The process can look like a seamless way to create a family, and for many, it is. As simple a transaction as sperm donation can seem to be, though, some find it to be stressful or isolating—and because assisted reproductive technology is a relatively new, rapidly developing field, the social and emotional challenges that can arise between the participants in a sperm donation are, for many, uncharted. Even decades after these practices have become common and their intricacies should theoretically be common knowledge, many of those who opt for sperm donation are still consistently surprised by all the ways it can shape—in some cases straining and, in others, enhancing—family dynamics. One such consistently surprised group is made up of infertile men. I shouldn't think this way.
The younger brother could not be reached for an interview. Donation was the answer for a man told he would never father children At 20 Fraser West felt he and his partner Nina were still too young to consider starting a family, but then suddenly his hope of ever fathering a child was snatched Filed under: DonorSolo Sperm donor stories. Again, in many cases the proceedings leading up to and following donor insemination go smoothly. Some of our other top picks aren't. Michael urged, "This is your decision, babe," but I craved consensus. By the time we wed, however, we knew what we were in for in terms of fertility obstacles. Maybe, they reasoned, the older brother helping storids only sibling start a family would bring them closer.
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At that point, so many people had been waiting right along with us. But really, I think they saved me. The Sperm Donation Jack continues his work for the clinic. Taking a deep breath, he opened the top and rinsed the Sperm donor stories out with the tap. I was in so much pain that I was just desperate for them to cut me open and get the baby out. Leave a comment Comments 7. On stkries pregnant and anticipating birth. After their friend offered his sperm without even being asked, the couple was elated, and was hopeful about getting pregnant without medical intervention. More Stories. But he was too late, their car was gone. On the sperm donor who offered without being asked.
We are very grateful to all those who have taken the time to write about their personal experiences of donor conception and issues relating to it.
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We are very grateful to all those who have taken the time to write about their personal experiences of donor conception and issues relating to it. These stories are invaluable in helping to share common feelings around complex issues. Reading about how others have dealt with things is often very reassuring. Use the drop-down options to search for particular story types. And if you would like to contribute your own story, please do get in touch with us. I always knew that my mums went to a clinic and that I was conceived through artificial insemination with the help of donor sperm.
Clare share's her and her husband's journey to conceiving their two sons through double donation. I had always dreamed I would have a family. I always thought that if I kept on living my life, doing the things I enjoyed, working and travelling then at some point I would meet the right partner for me and we would have children.
Skip to main content. Personal Stories We are very grateful to all those who have taken the time to write about their personal experiences of donor conception and issues relating to it. What topic are you looking for? What family situation is applicable to you? This story was written by Emma in Filed under: Heterosexual Couples and Sperm donation. A Father's Day message by Eric. Written by Eric in Combating loneliness as a solo mum Mel's Story.
This story was written by Mel in Filed under: Solo Mums. Filed under: Lesbian Couples. I discovered through a DNA testing website that I was conceived with a sperm donor. Since then, I've found that I have at least fourteen half-siblings and one donor who is, genetically, half of me. Filed under: Heterosexual Couples and Egg donation. Clare's double donation story. Having a second child as a solo mum - Lynda's story. Reflections by Gill. Grateful to receive, glad to give - Emma's egg-sharing story.
Filed under: Donor , Solo Mums.
Compared to using a known donor, an anonymous sperm donor is a very well-trodden path — everything is already figured out legally and logistically. After five days, they see which is the best — I ended up with one good one, one fair, two dead. The next morning, I took a test — and it was positive. More info in the FAQ. Picking it up, he found that there was a plastic beaker inside. Now he had no choice but to through with it. I had seen an advertisement in the campus paper for sperm donors.
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In the last year, over the course of four IUIs intrauterine inseminations and one IVF in-vitro fertilization procedure, I have purchased millions of sperm "donated" by men whose names, ages and places of birth remain unknown to me.
My journalist husband and I sit down together on Saturday evenings to shop the overwhelmingly diverse, abundantly stocked sperm bank's website. Michael, my spouse, is a rectal cancer survivor treated with radical radiation, whose sperm growth, as a result, progresses only to its third of four maturation levels, stopping at what the doctor calls its "adolescent stage.
I should explain: We'd made a serious commitment to each other three years earlier when I was 36 biological clock ticking like a bomb with the understanding that we'd attempt to have a child naturally or, for me, the relationship would be over. Michael had never wanted children, but he wanted our connection -- so much so that he was willing to open his eyes to the possibility of fatherhood, and willing to try with me on a very regular basis.
By the time we wed, however, we knew what we were in for in terms of fertility obstacles. Michael vowed he'd stand by me no matter the financial and emotional cost -- that is, until we possibly ran out of savings. As we surfed the sperm site, Michael said little -- that's his style -- but took shorthand notes as we narrowed our search to men with similar physical traits to his reddish brunette hair, slim build, brown eyes and perused together their detailed, yet mostly colorless and vague, profiles, agreeing we'd spend half an hour, max, then reward ourselves with a nightcap or Netflix.
What is accessible to a sperm shopper free of charge via a typical "cryobank" website is the self-stimulating fellow's astrological sign, his belief in God or lack thereof, his general interest in sports and hobbies, his pet preference sperm-donating men typically favor dogs , his college major or lack thereof, his blood type, his family health history, the number of drinks he thinks he drinks per week, whether or not he has created a pregnancy up to this point, whether he will allow his future IVF-conceived children to know his identity when they turn 18, and, by way of brief interviews, both audio and written, what matters to him most in life.
Two single friends, both ish like me and who'd recently done IUI, told me what to look for, or rather, what they tended to obsess over, because "everyone who buys sperm obsesses over something," my college friend said. The other, who had success on her second insemination round, considered only those donors who could boast one knocked-up sperm customer; she also looked for someone whose separate ethnicity she could pile on top of her own worldly assortment.
