party. But, if we wait until the child is old enough to not make that sort of comment, then he/she will be old enough that the news is going to be a shock, a big deal, a betrayal of trust. We don't want that. Also, how do you explain this to a child? If we wait for our child to bring it up, it could potentially *never* come up. He/she will have a mother and a father, and if we don't bring it up, why would anyone think dh isn't the genetic father?<br>
Help? What have your experiences been? Things you wish you could do differently? What are you glad you did?<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Katia</div>
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I'd be inclined to say that 'daddy had some health problems when he and mummy were trying to have you ... and so they had to get some help from a Dr / sperm bank / another nice man'<br><br>
Of course - once age appropriate, you can tell your DC the whole story (...if they haven't worked it out already<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> kids are smart like that!)
 

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I agree with the PP. We are not in the same situation, but my oldest DD was concieved before I met my DH, and her bio dad has never been involved. We just told her that a man other than daddy helped make her, but a real daddy is the one who takes care of her.
 

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I think there is some confusion about the advice of "wait until they ask questions," or at least I interpret it differently than some people seem to. In my opinion, it does not mean that you would wait to tell your child that he/she was conceived with the help of a donor. I would start telling the baby from birth. At first, it will just be practice for you guys to figure out how you want to say it, and gradually your child will start to understand more and more of the story. But there will never be a time before you told him/her. My older sons are 4, and I don't know that they would have yet wondered about why they don't have a daddy unless we had told them. They can recite a fair amount of their conception story now, something like: "you need a man and a woman to make a baby grow inside the mom. There are eggs in the woman, and the man has seeds. There was a man who didn't want to be a dad, but he wanted to help someone make a baby grow. He gave his seeds to mom and mama, and they put the seeds inside mom and TWO babies grew! And the man was our donor." All of this is perfectly appropriate information for any toddler to have, IMO, and I don't think anyone, regardless of conception method, should wait to tell their child this sort of basic information about how babies are made. The part that we haven't said yet--and this is where the "wait until they ask" advice makes sense to me--is how the "seeds" get out of the man, and how they get into the woman. Our kids don't seem close to asking those questions yet, and I imagine it will be at least a few more years until they do.<br><br>
In your particular situation, I wouldn't worry so much about your child sharing his/her conception story with strangers in a way that would make you feel awkward. My kids have never blurted their story out, and they probably have much more opportunity to do so than your child will (since they don't have a dad, and other kids ask them where their dad is). That said, I also think it's really important for you and your dh to both feel really comfortable with the fact that you're using a donor, to the extent that such a comment wouldn't bother either of you (an appropriate response, IMO, would be, "that's exactly right."). If your child senses any discomfort around the subject, it could make your child feel uncomfortable about the fact that he/she has a donor. We speak freely about our donor in front of our kids and with people we hardly know all the time, in hopes that this will help to normalize it for them. Like, when a stranger at the park asks about Luke's red hair, I'll say, "well we don't know for sure where it came from, but my dad was a red head in his youth, and our donor has a lot of red hair in his family too." I can see how it could be a very sensitive subject for your dh, but I think it's important for him to come to terms with his lack of sperm, and fully embrace the choice to use a donor, to the extent that he really wouldn't be bothered by everyone knowing that he was infertile and that your baby was conceived with the help of a donor.<br><br>
Because you won't have the context of "why you don't have a dad," to tell your child his/her story, making a little book about it would probably make the most sense. The story could be very simple, talking about how it takes an egg from a woman and sperm from a man to make a baby, and how daddy didn't have any sperm, so a nice man, called a donor, gave some sperm to mommy and daddy, and then you grew inside mommy's uterus, and her belly got bigger and bigger, and then you were born, and daddy held you and mommy nursed you, etc. At first, the interesting part of the book (to your young child), will just be the part about your belly growing and what a cute tiny baby he/she was. But eventually, the beginning part of the book will start to be interesting and make sense as well. But it will never be new information, and your child will understand it as soon as he/she is able to.<br><br>
I hope this helps!<br><br>
Lex
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
I agree so much with everything Lex said above.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like the book idea, thanks Lex! Dh is comfortable with the no-sperm issue with family and friends, I think it's just the random strangers on the street or in the park that make things uncomfortable for him. But, you're right, he does need to be comfortable with it. I guess one of the blessing of this whole thing taking ten million years is that it gives lots of time for reflection. Lots. Although, things are being pushed a little faster than we might like, simply because of new Canadian legislation expected to come through this year that will make purchasing donor sperm next to impossible. Beating that deadline does push this along a bit. DH doesn't do well with time limits, unfortunately. Me, on the other hand, I can make a decision in about four seconds most of the time. We balance each other out, I guess.<br>
Anyway, thanks for the book idea. And, I can put my crafty artist partner up to that activity - we'll wind up with something gorgeous. Now, I just have to get him started today, so that it will be finished by the time this baby is conceived and birthed!<br>
Thanks.<br>
Katia
 

