July 4, 2015

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.

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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.

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  • I would also like to thank my hubby for his sperm donations. Without which we wouldn’t have our beautiful children ;)

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  • I think f you can help someone else become a paren that’s a great thing

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  • This fills me with mixed emotions….

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  • This is a wonderful article. I would not have minded if my hubby became a sperm donor but I think he is a bit too old now. What is the ideal age for a donor?


    • Hi there, I don’t know the official requirements as I didn’t have to look into that side of things but recent research suggests that over the age of 45, men’s sperm viability drops significantly, so probably 45 and under – but you’d need to check a specific clinic’s policy on that, I’d say. They’re all different. How great though, that you guys are considering it!

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  • i never knew about this topical post before

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  • Everyone has an opinion… I do get a little sick of them


    • I guess that’s what comments and forums are for, though. A place to add your opinion and read others’. Thanks for your response anyway!

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  • I think one thing that makes a lot of men hesitate is the idea of a “baby” turning up on their doorstep 18 years later. And I do think that’s a fair concern.


    • Fortunately, they are protected from this. Men who donate sperm get to decide if and when they will make their contact details available to people they helped. So if they choose, they can remain completely anonymous, which is a good thing.

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  • I love this article. My sister has been in a lesbian relationship for a lot of years & they are wanting go get a sperm donor.


    • That’s great – I really hope they find someone. There are plenty of fertility clinics who they can go to.

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  • very nice

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  • I am forever grateful to my sperm donor who has given me the most beautiful little boy imaginable! Without the donor, being single with PCOS, having a baby was extremely unlikely.
    It is a very emotional and expensive journey, but my little boy is loved so much, not only by me but the family and friends around us and I look forward to seeing the man he grows into.


    • What a wonderful story! I wish you and your darling boy all the best. We sure are the luckiest women in the world, aren’t we!

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  • Sperm donation can make a huge difference to someone or a couple, however my husband would not want to donate purely as he would want to have a relationship with his child, as ultimately although the child is raised by another they are biologically my husbands, this is the main reason, he just could not separate himself from someone with his DNA and he feels it is not really appropriate.


    • Yes, that’s something I was working through when I was looking at donating my eggs. In the end I decided that if I could have at least a letter and photo once a year, or possibly even a friendly relationship with the family, I’d feel a lot better about it. It’s definitely an issue.

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  • A thought provoking article and one to reflect on over time.

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  • Yes someone close to our family did as he had seen the heartbreak off another family member. Was very interesting hearing the process it takes


    • I’m glad you learned something. It’s not really much talked about. He was a good guy to help someone like that.

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  • I dont know of anyone thats donated at all.
    I do know of people that have undergone IVF but with their own eggs and husbands sperm, etc


    • There aren’t many out there. It’s definitely easier if you have a husband or willing male participant!

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  • I don’t know of anyone who donated sperm.

    Reply

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