When you’re in a lesbian relationship and you decide to start a family together there is something you can’t avoid. Sperm. Specifically, donor sperm. Try as you might, a pregnancy just won’t happen without it.
I suppose there are 3 main options. You could use a:
Known donor – such as a friend or a family member of the partner not wishing to carry; or an
Anonymous donor – someone unknown to both of you and who refuses any future contact; or an
Open donor – someone that is anonymous to both of you but legally agrees to accept contact from the child once he/she turns 18 only if the child decides to do so.
In the past the idea of a known donor had been an option but after a lot of thought we decided it wouldn’t work. Candice and I are a family and we want to be the sole parents of our child. I think raising children will be difficult enough just with 2 people trying to work together to make the big parenting choices and having a 3rd or even 4th (if said donor is in a relationship) person involved could very easily become messy and complicated. It really depends on how involved the known donor wishes to be. Does he want to be called Dad or be known as a family friend or uncle? How often does he want to see the child? Will he be involved in any parenting decisions? How do you begin to draw up a legal document like that? Using a known donor brought up so many questions and fears and in the end it just didn’t feel right for us. I have seen this work for other couples though so I think it really just depends on what you are looking for.
Using an anonymous donor was never really something we wanted to do. Which I suppose is lucky as once we started looking more into the use of donor sperm in Australia we found out that it’s not actually legal. Any donor sperm must be from either a known donor or an open donor. All the donors available on the QFG sperm program are open donors.
So as you have probably guessed by now, we went with an open donor. It was undoubtably the best fit for us. Our children will have 2 mums that will make every parenting choice as a team and together we will provide all the love in the world. If when they are 18, they decide they wish to know more about the man that did a wonderful thing by helping make our baby dreams come true then they have that option. If not, then they simply don’t have to make contact, that choice is up to them.
I had been wanting to write this post for a while but have been afraid that someone reading may take offence to it and think that I’m saying that one way is better than other. That’s the last thing I want as I really do believe that it depends on your own personal circumstances. Every relationship is different and what works well for one couple may not be the best option for another. If you and your partner don’t agree on which donor path to take I would definitely suggest to take a step back and wait until you are both on the same page. Speaking from experience, you both need to feel 100% comfortable with it. One thing is for certain though, it’s a huge decision and if something doesn’t feel right for you then it most likely isn’t, so go with your gut.