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Lesbian Pregnancy: Pros and Cons of Using a Known Sperm Donor


Unlike the majority of straight couples, lesbian couples who are thinking about starting a family are not going to have the easiest time of it. Unlike straight women, they don't have a built-in sperm donor in the form of a husband or boyfriend who is accessible at all hours, at any time of the month, who will be there when she's ovulating. It breaks my heart that the intense love two people share will never be strong enough to create a little version of themselves, with both their genetic traits and quirky characteristics combined, because as long as they're both women, it just isn't physically possible.

But here in the 21st century we are lucky enough to have options. Artificial insemination is just one way that scores of lesbians have been able to become mothers. Sperm banks are a common fixture in our society, and mommies-to-be visit them to find an anonymous donor. But there is another type of sperm donor as well, called a known donor, and there are pros and cons to this type of donation.

A known donor is, obviously, someone that you already know personally. Whether he's a straight friend or a gay colleague, you know him well enough to feel comfortable asking him to help you become a parent. You are able to assess his character and determine whether or not you "vibe" with him. A known donor can be found virtually anywhere--at work, at school, at your local GLBT center, online, at social events. You might be more comfortable finding someone whom you've known for a long time, but is just as possible to meet someone new and click with him as well.

Donor Screening Questions

One possibility (which is semi-controversial depending on who you ask) is your partner's male relatives, such as her brother or cousin. The idea behind it is that since they both share the same genetic make-up, this is the closest you can get to creating a child that is most like the two of you. In addition to typically being able to trust known donors more than unknown, one of the big pros to using a known donor, whether he's a family member or not, is that you are guaranteed access to his medical history. By taking a verbal account, you'll know if asthma, allergies, heart disease, cancer or mental illness runs in his family, and if there are any diseases which are hereditary. You can inquire about his history with drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, as cigarette smoking is detrimental to the sperm's vitality. Unfortunately, some family members may view this as incestuous or morally corrupt. Another downside is that it can be very confusing for the child as he or she grows up. If you are being open and honest about how she came into the world, it can be difficult to explain that her uncle is actually her father.

Which brings us to the issue of known donor involvement. What level of interaction do you want him to have in the child's life? It is important to decide and discuss this with your known donor before hand. If you use a relative as the sperm donor, he will obviously be a fixed figure in her existence. You'll have to decide if you want him to function as her uncle or as her daddy. Many lesbian couples want the donor for his sperm and medical history, but little else. They want to raise their baby in a two parent household that consists of two mommies, period. They will not require nor expect any financial, psychological or spiritual assistance from the sperm donor; they will not be co-parenting, they will not be sharing responsibility. The baby will be the child of her two mothers. At the same time, some lesbians choose a known donor because they aren't sure whether or not they'll regret their child having no access to her biological father in the future. It may never come up, but if it does, they don't want to exclude that option should the child feel inclined to meet him. However, just because you are using a known donor does not mean that he has to fulfill the role of a father. Although biologically he is her father, he can function as an "uncle" or close family friend instead. They can have an important relationship without being father/daughter.

Using a known donor is markedly less expensive than using an unknown donor, and because his sperm is fresh as opposed to frozen, there is a better chance of successful insemination. The majority of known donors do not expect payment for their sperm, whereas the use of a sperm bank or fertility clinic can easily cost thousands of dollars.

Sample Known Donor Contracts

Unfortunately, there are more legal risks when it comes to using a known donor. No matter what you discuss and decide ahead of time in terms of the sperm donor's involvement in the child's life, as her biological father he is still capable of changing his mind. Until his rights as a parent are formally terminated, he is still technically the legal father. Severing paternity rights early on is the best way to stop this from happening, but he may still try to sue for custody in the future. Additionally, his parents may want custody as the child's grandparents. Laws vary from state to state, and in some of the more crooked areas of the country, a lesbian mother might lose custody of her child based on her sexual orientation. Although there is no guarantee that you'll retain sole custody, drawing up a donor contract and visiting a lawyer who has practice with nontraditional families is highly recommended.


Winnipeger on June 27, 2012:

Yes kids are not puppies and gay and lezbains don't treat them like that! We all have the same rights in life.

Bernard Preston from South Africa and the Netherlands on May 16, 2012:

Hi again, Jaclyn,

One angle you haven't mentioned, that raised by Trapped, perhaps because it's assumed that all lesbian would-be-mothers would want artificial insemination.

But reading throught the heartbreak letters above, I have the suspicion that several of the women actually slept with the known donor. Clearly in Trapped's case the two women targetted him both for his sperm, and his financial support.

