Sunday, February 05, 2006

Husbands & Sperm Donation

I got the following letter recently and I must say I found it infuriating. Fertility Stories has received many tens of stories from women (and even one from a man, Jim - which he updated recently, after the birth of his daughter) who either contemplated or went through with sperm donation and this is the first that expressed this opinion. Our page on donor thoughts also paints the picture entirely differently and I was very surprised to receive this:

"I have been prompted to share my experience following Joan's story (posted January 20, 2006). They have been married for almost 4 years and just discovered that the husband has no sperm.

Joan, and others struggling out there, I got married in 1994 and 4 years later the doctors said that I have no sperm and will not be able to father a child. We have been living in tears for more than 11 years in this condition. It is important to understand what your partner goes through, especially if it is only one of you with a problem. Let us not be selfish and try to get a solution that satisfies only one partner. Children are meant to be for 2 people - husband and wife.
Friends and family have offered many options, all of which will never replace biological children. While we could have gone for donor sperm, I feel that the child will be for my wife (and another man!!) and not ours. Adoption may seem neutral but such children usually find their biological parents when they grow up. And this can be so frustrating.

Many times, people around us do not understand what we go through. On several occassions we have been blamed for delaying childbearing (we are now 37). We have failed to forget the whole matter. Sometimes we feel desperate and other times we are so hopeful through prayer. But the desire for biological children is unquenchable.

As a way forward, we have decided to sink ourselves in prayer. There is nothing impossible with God. We believe that soon we shall have children and our tears of sorrow will be replaced with tears of joy. Let us continue the struggle prayerfully. Miracles still happen, and ours will happen soon. Keep your hopes high, irrespective of your age."

Though I can understand the desire to have the same biological connection to your child (as your spouse does), I find it difficult to comprehend how someone with such a strong desire for children could also be so against adoption.

Please feel free to share your comments.


Anonymous said...

While I recognize and respect that opinions and beliefs about infertility are intensely personal, I find it frustrating to read stories like this. I can understand (though not relate to) a couple who's only desire is a biological child.

To me, personally, the idea that a child born through donation is "selfish" or "satisfies only one partner" is apalling. While there are surely couples out there who struggle with this issue, it's ridiculous to make imply that couples who choose this route are doing so only to satisfy their selfish desires. The idea that children born through donation belong to "another man" is equally outrageous, as is the dismissal of adoption because "it can be so frustrating" when children seek their biological heritage.

Infertility is frustrating. Pregnancy is frustrating. And ultimately, parenting is frustrating! We make sacrifices and we make compromises for each of these endeavors.

If someone chooses to deal with infertility through prayer, well I sincerely wish them the best. But this gentleman strikes me as misguided and naive. I genuinely hope he doesn't allow the blessing of an expanding family to pass him by as a result.

Sigh. Perhaps I read too much into it.

DI_Dad said...

The position of the writer is not unheard of but his rationale that to use DI is to only satisfy the needs of the mother I find interesting. I moderate a DI Dads group on Yahoo where I read many messages posted by members who are contemplating DI or are in mod process.

Some men have fears about DI including (1) that the children will not accept them, (2) others are turned off by the idea of another mans sperm being in their spouse, (3) some feel that "nature" rather than "nuture" will keep any kind of bond from developing. THese are just a few.

If as the writer feels that DI would only satisfy his wife's need for children and not his need to be a father, adopton would put them on equal footing. To ignore that option and trust in nature to find a way will rob them of years of having kids either via DI or adoption. Most DI Dads I have seen once the baby is born find that many of the issues melt away and love the child as their own and the child loves them as their dad. This writer seems not to want to for fear of something that he is not addressing. I may be wrong but when the desire to be a parent takes hold many issues are addressed but here they are not.

Anonymous said...

I do not feel that using another donor is selfish if the husband has no sperm, if your wife really want a baby adoption is not going to satisfy her. Adoption might take her mind off of wanting a baby for awhile but its not going to ease the pain of not being able to carry her own child as soon as she see another woman pregnant she's going to start getting depress about wanted to be pregnant and sometimes marriages break up from that because the husband can't handle her moods.

Anonymous said...

I do not feel using another donor is selfish, sometime adoption does not help a woman when she really want to be pregnant

Anonymous said...

If a wife want to use donor sperm that is not selfish