recently, i’ve been wondering more about donor conceived babies and what that experience is like. though facts are nice to know, nothing compares to irl experiences, so i decided to ask here!
have any of you had a donor conceived baby? if you feel comfortable sharing, why did you choose to do so? what was it like? would you do it again?
oh i’m interested in learning more about this too! thanks for making the thread :))
I have no experience with this personally however we are close to two different people who chose this route and can share a little of their experience and our interactions with them.
The first is a lesbian couple who had a donor conceived son. For obvious reasons they chose to start their family this way. We were with them once when they were introducing their 3month old baby to people and someone noticed his beautiful big blue eyes and (thoughtlessly) asked where he gets them from…a typical comment that people make when admiring a new baby’s features and making polite conversation. The birth mother had very brown eyes. There was a moment of awkward silence as everyone realised the elephant in the room(the donor) before one of the mothers smoothly offered her own father has similar eyes to her son. I guess there must be some adjustment to work out how they were going to address the whole donor topic in situations like this and in the future. The mother who conceived the baby did talk openly about her endometrosis and the way that affected her fertility journey. They also mentioned wanting to have a second baby at some point but only if it would be with the same donor so they would be siblings. Other than that it wasn’t really discussed. They have now moved away and we are not in touch.
The second situation is an older single woman who decided to begin her family on her own as the right guy had not come along and she decided to donor conceive her baby. We see her about 8 times a year for dinner out with a group of friends. She did not share her ivf journey or intentions or pregnancy news until she was a fair way into the pregnancy. I think she would have preferred to not share any of it but must have felt that people would instead assume the baby was the result of a fling or something and ask about the father/partner. The information was shared to one closest friend and was passed along to everyone else through her, so when we all ran into her we knew about the circumstances and didn’t ask/accidentally say anything uncomfortable and she didn’t have to explain it to everyone. She didn’t bring the whole donor topic up or discuss it openly with us but did talk a little about the ivf. I guess she felt ivf is a more common, accepted route to parenthood so could feel comfortable discussing that part openly? I got the feeling she was expecting some level of judgement no matter how accepting we are as a group. When we were out with her nobody asked about the donor or discussed his qualities or why one was chosen and not another or any of it really. Everyone was more excited for the end of the pregnancy when baby would arrive and guessing if it would be a boy or girl.
@Elle1 just recently had a DC baby if they are around still!!
I believe there’s a few others TTC a DC baby right now as well, @quietosprey I believe?? (Please correct me if I’m tagging the wrong person!!)
@Kibby Thank you for tagging me!
For @readingreverie and @decembersmoon - [name_f]My[/name_f] daughter is DC She is almost 6 months old right now.
Why I decided to go this route… That is such a big question In short, when I was 27 years old I realized that I didn’t want to wait much longer to have a child. I felt like I had waited long enough for “Mr. Right.” I figured that the right guy would understand my decision and love my child. And if any guy didn’t feel that way, then he’s obviously not the right one! I waited until I had some life things in order and gave birth a couple months before turning 30.
What was it like… This varies wildly among people who choose DC. It was almost like getting a certificate or degree in something. I had to learn so much about the different types of DC (known, anonymous, open ID), choosing the donor, tracking ovulation, and all the logistics of inseminating. Being part of FB groups for other Single Mothers by Choice or (for my situation) At-Home Insemination really helped. I’d be happy to give you links to those groups. Aside from strangers online giving me advice, it was pretty lonely. I would talk to my friends about it but absolutely no one can relate. I would find myself thinking how much less stressful the natural way is. But then my friends would complain about how incompetent their child’s father is and I’d remember that my way is AMAZING in its own way. And rather than feeling lonely, I would feel empowered.
Would I do it again… Well, I really might Before becoming pregnant, I swore up and down that I was “one and done.” But now I want one more. I do have a partner now and he loves my DC baby. We may decide to have a child together in a few years. But if we decide that’s not something we want, together, then I will pursue DC again. He’s expressed that he would be happy for me to have another DC baby, if he is “the one” and we’re still together when I’m ready for another.
