I heard a news item on Radio National last March that Australia has to import sperm from America, as there is a chronic shortage of men willing to donate in this country.
It made me think about my situation and I would like to shout out to the man who was willing and able to donate the sperm that led to the creation of my wonderful, gorgeous, unique little girl and boy.
Your altruism has made my dreams come true, and I can never thank you enough.
When you go to a fertility clinic and use donated sperm or eggs, you must attend at least one counselling session, in which they assess your mental state and make sure you have fully thought through what you are doing. I remember the counsellor saying to me that donors are asked a series of questions as well, one of which is, “why are you donating?”
Why do people donate sperm?
She told me that the majority of donors know someone who needed donor material in order to have a baby, and have seen firsthand how it has changed their lives.
Since I have become a mother, people who know me well, and even casual acquaintances, have spontaneously told me how my face lights up and how happy I look when I talk about my children, and how content I appear generally.
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I would like to encourage all the men in my life to think how happy my children make me and maybe find it in themselves to do this little thing for someone else out there.
The selfish factor
Now, let me be completely honest: I am in two minds about donating my own material – that is, an egg. For a start, I am not in my twenties, and I only have one ovary – and I still cling to the unlikely hope that I might have more children. Therefore, I don’t consider myself a likely candidate, and besides, I want to maximise my own chances.
Also certain people in my life remind me that I could sell an egg in the USA for thousands of dollars (selling any kind of genetic material is illegal in Australia). Not that I would ever do that, but money does keep popping up its ugly head and saying, “you neeeeeed me!”
I’m just saying, I understand that there can be legitimate reasons why men might hesitate to donate sperm.
There’s a strong need for blood donors out there too, and you could feel that you have already done your part by donating blood. And I would definitely prioritise blood over sperm in the donation stakes.
Cost to you vs benefit to another
Everyone makes their own decision at the end of the day. Some decisions we make have little or no positive impact on ourselves – but the feeling that you are doing something exclusively for the happiness of someone else must surely be a big tick on the karma checklist.
So get your kids immunised, donate blood and – if you can spare the time – donate some sperm. I guarantee it won’t be the most unpleasant trip to a medical facility you’ll ever have!
Do you know someone who has donated sperm? What were their reasons? Please SHARE below.