Would you like to add an addendum to your original article concerning sleeping with the chosen donor, and the implications?

Or is that an absurd thought? Virtually no women in a happy stable relationship with another woman would remotely consider actually sleeping with the chosen donor, as clearly happened in Trapped's case?


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PS: I think I'm going to copy and keep the above stories. There's food here for another ten books after A Family Affair!

Trapped on May 15, 2012:

A really attractive girl, only newly aquainted, asks if i worked, owned my house or rented, etc.. general talk.. but a few weeks passed & wanted to sleep with me. suddenly hormones take over & the ineviable happens.

i didn't use condom, i have no idea if she had contraception either. it seems men are unable to think clearly in this hormone overloaded situation (where as the female CAN!!).

this was simply a 1-nite stand, turned out she got pregnant - she had no intention for me to be there in the childs life except to pay child support to fund her lesbian lifestyle.. the more i earn the more she gets, the amount payable is far greater then any average wage that she could ever hope to get!!!

they have no intention to work, or select a male sperm donor, or to choose a male at random.. they seem to carefully select a'sucker'..

i hate it when people say "he should have kept it in his pants" ~ male hormones are powerful & these women know this.. takes 2 to make a baby, no not only should men keep in in their pants, she also shouldn't have a baby out of wedlock, as if its purely the mans fault that she is pregnant - so he MUST pay child support.

I dis-agree with male abortion, but if tricked for sperm so they can fund their own lifestyle choices - male abortion should be allowed to teach these women a lesson.

i feel sorry for the baby & yes 100% i should have used protection (i am not teased & influenced by hormones upon writing this last sentence).

Lucy on May 14, 2012:

Thus is so sad for these children. For Gods sake, they are not puppies. This goes completely against nature and what life is supposed to be about. These poor children don't have a chance for a normal future.

Bernard Preston from South Africa and the Netherlands on April 21, 2012:

I love the uncertainty! I take it you are a woman, and your wife too! Or a sterile male? And your wife's gay best friend, a man? Not you?

Obviously your child will by the age of 3-4 know that neither of you can be daddy. Personally, I would promise to tell him when he is say 18, or 21. Especially seeing "uncle" doesn't like children. He may change his mind... there's the danger.

In my books I look for a bio father with a twist. Peter Scott doesn't know that he has a child. Four in fact. Can a woman rape a man?

winnipeger on April 18, 2012:

my wife and i are having a baby soon we used a known doner my wifes gay best friend. he does not like children and just wants to be known as uncle. he is signing away his rights as soon as the baby is born but it still makes me feel un easy how to explain this to are kid cause i dont want to lie to them at all.any thoughts?

Kt on April 18, 2012:

Ok, coming from a known donors point of view... I was asked to help a lesbian couple create their family. My simple request in return was that the child be aware of the fact that I'm the biological father. I don't want to take over custody, but merely be in the child's life. My excitement was muted after the child was born when I was told that I'd be known as the "uncle", and maybe will be told who I really am around the age of 16. Nice. Deny me the excitement of welcoming into this world my first child by being tagged as an uncle and lie to the child as it grows up... And then spring the surprise on them at a time when their emotions will be very sensitive. What will it hurt for me to be known as the bio father? Being that I never met my father... I know how it hurt.

Bernard Preston from South Africa and the Netherlands on April 11, 2012:

A lovely article, Jaclyn. Well written, and sums up the situation to a T.

I tackle many of these issues in my new trilogy, A Family Affair. Peter knows nothing of Janet and Santie's four children, his children.

Assume the children will want to know who their biological father is, every adopted or illicitly conceived child, as these four are, will demand to know... Peter is devastated to discover he has four teenage children. But his parents, long assuming that Peter will have no issue, are over the moon.

Fiction is fun to write, read too. Hooray for ebooks, keeps the price down to 99c each.

Ashley on March 21, 2012:

I have found this article very helpful me and my wife/partner are trying to get pregnant right now with a donor we have met and have gotten to know. He is a truly amazing guy and very glad we found him as are donor.

I know reding some of the comments couples have been saying they have tried multiple times and it hasn't taken. Trying using a instead cup. If you are curious and want to know more e-mail me at and i can explain what it is. I have had two friends have great success off of it.

Brooklyn on March 16, 2012:

I appreciate the generally thoughtful, respectful, and educational tone of the posts on this site. I would like to echo the questions just posted by ThisIsAnAmazingArticle. It would be very helpful to know the children's thoughts and feelings about this when they are teens and young adults.

