Donor Sperm - Who should I tell?


#1

Long story short, I have Azoospermia. I am skipping the process of Biopsy, IVF, TESE, etc because we cannot afford it. The only financially feasible solution for us would be to use a donor sperm via IUI, unfortunately. :frowning:

I think I can handle that but my main question to you guys. Who do you tell upfront that you are using a donor sperm aside from family members? Should you announce to your officemates that your wife is pregnant and not tell them that we are using donor sperm? Because I can’t imagine that we just keep quiet about it and not post something in facebook about pregnancy.

I guess what I want to ask is that, when people congratulate us, should we tell them thanks and say, FYI, I am infertile and we are using a donor sperm?


#2

[quote=scaredguyhelp]Long story short, I have Azoospermia. I am skipping the process of Biopsy, IVF, TESE, etc because we cannot afford it. The only financially feasible solution for us would be to use a donor sperm via IUI, unfortunately. :frowning:

I think I can handle that but my main question to you guys. Who do you tell upfront that you are using a donor sperm aside from family members? Should you announce to your officemates that your wife is pregnant and not tell them that we are using donor sperm? Because I can’t imagine that we just keep quiet about it and not post something in facebook about pregnancy.

I guess what I want to ask is that, when people congratulate us, should we tell them thanks and say, FYI, I am infertile and we are using a donor sperm?[/quote]

It is not anyone else’s business. I would say family yes. But everyeone else for all sense and purpose it is your child. I would not tell other people.


#3

We used donor sperm this last time. I am currently pregnant with a child that will hopefully look some what like my husband (we used a photo recognition software that Fairfax Cryobank has) and narrowed our search to only features he has like bro eyes, bro hair, straight hair, etc. The photo match was only a medium match, but it was the most matches with the several photos I submitted. He also is the one who picked the donor out.

Anyhow, we are going to tell our child(ren) when they get older (what age, who knows at this point), but it’s no one else’s business family, friends, or associates (co workers). It would be a personal decision about whether or not you want to tell anyone. My husband knows I am an open book and I have told some friends and some family. We know our children will be told by us, but it is scary that they might find out from someone else if you tell too many people. Even if it’s not on purpose accidents happen when people have knowledge and forget that not EVERYONE has the same knowledge.

So what I’m essentially saying is it’s up to you. I think it’s no one’s business but your own. Today someone at church mentioned to me, “He never wants to kick when I’m around, but he better start kicking when he comes out” I told him I’m sure he will and he said, “I’m sure he’ll have attitude after all look at who his parents are” It made me crack up a little inside because he has no idea that my hubby isn’t the father course when we decided to do the donor sperm we had to go through mandatory counseling with our RE’s office and one of the things the counselor pointed out is that your child will take on traits that each of us have “nature vs nurture” and in time no one would be able to know the difference.

Good luck in your journey!


#4

who you tell is 100% up to you and depends on what & who you are comfortable with.

As a mom of now 3 beautiful babies from DS due to my husband’s azoo I will tell you that it does not matter those kids are 100000% my husband’s. But it took a lot to get to where we are now and it took even more to get to the point of using DS in the first place.

For us, we initially opted for TESA/IVF because we thought we knew there were swimmers in there and with no fertility issues on my end we figured on round and we’d be pregnant. My DH has children from a previous marriage & had gotten a vasectomy. So we decided for retrieval & IVF instead of reversal and then maybe another vas later on. Despite that it was all going ot be out of pocket we thought we could do it this way and be done. Unforutnately when it came time for the retrieval they didn’t find anything. Then when the testicular biopsy came back there were none. His production had completely shut down, something that rarely happens but happened to us. And if we wanted kids we had to use DS.

But first things first. Based on our experience I will tell you regardless of what/how you think you’ll handle using DS please go to a fertility counselor. Someone who specializes in donor insemination if possible. We were required to see someone by our RE, they gave us two names and we went to both. Just one session each but totally worth it. If we had not gone I guarentee we would have had problems along the way. It is extremely important that you and your wife be 100% on the same page in the use of donors. You are creating a little person that is going ot have ot live with your choices. And if you have any ‘issue’ with DS it will show up in how you raise this child.

