Having a baby via donor sperm
Whether you are a single woman, a lesbian couple or a heterosexual couple whose male partner is experiencing fertility issues, it’s possible to start a family via sperm donation.
One of your options is to choose an anonymous donor. However, if this is your choice, it’s important to be aware that these days donor-conceived children have the right to receive non-identifying information about their donor at the age of 16 and identifying information at 18 (full name, address, date and town of birth).
If you decide to choose a sperm donor through a fertility clinic you might be interested to know that, since 2005, children conceived by a sperm donor have the right to receive non-identifying information (ethnicity, physical appearance, medical history, etc.) about their donor at the age of 16, as well as information about the donor-conceived siblings that they might have. When they reach the age of 18, they’ll have access to identifying information such as the donor’s name, date of birth and last address given.
Selecting a non-anonymous sperm donor can be a good solution as this gives you the opportunity to get to know the donor’s personality and, if this is what you want, to decide to co-parent with him. Make sure that your donor has been through all of the required health screening tests, such as those for genetic disorders, infectious diseases and sexually transmitted diseases. The donor’s sperm count and quality should also be tested.
During your search for a sperm donor, you might consider certain characteristics such as medical history, ethnicity, physical appearance, blood type, lifestyle or interests. Looking for a sperm donor? Using our comprehensive database, you’re able to browse profiles and base your search on criteria such as location and age.
Once you’ve selected your sperm donor, whether this is a known or an anonymous donor, you’ll have the choice between self-insemination performed at home with a kit or artificial insemination by medical professionals in a licensed fertility clinic.
When there are fertility issues
According to countless studies, women’s fertility (particularly egg quality) declines rapidly after the age of 35. Although many women do get pregnant in their late thirties or early forties, it becomes much harder to conceive at this stage of life.
Apart from the decline of eggs due to age, fertility problems can concern either the man or the woman. For the male partner, potential fertility issues include low quality of sperm and a low sperm count. As for the woman, fertility issues can result from endometriosis, ovulation problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc.
If, after a year of trying to conceive without any success (6 months if you are over 35), or if you’re experiencing miscarriages or unsuccessful conception, it’s recommended that you pay a visit to your doctor to receive counselling and any necessary treatments.
Depending on the fertility problems that either the man or the woman might be experiencing, they may be offered several kinds of treatment. The most common solutions to treat fertility problems include: fertility drugs; artificial insemination (intra-uterine insemination); in vitro fertilisation with your own eggs; IVF egg donation or donated embryos; or surgery.
If getting pregnant is impossible for you because you are experiencing fertility problems or you are a gay couple, you might consider choosing a surrogate mother, another woman who would carry and give birth to your baby for you.
Depending on the situation and the will of the intended parents, surrogacy can either be performed in the “traditional” way, involving artificial insemination with the sperm of the father, or via gestational surrogacy, wherein the intended mother’s egg is fertilized by the sperm of the father via IVF. The result, called the embryo, is then inseminated into the surrogate mother’s uterus. Same-sex couples or couples with fertility problems can use donated sperm and eggs.
In the UK, the law states that the woman who gives birth is automatically the mother of the child. If you choose surrogacy as a solution to have a child, you can become the legal parents by adoption or by applying for parental order. It will be your choice to decide whether you want your child to have a relationship with his or her surrogate mother. Find out more about the legal aspects of surrogacy and surrogate mothers.
You’re single and want to become a parent? It’s not necessary to be in a relationship to have a baby. In fact, there are more and more women who are opting to have a child alone in the UK.
Several solutions are available to single women, such as artificial insemination with the sperm of a known or an anonymous donor (also called intrauterine insemination), or, should the previous treatment fail, in vitro fertilisation with your own eggs and donated sperm or with donated eggs or embryos.
With CoParents, you are able to browse quality sperm donors and contact those you find interesting. Searching for a sperm donor online offers you the opportunity to communicate directly with them, thus helping you to make the important decision of whether or not they should play a role in your child’s life.
Co-parenting is an option to consider if you wish your sperm donor to be involved in your child’s life. Single women and men who want to avoid raising their child alone might also be interested by the idea of co-parenting with another single person or a couple. This form of parenting can also be attractive to lesbian and gay couples who would like to become parents while also maintaining a relationship with their sperm donor or surrogate mother.
Registering the name of the donor or the surrogate mother on the birth certificate could, for instance, permit them to be considered as the legal father or mother of the child. Co-parenting involves sharing equal responsibilities, such as financial duties and custody. Both parties can also make important decisions regarding the child’s welfare or education. If you’re considering having a child with a co-parent, it’s important that you inform yourself about co-parenting and the options available to you first.
Whatever your situation, CoParents.co.uk may be just what you are looking for. Since our inception in 2008, we’ve been helping women and men who are unable to start a family the traditional way to have a baby via alternative methods..