Fran’s first blog ‘Going it alone – with a sperm donor’ explaining why she chose to use a sperm donor to conceive her very much wanted baby elicited a lot of interest and – for those of us unfamiliar with sperm donation – a lot of questions too. We asked Fran to explain a bit more about the process and how it may impact both her and her child in the future.
I am an SMBC – Single Mum By Choice – and spent a lot of time researching the ins and outs of
using a sperm donor in order to reach my ultimate goal – to be a mummy to my own very much wanted baby. I thought I would expand a little about how this process worked for me.
The donor of my rainbow baby was actually the fourth donor I used. The first one unfortunately resulted in my miscarriage and due to the fact he was a two and a half hour drive away from me and wanted substantial payment for 'expenses' I decided to find someone more local (although not too local – I don't want to be bumping into them whilst shopping in the supermarket!). I tried two more donors but after several attempts was unable to fall pregnant. The entire process was extremely overwhelming and time consuming, so I decided that I needed to take a break.
I could have chosen a different route and achieved pregnancy using an anonymous donor through a clinic. However, whilst I could achieve the things that were important to me this way, I felt that going down the private route of ‘pregnancy by known donor’ gave me slightly more control over the situation. For example, I want my child to be able to contact the donor once they are 18 (or sooner if the donor agrees). Also, I didn’t want to use a donor who plans to donate sperm lots of times to numerous different woman. This could potentially result in my child having lots of siblings out in the world (possibly living quite locally too) which could impact them in later life. Looks are important to me too – obviously there is a good chance that my child will look like the donor.
Choosing a donor privately has difficulties too as much of the process relies on gut instinct. It is rather like using a dating website and having to sieve through lots of weirdos to find the honest and genuine guys. It’s not something that can be rushed as its very challenging to trust a complete stranger with such a massive and life changing decision.
It is actually illegal to sell sperm in the UK, however, the donor can claim expenses such as fuel, travel costs, hotels etc if needed. I certainly racked up a few pounds on my credit cards last year, including lots of travelling and hotel stays myself. Some adverts are so ridiculous that they really made me chuckle (but dismiss them immediately too!) You would be surprised by the amount of extremely poor grammar out there. Plenty of men (and women using websites such as co-parents couldn’t even spell the word ‘donor’ – yes they would quite often refer to the good old take away on a Saturday night – doner (kebabs)! 😊
My sperm donor
So back to this donor, I met him online and we started chatting and exchanging messages, it was mainly me asking tons and tons of questions to figure out if he was the right fit or not. We chatted for several months and also face-timed a couple of times. He seemed like such a genuine guy and was really flexible when I needed to move dates around etc. I still have contact with him now. He said he would like to be kept up to date throughout the pregnancy and once the baby has arrived. How much or how little contact he will have after the baby has arrived is something I'm not sure about yet in all honesty. I'd originally envisaged sending updates on birthdays and Christmas, but guess this is something we will figure out and discuss at a later date.
I'm more than happy for my child to know all about him. I'll explain the story and show them pictures, but there is that fine line of them understanding that he plays no part in our lives. He won't contribute to the upbringing of the child in anyway. He's not a father, he is a donor.
There are lots of books on the market all about solo parenting and explaining that families come in all different shapes and sizes these days. I intend to read and do lots of research in readiness for when the child is old enough to start asking questions.
Wish me luck!