I have a friend who spent years finding her biological mother after being adopted away as a baby. Her quest for her biological roots were intense. I can imagine that babies of lesbian couples with a Known Donor benefit from the knowledge.

However, how many teens and young adults resent their situation later? Are those people willing to post their experiences and how they navigated them? I agree that heterosexual couples are a social construction, but the reality is that they are in the minority, and most of their children's friends will have dads. How often do *teens* and later young adults have a hard time with this?

ThisIsAnAmazingArticle on February 28, 2012:

My first thought is what the children of these situations say?! I realise most of them are still toddlers but a few people have said their children are now grown - would they be kind/bold enough to share their thoughts I wonder?

I managed to read most of the comments and the article itself was phenomonal, thank you!

To all those who are struggling with difficulties you have my heartfelt good wishes. From what I can gather there are certain things to consider before starting:

Counselling - everyone should have their opportunity to talk through and process the whole thing.

Legal stuff - try and draw up as much as possible and get it as tight as possible beforehand. Emotions can do crazy things to people!

Grandparents - don't underestimate their feelings and the pressures they can put on the father

Partners/wives - keep an open line of communication at all times. Everyone's opinion in this (the 4 adults concerned) should hold equal value

kyork from Maine on February 24, 2012:

I respect the rights of others to post their thoughts even though they may conflict with mine, but I must say that some people truly have no consideration for the love others may feel.

At any rate, this article was very helpful. My partner and I are a few years from having children but I want to be prepared. Well written and informative, two birds with one stone! Thanks! :]

nuka on February 21, 2012:

the biological father as an "uncle" wow what a selfish thing to do lol.

Nick on February 21, 2012:

I came across this article felt that I need to ask advice, since there was so many different opinions and situations.

I'm 22 years old male and I consider my self to be bi-sexual. Two of my best friends who are a lesbian couple came to me about a year ago when the idea of me being a donor for them, so they could start a family. I thought about it for months, taking in to consideration every detail that this would entail.

Now that they have decided that they are ready, we sat down to discuss it. We are very good friends and they want me to be apart of the child's life, which is something that I would love to do. They said I would be the "uncle" and when they were ready or when the child started asking questions, they would tell him/ her. That personally sealed the deal for me. I want apart of their life. What was really flattering it that they asked me to be the child's god parent, which I accept fully...

After reading the post by others, I'm wondering what advice others have for me. Life is uncertain if I meet someone, or move away, or even if something was to happen I don't want to have to change my life cause of complications. Although I will be biologically related to this child, this will not be my son/ daughter.

What do I need to do to secure my well being and the well being of my future family in the case that something goes wrong?

Stafee on February 20, 2012:

My partner and I want to have a child. We are going to use my brother and it seems the most logical choice. Im scared though.. I dont want the child to grow up and think he or she is a freak or something. Has anyone actually used a relative? How did it work out?

maisy4224 on February 15, 2012:

My partner and I live in WI, and are wondering if anyone has experience using a known donor who is married. We are hoping to enter into an agreement so all basis are covered and then get the rights terminated at birth. Is there issues if the known donor is married? Thanks for any feedback!


Shelby on February 09, 2012:

Thank you. My partner and I have been talking about having kids. She wants to be the one to carry the child, but she wants our baby to "be gorgeous like her wife." Isn't that sweet? So, we've discussed getting my cousin (since I don't have any male siblings) to donate his sperm. Thank you for writing this article. It addresses a lot of issues that I probably would not have thought about. Though -- something you didn't address but maybe should have -- I feel it would be prudent to also discuss things with a known donor's partner/spouse (if applicable), even if they don't have any legal say in the decision. on February 05, 2012:

very Nice

OhioLes on January 30, 2012:

Okay so... Basically I used a friend to get pregnant... I thought he should have knew but guys are guys so maybe he never realized what was happening. I told him I was a virgin and he knows that I am a lesbian and also know that I am in a relationship. So when we had sex I knew I would get pregnant because I timed it out according to my cycle days and did it on day 12. But Since then I haven't spoke to him, he hasn't called me because I guess he didn't want to come in between my relationship with my woman. But here I am now, 37 weeks pregnant and I still haven't told him that me and her are having a baby together. What I typically would like is for him to give up his parental rights and then maybe I could invite him to stuff like birthday parties or something so my son could know him but not as a dad, just as a biological father. The last thing I would want is for him to find out and want to take my son away from me and my partner because I dont want to raise him in a split home or share custody with a man. I want us to have one home and this is so important to me, that although I know I am being selfish I am also thinking about my family and the biological father is not part of our family. My girlfriend also feels really unsure because she feels that if his father is in his life that she would not be anything because she is not the birthmother. I hope that everyone on here is able to make the best decision and do what is comfortable and sometimes you just have to forgive yourself for the decisions you make because you are just trying to do your best. I would rather keep my family together and my angry teen be mad that he doesn't know his father, than to have an over-bearing biological father trying to take our son away. Maybe this is unlikely, but the chance still exists with all the circumstances and the laws that are not equipt for our century. A woman's intent at time of conception should always be put first. A man can not just come along and feel like they have rights to a child that has nothing to do with them other than conception and biology. A woman should have every right on who she wants to raise her child with and what degree of involvement any other party has in that child's life. That is called the carriers right because noone else carries the child but her.