As far as who you tell. We are telling our children when the time is right. We tell them now even though they have zero clue what we are talking about. But we want the practice. The risk of them finding out later in life and the potential damage it could cause by feeling they were lied to is too great for us. One counselor explained telling as the difference in a secret or privacy. The use of DS or any fertility issue is a private one, not a secret. Secrets tend to have a bad notation about them, when you keep a secret you aren’t sharing something with someone and you are doing it on purpose because it’ll cause trouble or it is shameful or it could cause damage. Private things are the same as in you aren’t sharing something on purpose but you aren’t sharing it because its no ones business.

So to make a long story short, we told our mothers and a few close relatives, like sisters. DH told his best friend and I told only my closest friends which is 3 people. Outside of that when people say to my husband, I can’t believe you got a reversal, he just shrugs it off. Or when people say the kids look just like me, and jokingly say haha who’s the dad (which is something people say to anyone) we just laugh and shurg it off. Or they ask if twins run in our families we say no they don’t. People don’t need to know every little detail of your life, nor do they really care to know them all.

So after all is said and done and your wife is pregnant and you go around telling everyone you meet, because you will tell everyone (my DH told strangers we were pregnant LOL)…they will say congratulations and you will say thank you we are super excited!

I wish you all the luck and you can PM me if you want or have any questions. I can also have my husband answer for you too.


#5

Wow! Thank you guys for those answers.

So after all is said and done and your wife is pregnant and you go around telling everyone you meet, because you will tell everyone (my DH told strangers we were pregnant LOL)…they will say congratulations and you will say thank you we are super excited!

I guess this is the scenario that I’ve been wanting to ask. So tell everyone that your wife is pregnant. I’m a bad liar but I guess that is something that I need to do.


#6

[quote=scaredguyhelp]Wow! Thank you guys for those answers.

I guess this is the scenario that I’ve been wanting to ask. So tell everyone that your wife is pregnant. [B]I’m a bad liar [/B]but I guess that is something that I need to do.[/quote]

when you guys get pregnant it won’t be a lie, you’ll be telling the truth. No one asks how it happens.
It isn’t like you say yay my wife is going to have a baby and they say gee is it yours?
Which in all honest the answer is still yes, it is your baby.
so take it one step further, no one is going to ask if the baby is genetically yours.


#7

We told family (parents/siblings) and each of us told a close friend. They all knew about the azoo so if we became pregnant, we wanted them to understand how. Beyond that, we feel it’s up to our sons to tell their story if they choose to. The sad truth is that people who have never walked in your shoes will judge the decision you make and we only told people we trusted. However, even DH’s sister was judgmental. I think she’s moved beyond it now, but I still can’t quite forget her hurtful comments…as they were directed at me. I agree with stm about the difference between privacy and secrets…you never want your child(ren) to feel that you are ashamed of how they were conceived…however, that definitely doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s business to know either. Also, you’re talking about your own personal medical issue and that’s very private. I know since we’ve had our son, my DH has opened up to some people at work about how we conceived…but these are people he trusts and also people that will never interact with our kids and accidentally tell them before we have a chance to.

Ultimately, it’s up to you who you share this with. It seems so strange and foreign to you now…it’s not how any of us thought we’d have our families. Once your wife is pregnant and later when you have a child or children, the strangeness of how they are conceived goes away. You can’t forget, but instead of feeling like you’re walking around with a neon sign screaming that you are infertile and the pregnancy is different than everyone else’s, it becomes a footnote in your family’s history and an issue that you know you’ll deal with in the future when it comes time to tell your child(ren), if you choose to. It no longer consumes our thoughts like it did at first and I no longer feel we are so different than other families. I do have worries about telling our sons (the when, the how, and their reactions), but I know that’s something we’ll deal with when the time comes.

Best of luck to you and your wife!


