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Considering Using Donor Sperm
Deciding whether to use donor sperm can usher in emotional, practical and legal concerns. But it also opens the door to parenthood for thousands of people each year.
If you’re considering donor sperm, either:
- You’ve learned that you or your partner’s sperm is the cause of your infertility, or
- You’re a single woman or in a lesbian partnership and want to become a mom.
If you’re in a heterosexual relationship, you’ll first have to openly address your feelings regarding his infertility. This is hard for many men because in our culture, as in most, manhood is ‘measured’ by one’s virility. Most of us know this isn’t true — that, in fact, a sense of manhood is a mixture of feelings and thoughts set in motion by our culture. It’s what’s inside our heads that counts. Nonetheless, turning to a sperm bank requires couples to address this prickly issue.
When considering donor sperm, couples also must confront the fact that their child will be biologically linked to just one of them. This can arouse feelings of anger and loss. Take time to experience this loss. Grieving takes time.
Questions that couples and singles can explore are:
- Does this feel OK to me? Might adopting be a better alternative?
- How might I/we feel when people say, “S/he doesn’t look at all like you!”
- How will I feel being Mom/Dad to a child who does not have a genetic tie to me?
- What will I/we tell our child? Family and friends? Do we need to tell them?
Those considering the donor route get valuable insights from attending a support group. Talking to an experienced counselor can also help.