OhioLes on January 30, 2012:

I see so many stories and I thought I might as well post mines...

Lina on January 23, 2012:

I had a lovely relationship with a great woman that ended and evolved to a co-parenting situation. We had three children. Our eldest is a beautiful ten year old daughter and then a set of seven year old twins. All born to anonymous donor fathers. After our separation I kept full custody of my birth daughter and my ex kept custody of twins. Though we both had the ability to take each other to court to fight for hundreds of things we found that it was just healthier for our children not to go through family court. Our ten year old is brilliant, honestly quite brilliant and understands the concept of having a donor father. She was brought up with her eyes open to the differences in our family. Her major questions have been answered by all the info received from the Cryobank about The donor. She sees all kinds of families within her school friends... Single moms, single dads, grandma being the parent, etc, etc, with 50 % divorce rate my daughter sees families of all kinds yet she tells me that she loves the fact that she knows that she was not an oops! Accident pregnancy. She was wanted, planned and loved before she was conceived. No one abandoned her, no one turned their back on her. She finds it fascinating that I chose a donor to make up for what I perceived as my own flaws..I'm short, he was tall. I'm great at reading, writhing and he was great in math. Both have high SAT scores...

Our other two are grasping things a little slower yet we are confident that with our love and reassurance the will grow up fine.

missynyc on January 22, 2012:

Hi all!

This is indeed a great resource. Most books on lesbian pregnancy have only a brief discussion of inseminating with a known donor so this discussion is one of the most thorough I have seen. It helps so much to hear about actual first hand experiences with a known donor - both good and bad. I'm sorry to hear about the situations that have gone sour over time. I wish you reconciliation and harmony.

My girlfriend and I have approached a very close gay, single, friend we have known as long as we have been together and he is open and excited about the prospect of being a known donor. But there are so many unknowns such as raised here. How will his future partner feel about it? How might his parents react regarding their role as grandparents. (I think 4 grandparents is already probably pretty complicated never mind another two. And his parents are religiously conservative and homophobic to boot!)

I really want to go forward with our plans because I feel like this could be a wonderful "cauldron of love" as Charlie put it. I feel like we could really build a wonderful family together with our friend in a kind of "uncle" or "godparent" role.

In searching online, the resources I have found for working with a known donor are very sparse. Wouldn't it be nice to have some resources that help guide a couple and their donor towards this amicable arrangement - guiding them to consider everything in the open, raising questions for both the donor and the couple... etc.

Does anyone know of any books or resources aside from this hub here that specifically address known donor insemination for lesbian pregnancy? Charlie, are you willing to share more about what specific steps you think enabled your positive experience? (I know that not everything can be controlled or accounted for, but knowing best practices would be wonderful).

Thanks to everyone here!

Jackie on January 17, 2012:

I have been finding things difficult the last few months. Late Nov 11 i found out that my husband of 7 years had been a sperm doner for 2 years, donating to lesbian couples, and 1 child has been born. We are unable to have children. My husband never talked to me about this, went behind my back, and lied to me for 2 years. This has caused a lot of hurt and pain for me. The couple that have the 1 child have now asked my hubby to donate again. I have told my husband, that if he does this our relationship will be over, as unable to deal with what as all ready happened. If only he had talked to me. He says he needed to see if he could have children. I am happy that a couple has been helped, but so unhappy that my husband lied, and hurt me just to help someone else.

Joe on January 15, 2012:

This is exactly the discussion I've been looking for! My partner is done with kids (we've had a few already), but I'm not, I love 'em, I want more. She and I, we've got no plans to split, things are pretty good in fact. If I could find a stable family in need of paternity, that would be perfect. You don't even have to be lesbians - though lesbians do seem like the logical demographic - just (1) interested in my biology for your child and (2) willing to let me participate to a negotiable degree with raising him or her. To be totally clear: I am a man and this is an offer of paternity with no intent of intimacy.