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Katia,<br>
I wanted to quickly chime in here as a Canadian lesbian mama re:legislation. My understanding is that the legislation has ALREADY come into effect, came into effect in April `05 in fact, and that while the availability of sperm is lower than it used to be, there is still lots of available. We are TTCing dc 2 right now using a unknown donor from a sperm bank and while the choice is somewhat more limited, there is still lots of choice. There are also US options to consider, as there are still places that will make arrangements to use US sperm. Just to reassure you that it may not be as hard as you think! Good luck to you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Lex--as always, you present a very thoughtful and thought-provoking approach to the issue. One thing we have really struggled with in our family is a HUGE amount of interest from my parents in the donor, in all the details about him etc. Now I totally understand this interest and think it is completely natural, and yet both dw and I at the time felt really uncomfortable with the amount of interest being shown in someone who would only exist on paper until dd was 18 and who did not have a role in our lives. We pushed back telling them that we felt all this detail was dd's first and foremost, and that we would be totally open with her and that we wanted her to have the info and decided who to share it with.<br>
But I'm also wondering if in doing that we haven't created a bit of tension or a sense of "there are certain things we don't discuss". As it is, dd has many friends from 2-mom families with a whole variety of origins, and the issue hasn't yet come up (she's only 2). All we have said to her is that there are lots of different kinds of families. Our intention is to be very open with her always, but I also realize that it hasn't `come up` and maybe we should be raising it more pre-emptively...<br>
anyway, food for thought!
 

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Hi Katia... I'm Jesse's wife <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I agree with all the other posters but also wanted to add that the choice on ID release donors is REALLY small. You often don't have access to the ones you see online because they haven't cleared customs. Make sure you do your homework and find out which ones are available (like REALLY available) before you get too settled on one. It'll only take a phone call and they're all really nice.<br><br>
Also, be prepared to pay a whole lot more than you think for an ID release donor. PRICEY!!!!! (though, much cheaper than IVF... you just wanna hope that you get pregnant quickly!)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>selkat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7955258"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Although, things are being pushed a little faster than we might like, simply because of new Canadian legislation expected to come through this year that will make purchasing donor sperm next to impossible. Beating that deadline does push this along a bit. DH doesn't do well with time limits, unfortunately. Me, on the other hand, I can make a decision in about four seconds most of the time. We balance each other out, I guess.</div>
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Katia, I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but don't let people scare you.<br><br>
I heard a similar thing from someone who works closely with the sperm banks, but not *for* them, if that makes sense, she's a third-party consultant of sorts, and I think any information you get from someone who has a vested interest (in her case financial) should be treated with suspicion.<br><br>
Do keep in mind that if you do feel like you're rushed, you can pre-purchase and store sperm pretty much indefinitely - costs some $$$$, but it can be done.<br><br>
If you poke around for posts I've made in this forum, somewhere I dish out way more information than most people need to know about anonymous donor sperm in Canada. Basically, the legislation has already been passed, but is not currently being enforced.<br><br>
Of the three sperm banks, only Repromed is truly a Canadian sperm banks, the others (Xytec and Can-Am Cryo) import sperm from US sperm banks. Repromed does not offer ID release, if that's what you're looking for, however, if you are interested in ID release, look carefully at what the sperm bank promises. I was interested in my child being able to contact the donor at 18, but none of the banks can guarantee that the donor will keep in touch with them, there are no guarantees that the donor will still be alive, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We are dealing with Repromed (Outreach), and they tell me they have donor release. Maybe it's a new thing? And, by donor release, I mean, when our child is 18 they are free to contact the donor, through Repromed - am I using the right term? I've been dealing with Heather ___ (last name escapes me right now), and she was the one who told me about the legislation (no compensation for canadian compliant US donors). Apparently it has already passed, but will be enforced sometime this year. I'm actually glad for the "deadline", vague as it is. We will either do this or we won't, but it will be decided by sometime this year, and that is a HUGE load off my mind. I hate all this up in the air business. The plan at this point is to choose a donor and store things until we are ready to go. I am definitely interested in specifics you may have about this legislation/regulations though. There is so much change and misinformation out there, and keeping it all straight is a full-time job in itself!<br>
Katia
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>selkat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7965770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We are dealing with Repromed (Outreach), and they tell me they have donor release. Maybe it's a new thing?</div>
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Outreach is not Repromed. Outreach is the Canadian distributor for Xytex, which is an American sperm bank.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>selkat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7965770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And, by donor release, I mean, when our child is 18 they are free to contact the donor, through Repromed - am I using the right term?</div>
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Sure, Xytex might call it donor release, some banks call it ID release, some call them "Yes" donors. The thing is that your child/you cannot guarantee that you're going to be able to get in touch with the donor. Once the donor stops donating, there is no obligation for the donor to keep in touch with Xytex. I am concerned that roughly 20 years from now, people will be trying to get in touch with their "Yes" donors only to not be able to.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>selkat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7965770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've been dealing with Heather ___ (last name escapes me right now), and she was the one who told me about the legislation (no compensation for canadian compliant US donors).</div>
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Heather is super nice, or seems so. But don't forget - she has a vested interest.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>selkat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7965770"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Apparently it has already passed, but will be enforced sometime this year. I'm actually glad for the "deadline", vague as it is. We will either do this or we won't, but it will be decided by sometime this year, and that is a HUGE load off my mind. I hate all this up in the air business. The plan at this point is to choose a donor and store things until we are ready to go. I am definitely interested in specifics you may have about this legislation/regulations though. There is so much change and misinformation out there, and keeping it all straight is a full-time job in itself!<br>
Katia</div>
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Yeah, for sure - but do your research, don't let the sperm industry people panic you. As you said there is lots of misinformation out there. I am not particularly worried, but then again, I've already started inseminating. The thing is, we have no idea how the new legislation will affect the sperm supply until the rules actually start getting enforced. I've seen how the fertility industry is finding loopholes in the regulations for other things - namely surrogacy and egg donation - so I would be surprised if they didn't find a way around the sperm regulations.
 
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