I am approaching your request for an opinion with great caution.
Personally, I would not go the known donor route. And especially not with a friend.
I have known two couples for whom exactly what you describe has not worked out and it's created havoc.
It's all hunky dory when in the planning stages - I find that people will agree to anything when it's an ideal and not in front of them - but when the baby arrives, all intentions go out the window and straight into Court.
Please be aware that it's likely your DP will not have any parental rights. Without legal advice or a contract you are leaving yourself wide open to future headachs.
Donorship is a sticky minefield in this country and I have yet to find an arrangement where the donor is known that has worked out. This is why clinics do not allow donors to be known.
There is a very good reason why you pay $$$ to a clinic.
While I am a fan of you having your baby, I'm not a fan of known donorship but I wish you the best of luck.
The potential sticky side is what worries me most. I have spent this morning looking at legislation and have found that:
1) As long as we don't conceive the child through intercourse, the donor has no assumed parenthood and my partner is immediately the assumed 'co-parent' and will be listed on the birth certificate - we just need to sign an affidavit saying how baby was conceived and that DP consented to the procedure (even if it's at home and not in a clinic.)
From the Status of Children Act14 Presumptions of parentage arising out of use of fertilisation procedures(1) When a married woman has undergone a fertilisation procedure as a result of which she becomes pregnant:(a) her husband is presumed to be the father of any child born as a result of the pregnancy even if he did not provide any or all of the sperm used in the procedure, but only if he consented to the procedure, and(b) the woman is presumed to be the mother of any child born as a result of the pregnancy even if she did not provide the ovum used in the procedure.(1A) When a woman who is the de facto partner of another woman has undergone a fertilisation procedure as a result of which she becomes pregnant:(a) the other woman is presumed to be a parent of any child born as a result of the pregnancy, but only if the other woman consented to the procedure, and(b) the woman who has become pregnant is presumed to be the mother of any child born as a result of the pregnancy even if she did not provide the ovum used in the procedure.
2) The precedent is that unless it is in the best interests of the child, a donor won't successfully sue for custody 'just because he changed his mind'.
3) Even though any contract we enter is not legally binding, as long as it is very explicit in the expectations of both donor, recipient and partner, it should carry enough weight in the event that it does go to sh!t.
I know there are always things that go wrong, and there are always horror stories. But there are way more success stories. As well as weighing up the pros and cons, we also have to trust our instincts as well. I don't want to live life in fear of what may or may not happen, but I also will make sure I am prepared to cover all the what ifs just in case.
That's why I started this thread - I want people to remind me of the what ifs! So I can write them down, put them on my paper so we can make the best decision for us. So thank you for the other perspective too
There are a few fantastic books on this subject... ones with contributions from people who've been through similar situations in all sorts of positions. I wish I could remember the titles to recommend them.
From what I've read of peoples' experiences, I'd have two main concerns:
First and foremost, the child's ability to have information about and build a relationship with the donor. Some people are never too bothered about this, but some find it to be a huge part of their identity and feel cheated if they don't have access to that. Obviously through a clinic there would be access to SOME information, and the possibility of a relationship, in future...but that's a long way down the track and with no guarantee.
Secondly, potential issues with defining boundaries of the relationship (with your donor). Obviously this would be difficult, and the future's always uncertain. I'd think though that it's worth pursuing... and if you get to a stage (ideally with counselling etc) that you think it wouldn't work, you could always back out. If it looks promising, it might be worth the risk.
Whatever you decide to do, all the best!
Friends of mine did this. The firstbaby was "baby of my friends" then straight after, another pregnancy occurred that became "baby of gay male donor" and the kids are 11 months apart and raised as cousins. He donated again recently to make a brother or sister for my friends bubba.
I'd personally go with an unknown donor, but that's just me. I'd prefer my children know us as their parents and thats it and I wouldn't want 'uncle j' to be involved at all, because he can still easily become dad, if they do form a strong bond you won't be able to stop it, legally it could be a case regardless of law. I don't know, that's just how I feel about it. My brother and his wife used an anonymus donor and it worked well for them. I don't have issue with not knowing gene origins etc. thats not really important to me, its how the child is raised and loved. Again, jmo, this is something you'd all need to discuss in great lengths.
I would go for it. He sounds lovely from his message to you. That made me teary!!
If it was me, I'd much prefer a known donor that my child would know than an unknown that may not want to know my child if they ever wanted to track him down at a later date.
Whatever you decide, I look forward to seeing a BFP post from you!!
Just thought I'd post this LINK to a sample contract which may be similar to what we'd be writing up.
It seems to cover a lot of bases.
NB: this is American. We won't be paying my friend for sperm if we do accept his offer. We'll pay for testing etc and other associated costs, but not the sperm itself!
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