Also, online privacy is important to me, but I have no issues at all in person or on the phone. Email me, we can talk.

Amanda McCullough on January 13, 2012:

My partner and I have just started our known donor journey, he is a straight guy, we are a lesbian couple that has been together for a very long time. We initially thought we would go to a sperm bank and not know who the father is. Once I got to thinking about it, and thinking about my dad and how much I loved him, I realized it would be completely selfish of me to deny my children access to their father, we drew up a legal contract and he has no legal rights when they are born, but we want him to be there for them and be an "uncle" to them. They are going to need several positive male role models and the person we chose to use is the kind of person that would never try to take our kids from us. Before I met my partner she had a two year old boy, the father wanted no involvement when the child was born but once the child turned a certain age he wanted full custody and won because we lived in Ohio and she was openly gay. We now are trying to have children together and are fighting to get our first son back. You can't trust men. Draw up a legal contract and go to a lawyer. Our little boy is stuck in Ohio while we live in San Diego because the judge didn't like that my girlfriend was a lesbian. No other reason. It has been so hard, but we are finally ready to start having babies and since we have a partner that completely understands what he is getting himself into we know we won't have to go through that again. But the concept of the male taking your child from you is very real, it can and will happen, don't be an idiot and get drunk at a party and screw a guy to have a kid out of desperation. You will regret it and your child will suffer for it. Lesbians head to my warning.

thinking... on January 07, 2012:

I am a gay man who is has been with my partner for some time. During a recent seperation, my now again partner donated sperm to a close lesbian couple. They are now pregnant. They want my partner and i to be possitive male role models in the childs life. I am really struggling with the whole pregnancy. I was not totally in aggreement prior to the short seperation. I am just struggling with what to do with the emotions and feelings at this time. There are so many emotions and thoughts about what this looks like for our future. Now, no matter what i think, my partner will be a father and not to "our" child. Its just so hard to be ok with this. Hope i dont sound harsh, i am really happy to know a lesbian couple i care about is able to have their dreams come true, just not sure how to cope with knowing my partner is the biological father. I think it would have been different if we had our own children first. Any thoughts on how to cope with this?

Aubiefan2011 on December 09, 2011:

I am a lesbian and my girlfriend and I have been together for 5 years and have been raising an old friend's little girl for the last 2 years. We brought her home from the hospital and all and both of her parents or drug users and only care about the child when it allows them to show her off to their friends, family and new partners. I mean they honestly don't care about this child because they have went months without seeing her or calling to check on her but the state that we live in will not allow two woman to adopt this child or get any kind of rights to her. We have talked about artificial insemination and all but we are so up in the air with the little girl that we are taken care of right now to focus on our own child. They only come around when they want or need something and they take her away and when they get tired of her they always bring her back and it hurts us to see this child being used and put thru this but there is legally nothing we can do to stop it from happening. We have talked to lawyers and judges and they all tell her to keep doing what we are doing but it's hurting us and this child to be putted around like she is and it seems that noone wants to help us stop this from happening. This little girl calls my partner and I Mommy and Mama and her parents by name. I mean if anyone has any advice or any legal help that maybe we just cant find please let us know! Thanks!

xethonxq on December 08, 2011:

I'm not so sure about a known least for me. I think I would be wayyyyy too worried about legal issues. My partner went the artificial insemination we have an almost 17 year old beautiful girl who is smart, talented...and very

I think going the known donor route would take a lot of trust on everyone's part.

I loved the article becauseilive. I know there are many different options so it's great that you put this one on the forefront for consideration.

davina on December 07, 2011:

This article is great !. Me and my fiancée are planning to start a family next year we have chosen to go threw a fertily clinic that way we will have info on our donor to past onto our child and when our child is older enough to understand we will tell them how he or she was conceived and that both mummies love them unconditionally and answer any question they may have. Most hectosexual couple have breakdowns and fathers walk away from their children. As long as the child is brought up in a loving home and cared for right where is the problem we are in the 2000th century where it's the norm for lesbians to become parents and it's our right as a woman to have a baby if we want to there is no law to say that we cant do so. to all the people who left positive comments i wish you and your partners all the best in becoming wonderful parents and charlie i think it amazing what you and your wife are doing xxx

parent to be on November 29, 2011:

ME and my girlfriend are having a baby we chose a known donor and my fear is that the donor will suddenly be in our lives a lot, considering that he is not now. I just don't want the awkwardness of feeling as though I'm not genuinely the parent because donor is there. I was also worried about hearing the oh he/she acts just like the donor or oooo they look like the donor. Am I crazy to be feeling this way??

kirsty on November 21, 2011:

Great article first of all. My partner and I have been together for 2 and a half years now.. I have a nearly 5 year old from a relationship when I was 17 now me and my partner are both 22 now. I joke with her that its her turn to have the next child. She's awesome with childeren and we are very much in love. We have talked about having another child and have both said that she will give birth, I am worried about how we are going to go about it, me bonding with the child and how my daughter would cope, understand and how much she would change from being an only child to having a brother or sister.

