Whether or not to tell people that you’re looking for a sperm donor in order to have a child is entirely up to you. Even later on, when your child is born, it’s still your choice (and your partner’s) whether to reveal the news or not.
If you’ve decided to announce the news to your friends and family, you might be doing so because you feel that they could provide you with some much-needed support. This may also be because you want your child to grow up in an environment where there are no secrets, just trust.
Revealing the news can be quite daunting and complicated, especially if you know your family isn’t usually comfortable discussing this kind of topic. You may fear awkward questions and judgmental comments that could hurt your feelings.
However, although telling them that you’re going to have a baby thanks to a donation can be a bit scary, it’s often worth the effort for the support you will receive afterwards. Additionally, keeping things secret can be hard to handle and can make you feel isolated, whether you’re doing this alone or with a partner or a co-parent.
What to expect from your parents and family
If you are an LGBT couple, the fact that you are looking for a sperm donor, an egg donor or a surrogate may not be surprising to your friends and family, as they may already have anticipated that you would do so.
If you’re a couple with infertility issues, the news might be a bit more of a surprise, but chances are that your family is more than likely to support your choice. Regarding singles, although lots of people will be positive and understanding, others might have a harder time accepting the idea of a solo mother raising a fatherless child. If you feel that your family or friends might react in such a manner, maybe it’s best to talk first to those you think could be supportive. This way you will have someone on your side.
When telling your relatives about using a donor in order to become a parent, it’s a good idea to explain your choice, including why you’re using a donor and how the process works. Receiving information about your decision can help them to better understand your situation. You can use CoParents.com guides and blogs to get all the necessary information which will help you to explain to your relatives how sperm or egg donation works, as well as the process of artificial insemination or IVF, depending on how much you’re willing to share.
They may ask you intimate questions that you might not want to answer. It’s up to you to decide which you are comfortable responding to. However, prepare yourself for some awkward questions, as even the most open-minded and well-meaning people can be a bit clumsy and tactless when discussing such matters. They don’t necessarily mean to hurt you, but you may feel that they’re invading your intimacy.
Prepare yourself in advance
First of all, prepare yourself in advance. Don’t rush. It’s best not to blurt out the news on an impulse, as you might regret it afterwards. With your partner, or on your own if you’re single, take the time to decide who you are going to tell and to what extent. If you are going to be a solo parent and need advice, you can discuss this with someone close that you trust, such as your sister or your best friend.
As you have a different relationship with each member of your family or friendship group, what you’re going to say to each of them will depend on how much you trust them, as well as on their personalities. There might be stuff that you prefer to keep to yourself and not to share with anyone, and this is the same for your partner. That’s why it’s important that you talk to each other, so that you can set boundaries. Respect your partner’s feelings and avoid saying things that they don’t feel comfortable with.
Additionally, as your family and friends probably don’t know much about sperm donation, be prepared to answer their questions. Consider the potential subjects they may want to cover, as well as your answers, beforehand. On top of that, being well prepared is a good way to feel a bit more confident, as there is a chance that you might feel a little uncomfortable and exposed during this conversation.
Finally, where and when you reveal the news is also crucial. Choose a place where everyone feels at-ease, especially you, whether this is during a family dinner at home, in a restaurant you all like or at your favourite pub. As for when, it’s up to you to pick the right moment: e.g. when everyone is in a good mood and, of course, available to listen to what you’re going to say.