Raising a Blended Family


on September 27, 2011

Okay, so I’ve decided to jump in the Blog Carnival Sperm Bandwagon.  Just a little late… but it’s been an important topic on my mind lately and I figured it fits right in with the prompt.

I guess right now,  more than ever, the issue of having a third party- a donor- and the way in which he may shape our family is at the forefront of my mind.

Shorty and I are at a crossroads, trying to make a decision between two completely opposite directions.

In one direction lies the land of sperm bank sperm.  Anonymous sperm bank sperm.  This was our first choice by default and seems a pretty solid one.  A comfortable one.  We trust the sperm bank to do its job and screen the right donors, ensuring the quality of the sperm that’s donated and making sure it’s safe to use.  Because we chose anonymous, the role of this type of donor in shaping our lives is minimal.  Yes, our child may have questions, but the donor would never be a part of our lives.  He would be detached just by the very nature or the fact that we went through a sperm bank.  Downsides that I see, however, include the fact that donor sperm only lives about 12 hours once it’s thawed, it’s expensive, and no matter how exhaustive the online profile of the donor is, you still never get a complete picture of who he is.  What he looks like, up close and personal.  His mannerisms.  If he’s fit.  How tall IS 6’4″, anyways?  That sort of thing.

In the other direction lies the land of the Known Donors.  You know… the real thing.  We have one potential KD already, and thanks to Love Shack Baby, have been made aware of this website that connects couples to men who are willing to donate free of charge.  Although it’s not a perfect resource and caution is certainly advised, it’s still a starting point I’d be excited to explore if our PKD doesn’t work out.  Excitement aside, however, using a KD brings up many many issues that have to be reckoned with and made peace with before you can step foot down that route.  Although I briefly went over the logistics of it in my last post on the matter, something I didn’t go too much into depth with is the personal, emotional side of it.  By the very nature of the interaction, a KD cannot ever be an anonymous donor.  Certainly we, as parents, retain the ability to withhold information from our child until they are at an age when they can understand better, but this leads into tricky, choppy waters, such as the difference between lying to your kid and withholding information for their own benefit.  And no matter what you do, YOU will always know who that donor was.  The potential for them to become involved in any way with your child’s life- your family life- is much higher.  But of course, there are benefits to the KD relationship as well.  Free sperm, for one thing.  Fresh sperm, for another.  The possibility of the KD being a close family friend who you are happy to have in your child’s life as a special “uncle”, and the ability to inseminate more often with a higher volume of sperm than if using frozen.  The question here is whether or not these benefits outweigh the negatives.

I’m leaning towards answering yes, they do.  I say “leaning” because I’m not completely sure.  It’s a bigger risk to take, and I don’t know that I could completely make up my mind one way or the other without sitting down and talking to the PKD face to face (hopefully, soonish, as I am an impatient person and I am dying for some answers to a few questions I have).  However, I’m optimistic that it could work, that this could be the right path for my family to take to get to our Thing 2.

As far as answering questions our potential child might have, and when those questions might get answered… that’s something I’ll have to defer for now.  All I can say is we would do it when the time felt right, whatever that was.  We don’t want for this donor to be a “father” figure, but we’re not completely closed to him knowing of the child, seeing pictures, meeting after the child is 18.  Something along the lines (and all of this would be explicitly written out in the contract, mind you).

So that’s my take.  I think a donor can have very little impact to a medium sized impact to a huge impact- depending on which route you (we) take and how you choose to answer the questions that may arise on that journey.


2 responses to “Sperm.

  1. really great post, thanks for sharing!

    i have to admit, that “free sperm donation registry” site kinda freaked me out. from a legal perspective, it looks like a disaster. if you do go that way, please, please, please talk to an attorney first to make sure you are protected. (end of unsolicited advice) 😉

  2. Isa says:

    Good luck making your decision! It’s a hard one. I agree about solid legal advice, but I have known of people who used that site successfully and are very happy with their choice.

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