Is it too soon to have a baby?

How could i kind of make sure i bond with our baby..?

Any advice would be greatful... Thank you

Magz on November 05, 2011:

Great article which brings awareness to the difficulties same sex couples face while trying to become parents. I invite you to my blog called "Some things to consider when using an anonymous sperm donor" which is right along the same lines as your post :)

LJ on October 11, 2011:

I live with my boyfriend and my lesbian best friend who is single. We have been friends for a number of years and are very close. Im 28 and she is 30 and we both feel that we would like to have a baby together and that now is probably the right time in our lives to do it. I would want full involvement as the dad which I know she would want and vice versa which is fine. obvously there are alot of things to consider but I just wondered if anyone had any advice before we go through with anything?

stylezink from Atlanta, GA. on October 11, 2011:

OMG, I cannot believe some of the harsh comments. I am so very curious to those leaving the negative comments and their home life. "Lesbians got no right to kids" Why? Why is that? Why is it SO bad? If you don't know them and they are not your kids then why? Why does it affect you guys so? That is what I don't understand. Most of you would be quick to walk passed a homeless person and not give a damn. So why would you care who raises ones children. Everything is a learned behavior. It's too bad some of your folks taught you to be so hateful and to worry too much about other people's problems. A lot of people these days worry about what's going on in another persons home they don't realize how jacked up their own is.

It must be a lesbian writing this... You're right! I have been in my relationship for 10 years now. We get a long better than our own parents did while we were growing up. We have two boys, both teens. They both get great grades, one is an honor student, they both participate in school activities and sports, and both have girlfriends. Amazing right?

apologetics on October 05, 2011:

Surrogacy is not the solution at all!

C on September 27, 2011:

My partner and I are planning for a baby in a year! After reading negative stories on a known donor I am so confused as to what to do!! I feel as though my partner and I will provide a great life, but I can't help feel that my child will want some sort of father figure.. I don't have siblings and my parents are older, so I'm so torn as to what to do... my partner feels the same, so it's just figuring out what path to take. Sad to say I wish I could just get pregnant the "easy" way...

mash on September 26, 2011:

My partner and i are just starting the process of a gay friend donating for us.. i really hope i have a happy ending like some stories in this! He is a lovely bloke and so is his partner but as we all know not everything works out how its first decussed ! wish us luck :)

jas on September 17, 2011:


There are places you can go that have donors that are willing to be "known". It is not that they would know who you are, but they fill out a lot of information and have photos available for you if you wish to have that information. My partner and I are starting the donation process with a known donor next month. At first I was a little skeptical about it for the same reasons as your partner, I do not want him involved in any way. Since he is a friend of my partners, we have left it up to him as to be involved but he would only be an "uncle" or godparent. We felt it would be better to use a known donor, besides the cost, because of the connect my partner has with this man. It is her best friends, who passed away 5 yrs ago, brother. So it has a deeper feeling of connection to her in that way.

Paula on September 16, 2011:

what a great article and interesting responces!!!

Well what a minefield.... I have been with my partner for 7 years now and we had our Civial Partnership in November last year and are now wanting to start a family. The problem is my partner what's to use a anonamous donor so she can feel as fully part of that child's life as what I would (being the child bearer and the biological mum). This is fine but there is a part of me which is battling with the fact that I am choosing to bring a life into this world and denying them the opportunity to have a full sence of identity. I know this happens every day in hetrosexual relationships when a father does not want to be involved after the conception but as I am choosing to start a family this way it leaves me with a sense of guilt. I know the alternative would be to choose a known donor but we do not know anyone suitable and my partner does not want the donor involved. I guess what I would ideally like is to have a photo and contact details of the donor to give to the child as they get older. I would also like the same donor for additional future children (not asking for much I know lol). A known donor that is not involved would be great but we work in the family courts and know that regardless of agreements made by either parties that a person can file for parental rights at any time and it is highly unlikely that these would be refused by the court if it is in the child's best interest. So Iam totally confussed as to the best way to move forward. If anyone has any ideas or experiences they would like to share regarding my issues I would be grateful!!!!