#8

More than likely we will be using donor sperm. Initially we are not going to tell anyone (including family). Our family knows we are having issues but don’t know the nature of them. Honestly it is the only way I am comfortable with it right now. Down the road we may tell family, maybe not. We may tell the child, maybe not. I am fine keeping the secret forever if that’s what my wife and I decide. I think of whether or not I would want to know if my dad was not my dad and I was conceived with donor sperm, I probably wouldn’t want to know and I wouldn’t want those around me to know either.


#9

my husband if our childrens ONLY father. He is their ONLY dad. He is the one who will teach them things, raise them, disipline them, help them through their first heart break and when they have families of their own he will be their grandpa. We have three beautiful babies concieved through DS who have one man in their lives who is their Dad.
And I will be the 1st to correct anyone who even innocently calls their donor “the dad” or “the father”.

If you have any thoughts otherwise it will become a problem for you if you do not tell your kid and they some day find out.
Using donor sperm does not make you less of their dad/father/papa whatever you want to call it. DS is a small genetic piece necessary to make a person and it does not control who the baby’s father is. The donor is just a donor and nothing else. If you think of it as the baby’s father/dad then you will cause problems for yourself and worse for the baby.

Sorry if that sounds harsh or cold or whatever but I’m telling you it is the truth. Do some research and read some articles of people who did AND didn’t know they were concieved though donor eggs or sperm and you will hopefully see what needs to be done. Every article/opinion/blog I read about kids who always knew their genetic roots were fine with it, they didn’t let it define them and they knew who their parents were. Every single article that was from an older child who found out late in life (and talking as early as preteen not just adults) that they were concieved through DS/DE were in one way or another emotionally messed up. Think about it, your whole like will seem like a lie, one big huge lie. Is that something you want to chance doing to your kid? And if you think, especially in this day and age, that you are going to keep something as big as this from them then you are staight delusional. I’m sorry but some day they [B]will[/B] have genentics in high school biology and they will think hmmmm where do my attached ear lobes or rolling my tounge or blue eyes or freckles or thin hair or whatever come from and if you haven’t told them by then you are asking for an emotional break down of the one person you are supposed to protect for a lifetime, your baby.

Anyone who is struggling with this decision or even if you think you’ve made up your mind PLEASE seek professional help. This isn’t your life you are playing with, it is the life of a yet to be born person who has to live with your decisions for the rest of their lives.


#10

I have to agree with stm…my DH and I have not used donor sperm but we are considering it if my DH’s mtese is unsucessful. (we are doing mtese timed with IVF in September/October of this year).

Dh and I have been seeing a fertility therapist for some time now as this whole journey has been really difficult (I know I don’t have to tell you that). I can’t stress the importance of getting guidance from someone who specializes in fertility issues. Our therapist is a mother through donor egg and adoption so she knows all about all the issues we/you face.

Of course everyone comes to these decisions in their own way and because this is such a difficult road, it is hard to judge anyone for any decisions they make, but I have to agree with stm…studies show that being open with the donor conceived child is the healthiest course of action. There has been a trend over the years towards openess witih adoption and with donor gametes. Studies show (and my therapist confired this was the case with her kids) that if you start telling the child when they are little it becomes a tiny part of their background, they grow up knowing the information and it loses its stigma. Also, they take their cues from you, if you are closed off and feel negative or ashamed then they pick up on that and feel that way too. If you are open and honest about it then they will be comfortable with it.

The difference between privacy and secrecy is key and can’t be over emphasized. The fact that a child is donor conceived is private, meaning that not everyone needs to know. But it shouldn’t be a “secret” because that connotes a negative like this is bad and something to feel ashamed of.

If we end up using donor we plan on telling our family and the child. And maybe a couple close friends. Other than that it is no one’s business (except for the child’s doctors, etc.) and I really believe that the information ultimately belongs to the child. But I think we would want to talk about it with the child so that they know and feel comfortable asking questions both when they are little and as an adult. This is a person you are creating and that person has a right to the truth. There is no way keeping something like that a secret cannot affect how you feel about yourself, the child, your marriage, etc…

I would urge you to talk to a professional before jumping into donor sperm. It has lifelong implications and you want to make sure you are comfortable with it before taking that step.

