Married Couple interested in using Directed Gay Sperm Donor


#1

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!


#2

First of all I want to say that I am SO SORRY for everything you are going through. It really has to be rough not having the full support of friends and relatives. I for one understand what it’s like to be in a situation that people don’t really relate too (so if you’d like to hear about that, I’d be glad to fill you in, lol), and that, in itself, regardless of the situation, is difficult. I don’t personally know all the ins and outs of having to use a donor. But I can say that if I were you, I would try to go the office-iui route rather than at home. I think the office route takes a lot of the emotion out of it, at least for the donor. There’s always the possibility for him to go back on his feelings about it. Also, since he is your close friend, what level of openness would you all be comfortable with over the next 18 years? I have considered being an egg donor/surrogate. But I know that I personally would want to be involved in the child’s life, which a lot of parents might not be comfortable with. I don’t think your donor’s sexuality should impact your decision at all. And obviously you aren’t. I’m kind of religious, and I personally think that being gay is a sin, but I also know that it’s not my place to judge the actions of others. That’ll be done by someone else. :slight_smile: At the end of the day, I think your friend is a great option for you, but if you are going to have an open relationship between him and your child, then I would figure that our first… I certainly wouldn’t ever try to hide the fact. Maybe, depending on how your husband would feel about it, have the friend be the godfather, or refer to him as an uncle, or even “daddy mike” or whatever his name is. Regardless of where your donor sperm comes from, your child will be loved, and that’s what important. I don’t know if I’m actually helping or not, or if I’ve actually even given anything that constitutes being “advice”… Anyways… I definitely wouldn’t do the “at home” thing unless you are prepared for any emotional and legal ramifications that may come with it… There are 3 of you nvolved here, and at anytime, your current feelings and emotions could change. Would you be prepared for your husband to suddenly develop fears thast your child would want to be gay? What if something caastophic happens to your family financially, can you say for certaint hat having asuch a loose arrangement that you wouldn’t go after the donor for child support? What if you donor wants to be a “daddy” and your husband isn’t comfortable with it? There are a lot of things to consider. But I don’t know the relationship you guys have with your friend, so those are things you would have to judge for yourselves… again, I don’t know if I’m helping at all… but I just wanted to offer some non-judgement in an unusual situation. My unusual situation is hard for people to understand too, and I just wanted to be able to help, if I could.


#3

Kaybe, thank you for your response. I truly need the support and really appreciate it. As far as the issues you have mentioned, we have already discussed and decided on some of them. I should mention that we are pretty open minded when it comes to a lot of things so there is absolutely no concern about having a gay child. We just want a happy child. With regard to the donor being involved with the child’s life, we are expecting it. Both the donor and his partner will be called “uncle” and we hope that they will want to be with us from time to time. They are close friends now so I’m sure they will be a part of our life. They have no interest in having their own children, but like kids, so I’m sure there will be some type of relationship there. We are open to it. We were thinking that it might actually be easier for our child rather than waiting until he/she registers on the database looking for half siblings and potentially the donor himself. Everything will be explained early on to avoid the shock of finding out later. “Uncle X helped us to have you” at 4 years old or so is what we were thinking. Regarding the financial part, we would certainly sign a document to protect the donor and ourselves, him from financial responsibility and us from custody issues. I just was not sure if I really needed a lawyer for that or if I could find a simple one on the internet or draw one up ourselves.

Thank you for reserving judgement and offering your input. I really appreciate it.


#4

MtkRen – I can understand how you might feel the need to ask us not to be judgemental, but in truth, the ladies, (and men), on the “donor” boards are about the LEAST judgemental group of people you will ever encounter. :slight_smile:

Like kaybe said, I too am so sorry you’re going through these problems. Some of the mountains we have to climb in life are pretty enormous, aren’t they?

Okay, let’s see, (from what I know)… No, I don’t believe a cryobank would have any problem or show any discrimination in storing and working with a gay man’s sperm. They will put him through all the ordinary tests – you should want him to go through the ordinary tests – that any man would go through: sperm count, disease screening, etc. It’s all par for the course and non-discriminatory.

As far as families asking, “What will you tell the child???”… Welcome to the club. Everyone here who uses a donor egg or donor sperm gets this same Spanish Inquisition as some point. I suppose that parents (and extended families) figure we don’t have a brain in our heads and haven’t thought of all this before, right? :wink: First and foremost, your husband and you need to make sure you’re on the same page about all this, that you’re both comfortable with it, and then you simply need to learn to let the questions and unsolicited commentary slide off your backs.

The comments about “you have to be sure he’s not gay”… Whoa. Hmmm. Okay. That’s a wild one, but probably not unexpected. So is there a chance the child could turn out to be gay? Yeppers. But there’s a chance that even if you used your husband’s sperm, the child could turn out to be gay. There is NO predicting it. Remind your family of that if they decide to insert that particular worry into a conversation again. (You’re going to find that you’ll need to be tough and firm in this whole thing sometimes, because other people just don’t understand)

As far as the donor and his partner remaining in the picture as “uncles”, all I can say is “great!” If you’re comfortable with it, if THEY are comfortable with it, and if you honestly don’t think there will be an eventual tugging at the donor that perhaps he feels he should be more of a daddy and less of an uncle… fantastic!

