I may be quite ignorant about this, since I did not grow up in a step-family and know only anecdotal information from friends who have. DH was, on the other hand, raised by his step-dad, and doesn’t even know his bio father.
We are faced with the possibility of having to consider donor sperm. Currently, we are coming out of our first FET with donor embryos, which resulted in a chemical loss. We are returning for the other two embryos we adopted in a few weeks. However, I am now not as certain as I was before that this may work. It took a lot of effort and cost to get hooked up with these donors, since we were all looking for an open adoption arrangement. Yes, I fully saw this as an adoption, after having tried unsuccessfully to adopt the traditional way for years.
So, I do not see donor embryos on the same level of “gametes” as I do donor sperm. My main concern is the idea of mixing my gametes with a stranger’s gametes. I know that it is not the same as adultery. My brain knows that. I’m not so sure my heart does. It doesn’t help that our religion forbids ds. (It does not have an official stance on donor embryos due to it being a pro-life option and seen as an adoption.)
On the one hand, with a sperm donor, we’d have a much better chance of matching with the qualities we are looking for. I really want our child to share my DH’s Latino heritage, and our current donors are both Hispanic… but they seem to be the only ones out there. So if these next two embies don’t take, we are pretty much looking at going with Caucasian donor embryos (not exactly my first choice, even though I’m Caucasian, bc while I get to carry the baby, I wanted DH to then at least share their ethnicity). I should note that DH does not care in the least if the child is Hispanic or not.
On the other hand, with donor embryos, we are in the clear with our religious community and my own conscience, as we can continue to look at it as a form of prenatal adoption of a child already conceived before we entered the picture. In the process of having a child, we could also feel good about helping others.
I can’t say that for using ds. We’d be creating on purpose a child that would not grow up with both of their biological parents. I don’t know how else to word that - I don’t think the sperm donor would be a parent, but I don’t know how else to word that patriline.
I feel as though using a sperm donor would be like having a step-family. Since there’s no adultery in place, we can say that I had this child before DH entered the picture (ignoring timing obviously), and now DH has adopted the child and we are raising the child together. I think this would be the only scenario I could try to comprehend and get on board with.
So, my question is to anyone who has used donor sperm, and especially anyone familiar with step-families, can parallels be drawn between the two? In what ways are they similar and in what ways different?
Thanks so much! I should note that I also welcome any other explanations of ds that could help me wrap my mind around it.