According to the NHS, 1,300 babies are born every year in the UK thanks to sperm donation. Whether you are a same-sex couple, a heterosexual couple having trouble conceiving or a single woman who hasn’t found the right person to start a family with, the joy of having a child is something everyone should have the chance to experience. Using a sperm donor to conceive is one option to consider to fulfil this parenting dream.
Considering the sperm donor option
First of all, it’s important to think thoroughly about the use of donated sperm before taking your decision. In a heterosexual relationship, the man may find it difficult to accept the idea that his baby won’t have any genetic connection to him. So, to help you through the process, it’s best to consider counselling for extra support and information
How can I find a sperm donor?
One of the options for finding a sperm donor is to go to a HFEA-licensed clinic. They stock their own donated semen but also have access to samples from sperm banks. Every fertility clinic carefully checks donor’s semen, for instance, its quality and sperm count. The tests will also look for any genetic anomalies or sexually transmitted diseases that the donor might have. By the way, it is important to note that since 2005, a child conceived in this manner has the right to request information about their donor – including name and last address – once they reach the age of 18.
Alternatively, you can also find a donor via your social circle, for example a close friend. Another solution is to look for a free sperm donation on a dedicated website, for instance Coparents.co.uk. Using a known sperm donor is a popular option because you can meet him and get to know his personality and physical traits. If you prefer this solution, be absolutely assured that the donor has been rigorously screened and has undergone every pertinent test before going any further.
How do I use donated sperm?
Once you’ve found your donor, you will have a number of insemination options. If you’ve opted for a known donor, you can choose to stay in the friendly and warm environment of your own home. If you choose this method you’ll have to inject the sample with a disposable syringe into yours or your partner’s uterus, during the period of ovulation.
If you prefer an artificial insemination performed by a professional, you also have the choice of going to a fertility clinic. You can be accompanied by your known donor if this is the option that you have chosen. As with the home insemination, the doctor will insert fresh or stocked sperm into yours or your partner’s uterus.
Who would be the legal father of my baby?
If you use donated semen from a fertility clinic, the donor won’t be considered as the legal father and thus he won’t have any legal obligations to your child. However, if you choose a known donor and you are a single mum or a lesbian couple, you’ll have the possibility of making him the legal father of your baby. Indeed, known donors sometimes express their desire to share parenting responsibilities. Incidentally, choosing co-parenting to raise a child is more and more popular, whether you are a single mom, a lesbian or heterosexual couple.