I’m happy to answer more specific questions over private message Now that I have my child, it is hard because I’m her only parent (I do live with my parents and they help, but I’m of course fully responsible for all decisions). But it’s also unbelievably wonderful
i’m so so glad that your experience with having a dc child is such a good one! it makes me feel a lot better about maybe being a smbc in the future! thank you for sharing your journey so publicly :))
thank you for sharing, elle! your journey has been one that’s made me consider having a dc baby in the far, far future! it means a lot! so glad it’s been very positive for you.
Yep!! I’ve put a pause on TTC to pursue my bachelors degree but it’ll be back on with a sperm donor after.
I chose this pathway as I am homosexual. The more challenging choice for me was choosing to do it solo. Some people saw it as a selfish choice, and thought the dynamic would harm my child. But I didn’t feel that way…I was a child born by chance, fatherless as any, and that was not the tragic thing. I didn’t need a father to parent me, I needed love to parent me. This child will be made with thought, choice, and love. I am financially stable. I have a village, and lord knows it takes one…I feel confident in my choice and my ability to provide for my baby.
I looked well into adoption, but I decided not to as the baby stage and pregnancy is something I want to experience. I will likely foster with the goal of reunification as giving back to a community I was part of is important to me — my bio parent lost custody for a few months when I was younger. But I want to carry my first.
I chose a donor who would be known from birth and open to contact with the child, as I wanted them to have choice and access to their genetic roots. If they choose to view their donor as a father figure we are both okay with that — we believe chosen family, so whatever they choose is fine — but he will not have legal obligations or parental rights.
Overall, Im happy. Im confident. I think it’s been a lovely and educational path. All families are different, and that’s what makes it so special. It’s had hard moments. I’ve talked about grief and the feeling of loss when getting pregnant doesn’t come naturally, but I wouldn’t change who I am or my family.
this is so beautiful! thank you for your thoughtful response
I’m the only one of my siblings not a donor baby!
[name_f]My[/name_f] mother married at 20 and had me, then divorced after a few years. When I was 10, she wanted more kids but didn’t have a partner.
She chose to do it herself after already having been a single mother for a while.
She had 3 of my siblings 18 months apart from the same donor. It was all done officially and they were all fertilised, made and frozen at the same time, so they are technically triplets despite being born 18 months apart.
Then she was a surrogate for her sister. (also a donor baby) as she can get pregnant but can’t carry safely.
Then, at 40 and me being 20, she had two more babies with a different donor. They are now 7 and 5 and the best little aunt and uncle to my own two kids who are 4 and 2.
[name_f]My[/name_f] husband is also a sperm donor and so far has one donor child out in the world. We made the choice together because it brings so much joy and it means a lot to our family. Eventually, I’d like to donate my eggs too. I’d also love to surrogate but I’m very, very bad at carrying babies, so I’d never be able to.
I have an aunt in the process of IVF with a donor. She said she’s waited her whole life for mr right and she’s not going to wait anymore! She’s in her 40’s.
There are a few more in my extended family too.
If something were to happen between my husband and me, I would definitely consider a donor, among other options, as I do want more kids.
No matter what path you take to get there, it will be super stressful. Children are hard work to make and any decision you make on their behalf will be a tough one. But as a previous poster mentioned, all you really need is love.
[name_f]My[/name_f] wife and I (we’re a lesbian couple) had our donor-conceived twins two years ago. We chose an anonymous donor. It was a long process, from the moment we decided to start looking into our options to my getting pregnant it was around 20 months. A lot of reading, a lot of doctor’s appointments, a lot of tracking my cycle… We had a wonderful team of professionals and both our families supporting us on this journey. I had two IUIs, with the second being successful - doubly so! Overall, it was a great experience for us. We want more children in the future, hopefully from the same donor.
@ashley_rose that’s so exciting! how wonderful that you had twins.
@berry-tea it’s so cool that after your mother had dc babies, your husband is a donor, and you are also going to be a donor!