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Most couples who decide they would like to have children assume they will be able to conceive naturally. As time passes, and months after month passes without pregnancy, those hopes may fade and other options may be explored. Sperm donation is rarely Plan A except in the case of single mothers by choice, and lesbians who want to become mothers.

Heterosexual couples may come to the decision of using a sperm donor only after looking into other fertility treatments, and with a lot of heartache. While sperm donation is often hushed up, society is often very compassionate toward couples who can't have biological children, and respects their "right" to have a child, including through adoption or sperm donation.

Where does the donor-conceived child fit into this story?

This is perhaps the most important question for couples who are considering sperm donation to conceive a baby, but the heartbroken stories from adults who were conceived with donor sperm which can be found all over the internet these days should warn couples that their child may not share their views of what "family" means.

Indeed, their whole life can be dominated by the wish to find their biological father, and they may feel very ambivalent toward the family in which they grew up if they were not told about their origins from an early age. What do we want with this blog post? We're not aiming to deter anyone from using donor sperm but we do want to draw attention to the donor-conceived person's side of the story. If you are currently looking into conceiving with donor sperm, here are some suggestions for you:

  • Read the blogs of donor-conceived people, and look beyond your current infertility to the needs of your future child.
  • Use a known donor, or at least an identity-release donor.
  • Seek psychological counseling before deciding to use a sperm donor specifically, discuss your feelings toward having a child that is biologically connected to only one of you, and focus on the potential child's feelings.
  • Tell any donor-conceived children the truth about their origins right from the start.

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