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Sperm and Egg Donors

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    Interested on peoples thoughts on this (note, me and my husband havn't donated before anyone asks!)

    If you were in a long term serious relationship, would you be shocked if your partner admitted that they had donated sperm or eggs to help another person conceive? This could be through a clinic, or even privately for perhaps an infertile or gay couple?

    Would it affect you if you decided to have children with your partner and realised that your child together may not actually be their first? That your child had a half sibling somewhere in the world?

    If the partner had agreed no contact with the child, would this change your feelings? Or perhaps if they still had contact with the child through being friends with the couple they had helped, how would you feel about this?

    Is donation different to finding out (in a man's case) that they actually fathered a child through a one night stand or previous relationship that they had no prior knowledge of, until recently into your long term relationship. How would you cope with you both finding out this? Would you encourage contact between the child and your partner if the mother wanted this?

    I'm really interested in people's thoughts!
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    Well, I'm not sure if my response will be much use, but me and my twin brother are actually the result of a sperm donation. My parents had been trying to have children for years, and had even tried the donation 6 times previous but to no avail, until finally they got two at once. It was the most amazing gift anyone could have given them, and they do not regret it for a second.

    This could mean I'm biased in my opinions, because obviously without the kindness of sperm donation I would never have 'come' about (sorry couldn't resist). Therefore, I think if I found out my boyfriend had donated sperm, I would have a lot of admiration for him as I know the joy that can bring to an empty family, and it's a huge thing for someone to do, especially as nowadays children are allowed to track down the biological father.

    To answer your second question, as a donor child, I do think about half siblings quite a lot as I know that most likely, I have up to 10 of all different ages and it's a very strange but also somehow comforting thought. If I was a donor, I am sure I would think of it too - but you have to remember that what you did was a gift of kindness to parents as opposed to a gift of parenthood yourself, so really I feel your first child with your partner is still the first time you become a parent as I feel that a parent is the person who is there from day one and loves the child and cares for them. I think it's important to get the difference between parenthood and donation, although this is just my opinion.

    I think honestly I would feel more comfortable if my boyfriend was not in contact with his donor child, because I think it's just healthier that way. The child has been born into a family that love them that much that they are willing to go through the process of expensive fertility treatment in order to have them, and I think it is important that they recognise them as their mum and dad. As a donor child myself, I do not feel any desire to know my donor because as far as I am concerned, the man I call Dad is my father, biological or not, because that is the role he has played since I was born and that is what defines him as a father. Of course I do have curiosities, but even if I could meet him (I was born before the law was passed allowing me to meet him) I don't think I would because it just doesn't matter. All I need to know is that he was kind enough to give the gift of life to a couple who couldn't do it themselves, and that's satisfying. I think it's a bit of shame personally that the law has been passed where children can contact the donors, as this means there are a lot less of them, but I understand arguments for it - again I'm a little biased from my own situation.

    I hope this helps! Sorry it was a bit waffly...
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    (Original post by gypsyclimber)
    Well, I'm not sure if my response will be much use, but me and my twin brother are actually the result of a sperm donation. My parents had been trying to have children for years, and had even tried the donation 6 times previous but to no avail, until finally they got two at once. It was the most amazing gift anyone could have given them, and they do not regret it for a second.

    This could mean I'm biased in my opinions, because obviously without the kindness of sperm donation I would never have 'come' about (sorry couldn't resist). Therefore, I think if I found out my boyfriend had donated sperm, I would have a lot of admiration for him as I know the joy that can bring to an empty family, and it's a huge thing for someone to do, especially as nowadays children are allowed to track down the biological father.

    To answer your second question, as a donor child, I do think about half siblings quite a lot as I know that most likely, I have up to 10 of all different ages and it's a very strange but also somehow comforting thought. If I was a donor, I am sure I would think of it too - but you have to remember that what you did was a gift of kindness to parents as opposed to a gift of parenthood yourself, so really I feel your first child with your partner is still the first time you become a parent as I feel that a parent is the person who is there from day one and loves the child and cares for them. I think it's important to get the difference between parenthood and donation, although this is just my opinion.

    I think honestly I would feel more comfortable if my boyfriend was not in contact with his donor child, because I think it's just healthier that way. The child has been born into a family that love them that much that they are willing to go through the process of expensive fertility treatment in order to have them, and I think it is important that they recognise them as their mum and dad. As a donor child myself, I do not feel any desire to know my donor because as far as I am concerned, the man I call Dad is my father, biological or not, because that is the role he has played since I was born and that is what defines him as a father. Of course I do have curiosities, but even if I could meet him (I was born before the law was passed allowing me to meet him) I don't think I would because it just doesn't matter. All I need to know is that he was kind enough to give the gift of life to a couple who couldn't do it themselves, and that's satisfying. I think it's a bit of shame personally that the law has been passed where children can contact the donors, as this means there are a lot less of them, but I understand arguments for it - again I'm a little biased from my own situation.

    I hope this helps! Sorry it was a bit waffly...
    Thank you very much for your post, hearing from a donor child is fascinating because you obviously have a different viewpoint to add. I agree that donors have done an incredible thing, and your points on the law being passed have made me think. I can understand why the number of donors has decreased for those that wish to remain anonymous.

    Two very close friends of ours suffered through three miscarriages and a stillbirth seven months into the pregnancy, such a cruel thing to happen to two people obviously meant to be parents. Conceiving was not a problem, sadly carrying to term was. They thought about surrogacy (a child that was genetically theirs),however in the meantime they conceived a boy who is now a year old.

    A lesbian couple who have been my friends since school are thinking about using their gay friend's donation to have a child, and so this topic is on my mind at the moment. The friend would very much want to be part of the child's life, along with his long term partner, so obviously this raises other issues which they will have to work through.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts

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Updated: February 7, 2012
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