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Fertile in Farmington

  • Posted on January 26, 2016 at 10:24 am

Dear Christine,  

Hi there, My partner and I have been together 8 years–our anniversary is this week– Yeah!!  Celebration time!!!  We’re ready to start our family, and decided to go the “known donor” route so the child would be able to have some awareness of who their biological father is… Here’s the problem: none of the men we’ve approached (and don’t misunderstand, they’ve all been pretty together, gay-positive men) have been able to “handle the idea”. They say things like “How could I handle having a child, but not really being a father,” or “I would feel too responsible to the child.”  Geez, where are all the totally irresponsible men I dated before I figured out who I really am? They were only too happy to let ME worry about contraception back then. Why have the rules changed now? Talk about irony. We spend half our fertile lives before we’re mature enough to know who we are and what we want trying NOT to get pregnant and the other half trying desperately trying to. Sometimes, life sucks!

Signed, Fertile in Farmington

Dear Fertile in Farmington,

Congratulations on your readiness to start a family! Yeah, the timing isn’t so great for you, looking for a “together, gay positive man” to donate some sperm and be known to the child that results. Apparently, in the time you matured in your lesbian relationship, those “irresponsible” men have grown up too! Respect these men for taking your request seriously and sincerely. If you are going to have a “known” father for your child, he definitely needs to be on board with the whole fathering part, even if he is only known from a distance. Many men have strong feelings about wanting to be known or never known by their offspring. I heard a BBC story on the radio a few years ago about a sperm donor who was discovered by his 15 year old son several years back. Apparently the sperm donor donated sperm to help an infertile couple have children, much as you or I might donate blood to help someone else we’ll never meet. However, as the son grew up, he became curious about his parentage, and had access to the Internet, and was able to get his DNA checked, and realized that there were few other people in the UK with the particular markers of his DNA. He started calling people with the surname that was most common with these markers, and pretty soon found his sperm donor father. The father couldn’t have been more shocked! He had no idea he had a child out there, and never ever expected or wanted any contact with that child. Some agencies will help you get sperm from a donor, and a year after the child is born, they will contact the donor and see if he would like to be known. He is aware that this policy before donating, so he won’t be caught off guard as this British man was. Check for one of these sorts of agencies to see if you can get a ‘known” donor. Whatever way you choose to bring a child into your family, I wish you the best. Good luck to you both.

Christine Cantrell