When the traditional way to grow your family doesn’t work for you, it can send your brain spinning. There are so many other options out there, ranging from IUI to adoption. How do you choose which one will work best for your family?
We adopted our first child, but when our second adoption failed due to issues with the agency we decided to try and get pregnant. We knew all the frequently talked about options would likely not work for us. The idea of sperm donation had really not crossed our minds at all until we had a friend offer to be our donor. While the logistics of using him as a donor were a bit too complicated due to him living overseas, it did open us up to thinking about if sperm donation would actually work for us.
Having previously adopted, we weren’t really worried about wondering if a child that didn’t have our DNA would “feel” like our own kid. But what about a child that was genetically half mine, but not my husband’s?
Now that we are on the other side of it, I can say it has never been an issue. A lot of people think our youngest son even looks like my husband, and that our kids look like biological siblings.
The process of sperm donation was medically relatively easy, the hardest part is actually choosing a donor. Our doctor recommended choosing a donor who was marked as successfully donating before, which just means that the donation had ended in a successful pregnancy.
The website we used had some childhood pictures of a few of the donors, and we clicked on one that had a scrawny little blonde boy — he looked similar to how my husband and his brothers looked when they were little kids. That was the little detail we needed to choose him over the other donors.
I have to say that the weirdest part of the entire process was writing a check for sperm. I really don’t have anything else to say about that.
Once the vials had been delivered to our doctor, the process was very similar to IUI. I was put on Clomid beforehand to increase our chances of the procedure ending in pregnancy. Nine months later we had twins: a boy and a girl.
I can say with certainty that I have never thought that the twins were mine and not my husband’s. They have bonded with him just as much as they bonded with me. When you look at our kids, you would think they are biological siblings; they are all on the smaller side with the same shade of striking green eyes.
Since our donor had several successful donations before us, I do sometimes wonder how many genetic half-siblings the twins actually have, but we won’t ever know the answer to that.
If traditional fertility isn’t working for you, but you don’t feel called to adoption, I would encourage you to talk to your doctor about sperm or egg donation. It gave us two of our greatest blessings.