Chances are, you have thought once or twice about becoming a sperm donor. You've thought, Wow, this would be so easy! I could make some extra money, and I could actually help someone start their own family!
But then you've become a little concerned: How could I ever tell my future partner that I had been a sperm donor in the past?
Believe me, you could (and should).
Once you begin working with a reputable sperm bank, you will learn for yourself that donating sperm is not shameful or creepy. Instead, it is a generous thing that some men choose to do for all the right reasons. Donors cite their sense of altruism as well as their commitment to alternative family building as reasons that they chose to become sperm donors.
There are limited research studies on men talking with their partners about having been sperm donors in the past. What is known, however, is that talking early in the relationship seems to have the best outcomes. Hearing this news from someone else, or finding out that the information was withheld, could be damaging to a relationship.
There is no way to predict how a partner may react to the news that you were a donor years ago. Giving that person a few facts can help:
- Men donating sperm through a licensed program have no legal rights or responsibilities to the offspring of their sperm donations; they are not considered fathers to the offspring.
- Parents of donor-conceived children are extremely grateful to their donors and consider them generous men.
- Research indicates that donor offspring are raised in families where they feel very loved and wanted. They do not want or expect donors to be fathers to them.
- Open-identity programs such as The Sperm Bank of California’s Identity-Release® Program are designed to provide adult offspring with information about their donor, not to develop a personal or familial relationship with him.
Your partner may be more concerned about whether you have genetic offspring in the world than you are. Wives in particular may feel unhappy or jealous that you helped create a family with someone else. She may wonder if this will eventually diminish the relationship she has with you or the time you have for your family. If you and your current partner have been unable to have your own children, this can be particularly difficult. Your sensitive approach to your partner's feelings around these issues is needed.
Once you have developed an firm belief that donating your sperm was a wonderful thing to do, everything else regarding openness about it just falls into place. Talking with your partner about why you chose to become a donor and how you feel about your decision becomes downright easy.
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