Maggie on June 10, 2011:

Our oldest is 8 and we have two other kids from the same donor. A gay male acquaintance who wanted minimal involvement and the guy he was dating wanted no involvement. That all changed after our oldest was born. Although they never gave us any legal trouble when we did the stepparent adoptions, it got bad later on. It was turning into a divorced family situation--two households. And like a divorced family the donor gets to be "the fun dad." He also hates us now which also resembles a divorced family. He became resentful at my wife and I asserting ourselves as the parents. It's been lots of counselling. Although my wife and I thought it was good for a child to know their father, it has also been really awful for us. Believe me the babysitting isn't worth it. So our kids are happy and my wife and I will be dealing with this guy for the rest of our kid's lives. Resembles getting knocked up by a loser boyfriend and stuck with him forever. I think it would be better if the donor lived far away or maybe straight is better. Probably an involved grandfather who lives close by would be even better.

Katie on May 14, 2011:

Hey Charlie. You seem like a great guy and what a happy situation the 6 of you have together! Thanks for the kind words and I wish you all the best.

Donor-Godfather on December 07, 2010:

hey there- (having trouble posting this)

I am Charlie, checking back in after 3 years. All I can say is that is has been a WONDERFUL experience all the way around. My wife and I are the god-parents, the moms are our friends and we see the twins almost every week. We babysit, we read them books, we cook for them at thei4 house and ours. It was not designed to be this close. But we became very close over the year it took to get pregnant. The children are a blessing.

I am sorry that you feel railroaded, Pat, it sounds like you were forced to do something that you did not want to do. That is not the way it should be. I believe that you, as the partner of the potential sperm donor, have every right to veto the process. This is a HUGE emotional decision for your husband as well as for you and should not be entered into lightly.

Like I said in my first post, we went to counseling beforehand - each couple separately and then all four together. We also have a very strong legal contract that was sworn to in front of a judge. It lays out our rights (limited visitations) and responsibilities (basically none). That is the governing contract. But, as I said, we are all very close now. We all 4 went into this with our eyes wide open and now we have this incredible "cauldron of love" between the 6 of us. I would recommend that others do this, but you need to know yourself well, it is probably best if you do not have children of your own and you MUST have a supportive wife-partner.

That said, I do not know any other straight couples that have done this and are as involved as we are. My wife is the saint here and she is in love with the children. We live a blessed life.

Pat on November 27, 2010:

I am the wife of a known donor to my husbands sisters partner and I just can't deal with it I feel like I was railroaded into this and I don't know how I will cope if a baby comes along. We will always see it. I think this is way too much to ask of family members . Why couldn't they just get an unknown donor

jewishspermdonor on October 09, 2010:

I am interested in assisting you with your family building plans. Previous success with both straight and lesbian families. Fresh or sperm bank frozen available.

sarah on October 08, 2010:

The long term consequences for a sperm donor of doing this are significant and should not be overlooked. I am the wife of a sperm donor and find it very difficult to accept that because he donated twice in the past (just before he met me) these women feel they have a right to future children too. It was horrible knowing that my partner had made someone pregnant just before I dated him. I felt like a mormon and as though my relationship was not exclusive and was somehow devalued. I do think it devalues how our child may feel to know his dad gave away his sibling. I don't know how the non-bio mum can bring up my husband's child as her own - its crazy. Daddies should not be an optional extra. They interact differently with kids and its a shame to think that 2 mummies can replace everything a hetero couple can offer a child.

sarah on October 08, 2010:

The long term consequences for a sperm donor of doing this are significant and should not be overlooked. I am the wife of a sperm donor and find it very difficult to accept that because he donated twice in the past (just before he met me) these women feel they have a right to future children too. It was horrible knowing that my partner had made someone pregnant just before I dated him. I felt like a mormon and as though my relationship was not exclusive and was somehow devalued. I do think it devalues how our child may feel to know his dad gave away his sibling. I don't know how the non-bio mum can bring up my husband's child as her own - its crazy. Daddies should not be an optional extra. They interact differently with kids and its a shame to think that 2 mummies can replace everything a hetero couple can offer a child.

lookingtomakebabies on August 17, 2010:

Thanks so much for this article. It's a couple years back I see, but still applicable for those of us contemplating the question of known or unknown donor. I'm grappling with this right now. I'd always thought I wanted a known donor. A friend that I've known my whole life offered to be that donor. I was so excited! Until I realized that he might want to be more involved than my partner and I would like. Thank you, Charlie for sharing your experience (and your sperm). I hope to find a friend willing to be a part of their kids lives without being a third parent figure. You give me hope that we can work it out.