Meanwhile, as a longtime creative writing instructor, I was most concerned with the guy's voice, his diction, his ability to express a complex idea clearly, his education and finally, his face. As Michael and I began to search donor candidates, I realized I was also concerned about him.
Worried again that he might feel uncomfortable or intimidated or even jealous reading biographical facts from the younger men's files -- one candidate we liked, , stood six-feet-seven-inches tall and, when his photo showed him to be soap-opera-actor beautiful, balancing a barbell on sculpted shoulders, we gasped in unison, no doubt for different reasons -- but I told myself I was being silly.
My husband may not be the most emotionally expressive man on the planet, but he was on board with our plan. And he was devoted. He wouldn't hide important opinions or fears from me, because he couldn't -- could he? Michael is older than I by more than a few years; his sense of humor's alive and well and even advanced, in my opinion, even if his sperm isn't. So, when he later pointed out Dumbbell's audio clip showed his speech to be maybe half the speed of other donors and "likable but unoriginal, and maybe a tad insincere" in its "I just want to make the whole room smile" message, I didn't question his motivation.
Instead, I rethought my original approval of the smile-with-me slogan. Michael urged, "This is your decision, babe," but I craved consensus.
Therefore, ixnay on the tudsay. But, of course, I still wanted to buy some sperm and be done with it, so we could watch Netflix, so I could have peace of mind that I'd done my Assisted Reproductive Technology homework -- the most important homework of my life -- before the last minute.
And so did Michael. Donor had an easy, honest, semi-sexy voice -- a voice I could imagine sleeping beside, talking to, even having an affair with I did say imagine. Some of our other top picks aren't.
So did Michael -- score. Plus, could play six instruments; he didn't believe in God but he believed in love; he was raising frogs to have fun and help the environment. Good, good, good. I bought the Lifetime Photos. As a baby, appeared sluggish, mouth open, plastic work tools clutched in his hands -- early on, he had the aura of a stoned mechanic.
As a something, however, he was pleasant, a bit Russell Crowe-like, as the chipper cryobank staff promised. I could overlook the weak chin and iron-on T-shirt. His eyes were so pretty. As I prepared for the first IVF procedure, I had fantasies of returning to , making love to him in a brightly lit clinic, birthing a future basketball star, boy or girl, who might not possess the oratory power to run for President or launch an impressive Internet company, but would light up a room nonetheless, maybe even make an entire stadium break into wide smiles.
When I looked again at 's pricy photo I myself smiled. Let's face it: His child would land endorsement deals. And yet his slick voice stopped me when I revisited the audio chat. I had to be honest: didn't light up my mind. I wanted someone smarter. If I couldn't have my husband, I wanted someone more like my husband. A funny person. A truly wise person.
A person who understood the world in vastly different terms than I. And, I realized, I wanted to choose a donor about whom even extra-nonchalant Michael would not be able to contain his enthusiasm. Add to the whole intricate nuisance the fact that my new IVF nurse had encouraged me to find a CMV-negative donor, because I'd never been exposed to the cytomegalovirus, which I discovered is harder than finding someone CMV-positive.
The search seemed suddenly even more oppressive. How much overtime would be required? That's when I started making secret sperm bank searches on my own, not that Michael would have minded -- frankly, it seemed too uneventful to report. Mostly I came up empty.
Until a few days later. After reading up on more than a dozen donating guys who'd never been exposed to CMV, but who didn't appeal to me word-wise either, I came across this dude from Georgia -- the country, not the state. And yet friendly at the same time, if you can imagine the combo. He sounded world-weary And he was an engineer pursuing a PhD -- very nice. I imagining genius Steve Jobs donating sperm way back when even though Jobs dropped out.
In his written interview, said of his biggest life lesson, "Don't assume the people around you won't be affected by what you say; think before you talk and sometimes just shut up," which I liked; he continued, "My friend and I were on a city bus in the States talking in Russian about this guy sitting nearby, laughing, never realizing he spoke Russian, too, and he'd heard every single thing we said about his fat stomach.
This conversion was stupid to start. I thought, chuckling along with him. I didn't even care what the pictures looked like. But of course I wanted pictures because I wanted to present Michael with the whole package. Unsurprisingly, though, super-cool had neglected to provide photographs.
It's not mandatory, after all. Michael and I, having agreed we found 's quirky interview materials beyond great, sat down to take a close look, as close a look as we could from the side. His face pieces were all in the right places, his chin nearly as solid as my husband's. But what would my man say? Some days after I ordered two vials of 's supply -- which is no longer available several months later, indicating he has better prospects now, and good for him -- Michael and I strolled around our neighborhood reservoir.
We were anticipating the IVF procedure and I ventured to mention our latest donor, who'd not come up in conversation since I entered my Visa number in the sperm bank's PayPal page.
We'd like to have dinner with him and learn more about Georgia. Sometimes just shut up , I heard my donor whisper. Our conversation had turned from stupid to stupider. Three ducks in the reservoir were gathering on grassy land, as though for a family cocktail hour. Repeating is not his style.
We walked home and Michael sat at his computer screen, presumably checking email while I dished ice cream into two bowls. And that's the last we said of this funny, cranky, and altogether anonymous Georgian scientist whose second vial of sperm will next week fertilize our IVF cycle number two -- for now, it's the last we need to.
Unfortunately, after repeat tries, didn't get me pregnant. Come on. You're just mean. You're just jealous! We walked one long reservoir circuit in silence until Michael took my hand.
That's OK -- I'm sorry it's a gross, hard process. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Today is National Voter Registration Day!