[quote=stm2009]my husband if our childrens ONLY father. He is their ONLY dad. He is the one who will teach them things, raise them, disipline them, help them through their first heart break and when they have families of their own he will be their grandpa. We have three beautiful babies concieved through DS who have one man in their lives who is their Dad.
And I will be the 1st to correct anyone who even innocently calls their donor “the dad” or “the father”.

If you have any thoughts otherwise it will become a problem for you if you do not tell your kid and they some day find out.
Using donor sperm does not make you less of their dad/father/papa whatever you want to call it. DS is a small genetic piece necessary to make a person and it does not control who the baby’s father is. The donor is just a donor and nothing else. If you think of it as the baby’s father/dad then you will cause problems for yourself and worse for the baby.

Sorry if that sounds harsh or cold or whatever but I’m telling you it is the truth. Do some research and read some articles of people who did AND didn’t know they were concieved though donor eggs or sperm and you will hopefully see what needs to be done. Every article/opinion/blog I read about kids who always knew their genetic roots were fine with it, they didn’t let it define them and they knew who their parents were. Every single article that was from an older child who found out late in life (and talking as early as preteen not just adults) that they were concieved through DS/DE were in one way or another emotionally messed up. Think about it, your whole like will seem like a lie, one big huge lie. Is that something you want to chance doing to your kid? And if you think, especially in this day and age, that you are going to keep something as big as this from them then you are staight delusional. I’m sorry but some day they [B]will[/B] have genentics in high school biology and they will think hmmmm where do my attached ear lobes or rolling my tounge or blue eyes or freckles or thin hair or whatever come from and if you haven’t told them by then you are asking for an emotional break down of the one person you are supposed to protect for a lifetime, your baby.

Anyone who is struggling with this decision or even if you think you’ve made up your mind PLEASE seek professional help. This isn’t your life you are playing with, it is the life of a yet to be born person who has to live with your decisions for the rest of their lives.[/quote]


#11

@STM / @Shanna - In our case, it is not as much about keeping this from our child but more from our family. We have family members that are extremely religious and others that are very closed minded. As Shanna said, it is more about privacy then secrecy. I am hoping that when the child is 4 or 5 we can start planting the seed and if family find out at that time any pre-conceptions they have won’t change the way they treat him/her.


#12

Yes, I can understand not wanting to share with your family in that case. I think these things need to be considered on a case by case basis. I also think that telling your family may not be the best thing if they would maybe react negatively or shun you and/or the child. I think its admirable that you are considering all these issues and it shows that whatever you decide will be done thoughtfully and with the most consideration for the child, which at the end of the day is all that matters.


#13

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#14

It is your decision. If you want to make your infertility issue a public address then go head. But I believe most people would not tell. Actually I personally would not even tell my family members. Maybe the parents. It will not help a bit. Remember you also do not know the donor. So when they ask who donated what will you answer. Somethings should be kept private. You just don’t go around publicizing what’s going on in your groins. I am sorry if you feel offended. But at the end of the day the decision lies with you. You can decide whether to tell them or not. But the last time I checked that was not a good decision. You cannot trust all your friends. Not even family members in that case. They can later use it against you. They might even start talking behind your back. Not everyone understands the journey of infertility. Especially those who had not struggled to conceive. So things concerning infertility should be an issue with you and your wife. Plus the doctor, and that’s it.


#15

It is your decision. If you want to make your infertility issue a public address then go head. But I believe most people would not tell. Actually I personally would not even tell my family members. Maybe the parents. It will not help a bit. Remember you also do not know the donor. So when they ask who donated what will you answer. Somethings should be kept private. You just don’t go around publicizing what’s going on in your groins. I am sorry if you feel offended. But at the end of the day the decision lies with you. You can decide whether to tell them or not. But the last time I checked that was not a good decision. You cannot trust all your friends. Not even family members in that case. They can later use it against you. They might even start talking behind your back. Not everyone understands the journey of infertility. Especially those who had not struggled to conceive. So things concerning infertility should be an issue with you and your wife. Plus the doctor, and that’s it.