Families are based on love. No matter what your configuration, single mom or single dad, two moms or two dads, as long as you are showing your kids the love they need to feel nurtured, you're doing alright by them.

All the best to you all.

PBbutter on June 15, 2010:

That's such a ridiculous statement Memphis Sda.

"Is the kid going to accept 2 mummies?" The kid will accept whatever family arrangement that allows him/her to thrive in a loving environment. The concept of a necessary mom and dad is a social construct we throw on ourselves. Hence the many and various societies where a family DOES NOT consist of one woman and one man and the kids raised in this situation are just fine.

I agree with the known donor concept specifically because of your last question "Where is my daddy?" It is much easier to say "the other half of your DNA came from over there" when the donor is someone you know.

Memphis Sda on April 12, 2010:

I totally disagree with the known donor concept. The mother to be have the memory effect on the future father. When a lesbian couple wanted to have a child, they must think the kid future, whether the kid can accept this kind of relationship or not. There are many points to consider before having the child. Is the kid going to accept 2 mummies? Where is my daddy?

21 weeks pregnant on April 08, 2010:

choose a close friend whom you'd like to be the father and insert his sperm sample when you are this method can be effective??

JENNIFER on March 22, 2010:

I am in a lesbian relationship and my partner and I have been going throu the process with a known donor, and this is out 5th try and still no baby, we are doing everything by the book, any pointers.....

Tilecleaninghub on February 26, 2010:

Sorry dont mean to be a jerk just my opinion. Hope no offense taken.

Tilecleaninghub on February 26, 2010:

Kids need the best chance to survive and thrive in today's society and that comes with a man and a women raising them. If your lesbian you got no right to have kids.

Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on February 26, 2010:

This is a great and well thought out hub, and you say what a lot of gay women feel about wanting kids but having to rely on sperm donors. The legal stuff can be a bit of a minefield. The idea of having your kid and then the prospect of possibly losing the child later by having to give him or her back due to weak or bad laws, that has to be remedied. Straight couples have similar problems, just not some of the stigma. We live in hope. Either that, or adopt.

honey on December 22, 2009:

My partner and I used a known donor to get pregnant. I am very curious to see what happens with the relationship between the bio father and the child as well as the relationships between the child and his/her half brothers and sisters that might happen in the future. It's so fun to me to be forming this unconventional family out of so many different parts. I'm excited to see how it all fits together.

my lesbian dating blog on December 20, 2009:

love the article, i dont think i would ever want kids, they are to much trouble, specially in today's society, but ya a great article never the less, thanks hehe

DAlfor from Redmond, WA on November 18, 2009:

nice article..

taryn on October 22, 2009:

That article is exactly how my partner and I feel.

Its beautifully written and I fell for everyone in this situation.

Thank you

L.A. Walsh from Lowell, MA on March 25, 2009:

So much to think about. Thank you for writing this! :o)

stylezink from Atlanta, GA. on June 06, 2008:

great article!

becauseilive (author) from N.J. on October 22, 2007:

Charlie -- thank you so much for your input. I think it's great that you all went to an open adoption counseling beforehand, your wife included. It's wonderful too that you get to see the kids (twins! what a blessing!) and I really admire the mindset you have about helping friends build their family. Thanks for commenting :)

Charlie on October 22, 2007:

Yikes, sorry for all the typos in my comments above

Charlie on October 22, 2007:

I am a known donor for a lesbian couple. I am straight, married with no children. We tried in 8 ovulation cycles over a year and wind up using IVF with 3 fertilized eggs. Twins (a girla dna boy) wre born 3 months ago.

We went o "opne adoption" counseling beforehand. My wife and I went; the moms went adn then we 4 went together. It was very good to do. We have been asked/inivited to be "godparents". We have not defined that role exactly.We have been seeing the twins about 3 times a month, mostly helping and holding babies. I am not the "daddy" or the father. I a friend and my wife and I have helped our friends buid their family. Though we all lnow and acknowledge the biological and spiritual connection to my family geneology, the twins' parents are the moms. The kids will grow up and know that I am the bio dad, but we hope to have built the godparent relationship well. This is clearly an experiment, but we 4 all joined this with our eyes and hearts wide open.

There is more- much more - but i wanted to write this today.

Good luck to all the hopeful parents out there.

Rudra on October 22, 2007:

this is a very well written article, very comprehensive.

these decisions are always difficult to take, will depend on how a person thinks.

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