Building your family with donated sperm can be a very complex process, both emotionally and physically. However, for many couples, donated sperm is their best chance of expanding their family. If you and your partner are looking to conceive a child, you may already be discussing sperm donation as an option. With that said, there are several advantages and disadvantages that you will want to consider before you undergo insemination.
Reasons To Use a Sperm Donor
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a couple’s decision to use a sperm donor.
These reasons can include:
Nobody wants to be told that they are infertile, especially if they are trying to conceive a child. However, studies show that about 15% of couples are affected by some sort of infertility issue. Being told that you are infertile can contribute to a profound sense of grief, loss, guilt, and frustration. Many men who experience infertility have reported feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, which they will need time to work through. Feelings of shame can also be a factor for men, who assume that they will be judged and blamed by members of their family for not being able to conceive with their partner.
If you do not take the time to work on healing from the emotional impacts of infertility, you might not be able to share your partner’s excitement when they eventually become pregnant by donated sperm. For that reason, it is important to work through your emotions in a healthy way before you decide whether or not you want to proceed with building your family with donated sperm. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this predicament. Plenty of men struggle with infertility and there are therapists and family counselors who can help you through it.
The child will not be genetically linked to both parents
Another reason why some men are apprehensive to use donated sperm to start their family is that the child will not be genetically linked to both parents. Although this is a valid concern, studies show that parents of children who are not genetically linked are just as likely to form a healthy bond with the child. Genetics are a very small piece of raising a family and they do not always determine who the child’s parents will be. The fact of the matter is that you can still love a child and be a good parent to them without being genetically linked to them.
When you choose to move forward with using a sperm donor, you and your partner will have the opportunity to select who your donor will be based on a variety of factors. These factors include hair color, eye color, race, hobbies and interests, and overall temperament. This means that you can select a sperm donor who looks like you and even has similar interests. When parents find out the versatility that comes with using a sperm donor, their perspectives begin to shift in favor of it.
Your child will be able to identify their paternal link through DNA
All sperm banks are required to keep a record of whether or not an individual’s sperm was used to help create a family or not. Although you will not have access to the identity of the sperm donor as the intended parents of the child, your child will be able to find out the identity of the person who contributed to their conception when they reach the age of 18. Not having the chance to be familiar with their paternal genetic link can be psychologically difficult for your child while they are growing up.
While it may be tempting to hide your child’s genealogy from them to avoid a difficult conversation, this is not a recommended strategy. Your future child has a right to know about their genetic contributors for several different reasons. First off, their genetic history is an important factor when it comes to medical checkups, screening for diseases, as well as their mental health. In addition to this, if you try to hide your child’s genealogy from them, there is a large chance that they will find out anyways through DNA testing. If your future child discovers that you lied to them about their genetic makeup, this can lead to resentment and a falling out between you both. For these reasons and more, it’s important to be open and honest with your child from an early age about how they were conceived.
How To Determine the Best Option for Your Future Family
There’s no doubt that there is a stigma attached to heterosexual couples using a sperm donor to conceive. However, by balancing the advantages and disadvantages of sperm donation, many couples are convinced that their best chance of becoming parents is by using a sperm donor. Clearly, there are a lot of factors that you and your partner will have to discuss and agree upon before you decide whether or not to move forward with a sperm donor. Some of the most important things to consider are how to work through any emotional impacts of infertility as well as discuss your child’s genetics with them when the time is right.
What to Do if Your Marriage is Impacted by Using a Sperm Donor
Everyone’s path to parenthood is different depending on their unique circumstances. For that reason, depending on a sperm donor to help you cultivate your family can have a variety of different impacts on your relationship with your partner. However, if you both are willing to work through the issues that arise together, you will be able to build a happy and healthy family together. Some tips for future parents who are struggling to feel connected to each other throughout the conception process include:
When it comes to bringing a new life into the world, there will be hardships and triumphs along the way. However, in the end, your struggles will be worth it. If things get hard, try to remember why you began your journey to parenthood in the first place: to welcome a child into your life. That’s why it’s important to think about the bigger picture and what this experience can bring with it in the near future.
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