Today, there are many different types of families – not only families consisting of a mother, a father and their children. In Denmark, there are in fact 37 different types of families (Statistics Denmark). For example, families made of a single father and his children, a single mother and her children, parents with children brought together, and families with same sex parents. Follow the link to read more about same sex families.
Becoming parents using a sperm donor as a same sex couple
About 35% of Cryos private clients are lesbian couples trying to conceive with the help of a sperm donor. Getting pregnant with donor sperm is a good option because one of the women can then be genetically related to the child. By using a sperm donor, there is also the advantage of full parental rights for the woman carrying the child – or for both women in the same sex relationship – as sperm donors renounce any parental rights of the donor children. Different countries have different legislation with regards to parental rights as a lesbian couple. You should investigate the legislation in your own country to know how and if both women can have legal parental rights of the child.
Two mothers to be – What to consider
If you are in a lesbian relationship and you are ready to start your journey towards parenthood, there are some considerations to take into account. For example, you need to consider how to become mothers, who will carry the baby, and how to tell the child about how he or she came into the world. We have gathered a list of considerations to take into account when you want to become parents.
What are the options?
As a same sex couple consisting of two women, you have different options to create the family of your dreams. The decision can rely on different factors such as the legislation in your country, your economic situation and personal wishes for your future family. Some of the options are adoption, using a friend as a donor, co-parenting and using donor sperm for fertility treatment.
Who will carry the baby?
If you choose to use donor sperm to become mothers, you must consider who will carry the baby. In some relationships, it feels most natural for one of the women to carry the child or children. Other couples may choose to let one of the women carry the first child and let the other woman in the relationship carry the second child. Some may choose to let one of the women use her partners egg for both parents to be involved in the pregnancy. One of the considerations when deciding who should carry the baby are for example medical history and age.
How to tell your child that he or she is a donor child?
If you choose to become mothers with the help of a sperm donor, eventually, your child will ask questions about how he or she was brought into the world. Some studies suggest that parents of donor-conceived children should begin to tell the story to the child at an early age. This way, it will become an integrated and normal part of the child’s identity. There is no exact recipe on how to do this, but we have gathered some advice on how to tell the story to your child in the blog post: How to talk to your child about being a donor-conceived child. You can also read this blog post where donor-conceived Emma tells how her parents handled this in a kind and calm way.
Do you want siblings for your child?
If you are having a child using donor sperm, you should consider if you would like the child to have genetic siblings using the same donor. Especially when the child grows older, it can be comforting for the child to have siblings they are genetically related to. Here you can read about when and how much donor sperm to reserve for genetic siblings.
Personal stories from lesbian mothers
On your journey towards becoming mothers, it may be helpful and comforting to read personal stories from other lesbian parents who have gone through the same process as you. On our blog, we share interesting stories from our clients. For example, you may be interested in reading the story about Phoebe and her wife that made use of fertility tourism to become pregnant or the story about Anna´s upbringing with lesbian mothers.
We also encourage you to read what other parents to donor children say. Here we have gathered of few of the messages we have received from happy parents of donor children.
We would like to thank you and the donor so much for making us a family! The insemination worked on the second attempt and now we have the baby girl we have been dreaming of. I cannot put into words how much she fills our hearts and life with joy, love and happiness. I am so grateful for this little wonder! Again, thank you for your service, support and help!Liz, Lucy and babyUK
We are thrilled and very proud to announce that on 28 October 2016 we welcomed into the world our wonderful baby daughter Helena. She is healthy, beautiful and truly extraordinary, and she has filled our home with joy and love. We would like to say thank you to Cryos for making this dream of ours a reality, and we wish to express our gratitude to the donor for his invaluable contribution to the growth of our family. Cryos has been professional, helpful and very well-organised, and we would recommend them to anyone. We wish the best of luck to all the hopeful moms and dads out there and keep our fingers crossed that they too can soon fulfil their dream of parenthood.Agnieszka and MagdalenaPoland
You can read more personal messages from parents to donor-conceived children here.
Join our Facebook community
It can be of great value to share thoughts and experiences with other people who are on a similar path to parenthood. Therefore, we have created the Facebook group Family Dreams which is a nice and friendly place to connect with like-minded people. In Family Dreams, you can share your own story, ask questions about for example fertility treatment with donor sperm and LGBT parenting, and see pictures of donor children shared by other lesbian mums, singles and heterosexual couples. You can join Family Dreams here.