Hello Everyone! I thought this would be the best place to come and I hope you will reserve your judgement. This has been a really tough road for my husband and I already. We had been trying for years before we sought help and received the shocking diagnosis of azoospermia. We were crushed. We were both longing to be parents so badly. Our local urologist who diagnosed us was rude and dismissive and immediately told us to “consider adoption.” We moved on to a very well known doctor at the Center for Reproductive Medicine (Cornell.) Along the way my husband and I discussed our options nearly daily. He was at first completely against the idea of using a sperm donor. We got an idea of what the costs would be to do a TESE procedure and the chances of it producing any results. We made the decision together to use donor sperm. I had a very close friend who actually offered to be our donor but my husband was so uncomfortable with the thought that someone could eventually somehow interfere with our lives. I think he was still really in shock about our situation. So we decided an anonymous donor was the way to go and began researching potential donors.
In the mean time, I told my parents about our decision to use a donor rather than do the TESE and they said that they wanted to pay for the TESE procedure as they wanted us to have every chance we could to have a child that was biologically ours. We agreed to go forward but wanted to use a sperm donor as back up for the IVF procedure if the TESE failed. My parents talked me out of it and said things like “what will you tell the child?” and “what will you tell our relatives?” and “how do you know the donor is not lying about their medical history” and “think of all the helf siblings they will have” and most upsettingly “you have to be sure they are not gay.” They had a good feeling about the TESE as our doctor was truly the best. In truth, we needed their financial help to purchase the donor sperm anyway as we wanted to buy enough vials so that we could have several children from the same donor. They refused and said TESE only. We went forward and I began the meds for IVF, given that if the TESE was successful I would have an egg retrieval. It failed. We were devastated as all these weeks of taking medication and injections really had us believing we were on the road to having a baby. Most of all we were just pissed off and frustrated that we hadn’t chosen a donor for back up. We let ourselves be convinced that it wasn’t the right thing to do and we were so angry at ourselves for that. We could have just purchased one or two vials ourselves but we did not. We went through such depression and anger with ourselves for missing this opportunity.
We did end up buying 8 vials of sperm from Fairfax Cryobank. My parents did pay for it. Please understand that we are struggling financially with home ownership and although we can pay our bills and are very responsible, we can’t just come up with thousands of dollars at once. We felt we had the general support of family and that we were finally on the right track to parenthood. I’ve thus far done two IUI’s and both resulted in BFNs.
My husband recently mentioned to me that we was interested in using my friend as a donor. This friend is gay, gorgeous, happy and has been in a monogamous relationship for many years. He is our age and we have a lot in common. He has an extremely healthy family history and an amazing outlook on life. I had wanted to use him all along but my husband was afraid someone would try to take away his fatherhood. Somehow, over time, my husband seems to have relaxed to the whole idea of using a donor and now thinks using our friend is the way to go. I agree but also remember how long it took us to select our anonymous donor…and those vials are just sitting there ready to be used. So simple, no strings.
SO-my questions…if we were to select our friend as the donor and to use a cryobank to hold his samples, how would he be treated as a gay donor? Would they refuse him? I know there is always a 6 month waiting period with any donor but would he need to go additional screening? I know there is a cryobank in California that specializes in gay donors but we are in New York. What about just doing this at home, with a fresh sample? Where can I direct him to go so that we can have him medically tested beforehand if we did this ourselves? Do I need a lawyer to draw up paperwork to protect all of us involved? If we do this at home ourselves, does anyone have thoughts/advice on how to go about doing this? I see some people have done IUI’s at home but I don’t understand how that is possible, doesn’t the sperm have to be washed and checked first? Or are they just doing a simple AI and mistakenly calling it an IUI? How do I make this process as easy as possible for my friend and how do I protect him from discrimination?
In the mean time we are doing one more IUI with the anonymous donor. We have agreed on one more try, then we both want to think about the directed donor. I know it would have only been 3 IUI’s, it’s not necessarily because we haven’t gotten pregnant yet, but we are just sort of considering a different path.
Thoughts??? Again please go easy on us, these decisions are not easy!