Children can never have too many loving, supportive, encouraging and protective people in their lives. Never.

In conclusion, I would be far less worried about knowing a donor if there were a counseling session or two in advance to make sure there will be no issues of him feeling more paternal and attached to your child in the coming years. That’s the only issue I can see here – and I see it because initially I wondered if I could have a child from an egg donor that I knew. (The answer was “no” for me, because I didn’t want to envision seeing flashes of a known “other person” in my child’s face as he grows).

In the mean time, I wish you both – wish you ALL – the very best in this. I wish you baby/babies and all the joy that comes with parenthood.

Don’t hesitate to join the DE thread, (probably the longest thread on the entire forum) as you get going. There is a LOT of help and support there, and it’s just a lovely ongoing conversation.

:welcome:


#5

Imagicat, thank you…great advice…I had not even thought of a counseling session. Awesome. It feels right. As I mentioned we are going to give it one more attempt with our anonymous donor and it is meant to be it will be. If it doesn’t work out, we are going to take a break for a while and save money to do this the right way with our known donor. We will need to save up for all of the fees, counseling and probably some legal help. That will likely take a year or so to save for. I’ve been getting impatient lately but we will have to wait for our known donor…not only to save up for it but also for the 6 month waiting period they will require for testing. I guess I’m going to have to learn to be a bit more patient, but we’ve been trying for years and it can be difficult, as I know everyone in here knows!


#6

I agree with what the other women say on here - definitely consult a legal professional and get some documents in writing. I was considering using my BF as a surrogate, if I couldn’t carry a baby - which led to A LOT of questions in the family. One from my mom being, “are you sure you want to do this? I don’t want to see you ruining your relationship with your BF over this.” Because we wanted to protect everyone involved, we would have paid for the legal fees to make sure the appropriate documents were drawn up regarding parental rights, compensation (since we’d be “renting” her uterus for 9 mos), etc. I also agree that counseling is a good idea. DH and I had to go to counseling before our RE would move forward with donor sperm, to make sure everyone was ready for the step. The 3,4 of you should go, and make sure the professionals ask the right questions to make sure everyone is ready.

I have been very moved about the thought of using donor sperm, I am amazed there are people out there who would selflessly help people like us. The same for friends who volunteer to help us have children.

Good luck!


#7

Sorry my English I’m from Europe… I don’t think it’s a smart idea to use sperm or eggs from a close friend. Simply because I don’t believe in the “non-string” attached situation. The parent instinct can grow very stronger once the child is born, something you cannot control most of the times… I heard cases where the original egg donor would try to get close to the child… I saw a documentary about 1 yes ago on Discovery about a woman who donated her egg to close friends and after 5 yrs she sued the parents because she wanted to have legal right over the child, and since the parents never signed any contract with her because she was their “good friend”…She gained right over the child… The best way is to find a random sperm donor for example Europe or different part of U.S and never keep in touch.


#8

We now know that a lawyer would very much need to be involved. Of course, there are other emotional issues at stake…it’s not just about the legal security here. But with the lifestyle my potential donor leads, I just could never imagine him wanting to have any heavy duty responsibilities in parenting. Not just because he has told me so, but he is a highly social, jet setting professional. He and his partner do not want to be tied down in any way. They love kids but feel quite strongly about not wanting their own. I know these feelings can change, but we will be legally protected and he will too. And we really do want him to be our child(ren)'s “Uncle” and to have a bond of some kind. I see no problem there.

One of the strongest reasons we are interested in this particular friend as a donor is his amazing attitude. He is such a positive person. There are lots of tests and assessments for anonymous donors, but how do you know if they have a history of depression? It’s not like getting tested for STD’s or genetic defects.

This being said, we are doing one more cycle with our Fairfax donor this month. Should be in about 12 days or so that I go in for the IUI. We just want a child so badly. I’m really hoping this one works.

In the mean time, I had my medical records sent to me and “PCOS-like” comes up several times. What??? They had told me all along everything was fine and normal with me. I don’t understand. I just wished we had made better decisions and had a donor back up waiting for us during the IVF process. Now I have to address my own potential issues. RE is saying next cycle will be medicated, this will be the last natural IUI.


#9

Hi, wow you have been through a lot but sound like you know what you want. Sometimes you just have to go with what feels right although I would say you should still consider the legal ramifications because thinks can change and you should protect the child ultimatley. I got a lot of great advice from a website called Pride Angel, they had a legal section and an advisor you could email for more specific advice, they also have a lot of information on the whole donation process. Might be worth taking a look, Donate sperm to lesbian, single, infertile couples, donors needed I hope you get things sorted and ultimatley achieve your goal of a baby, best wishes Dawn x


#10

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