Sperm donor shares his story
In late 1996 I saw an ad for sperm donors in our local paper. My wife happened to be looking over as I read this and she commented that this would be a fantastic thing for me to do. We have known some friends who have been through a lot of fertility treatment recently, and we were both very moved by what we saw they had to experience in their desire to have their own child. They were lucky enough to get pregnant and when I saw the ad I thought about them, and how there must be other people going through the same thing.
I was very anxious at first, not knowing what to expect, and what the people would be like, and that everyone would know what I was going there for! I soon found I was always greeted with friendliness and a quiet “matter of fact” attitude. My wife and I met a doctor and a counsellor, and my wife was very interested to know all about the programme.
It was about a year after I had donated that I heard there was a pregnancy, and I really hadn’t given it a lot of thought, and did think any news would be years away! The clinic always kept us up to date with any outcomes, and also provided a forum to be able to speak with other donors through an annual meeting. Some of us had met children or parents, and some had heard nothing at all. I ended up helping 3 families where there have been 3 girls and 2 boys born. I wasn’t too bothered about contact, just was happy to know I had helped someone, but my wife often asked about how the children might be getting on, and if they looked at all like me.
One day I got a call from the Donor Co-Ordinator to tell me that one of the families had left some photos and a letter for me. I felt very excited, and privileged that they would consider me. I went in as soon as I could so I could see what the girl looked like, and in a way felt proud that she looked beautiful, happy, and also like our first girl! My wife was also excited and amazed at the similarity!
We were invited to go and see the counsellor again to talk about what it can mean to us and our family, if we have contact, and to talk about how we felt now that our donations had become a reality! It was really good to talk to someone who knew about other donors and families having contact, and the kind of things that happen.
The next thing for us, was to tell our own children…it took a while…waiting for the right moment ... age ... the right language! I talked to the Donor Co-Ordinator and she helped to ease my mind, and gave me some ideas . My wife and I talked a lot, and then one day…just did it. They were very happy! ... thought I was a great Dad for helping others! Full of questions ... really curious! And so amazed there were photos to look at.
We have now received regular photos from the family and look forward to answering any questions the children may have as they get older, or to meet them when they are ready.
We have not heard from the other families, but realise that it is always their choice about any contact, and who knows about the future. We do know how we feel about it, and if it happens...we are lucky!