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Thread: Should the child know who the father is?

  1. #1

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    Question Should the child know who the father is?

    I have a friend who is willing to be my sperm donor.. I dnt want him to feel like he has to be apart of my childs life.. Im not being selfish or anything i just dnt want him to try and take my child away frm me.. Am i wrong for not wanting him in my childs life?? It would be nice for him to be the god-father and thats about it.. Wen my child is growing up wat will i tell my child??? How could i explain that to my child..?? Do u think my child will hate me for wat i did?? How do i go about planning for the future.. ???
    Help!!!
    Am i thinkin to much into this???


  2. #2

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    I'm not in your position but there are other beautiful ladies here who will be able to give wonderful advice.

    However, my input is ask the man willing to be a sperm donor, what does he want? Communication is a wonderful thing. Formalise your agreement so talk to a solicitor/lawyer about what is required.

    I think your child will love that his/her mother wanted him so badly that they were willing to do whatever it took to have them. It would be even better if they knew who their father is so if they have questions about that side of the family, then they can get the answers.

    Finally, follow your instincts. If they say no, this doesn't feel right for whatever reason (i.e. you are not sure the man will stick to the agreement etc), then wait for a better time or if possible, go to a sperm bank.

    Good luck with your journey!!

  3. #3

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    If you choose to have this friend donate for you, assuming you establish roles that you are both happy with etc etc, think of the issue of the child knowing like this - you cannot keep it a secret forever... these things always have a way of slipping out. How do you think a 16 year old would react to finding out about this 'lie by omission'? An 8yr old?? How about a 2 year old... you can see that they younger they are, the better they take things like this in their stride... I plan to explain to my son as soon as he is old enough to understand, with age-appropriate terms, how it is that he just has a mummy. I don't want to be accused of lying when he gets older.

  4. #4

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    i have absolutely no experience in this area so im just giving a bystanders opinion (hope thats alright)

    I always try to imagine how i would feel about something in order to determine the best course. We humans are all very curious about where we came from, thats generally the number one thing we begin to think about. So with that in mind you should expect that at some stage of your childs life, its going to want to know.

    I would also take into consideration what it will be like to be a child at school with friends who are all talking about their fathers, being picked up from school by their fathers, doing things with their fathers etc, but not being able to explain about my own father because of not knowing who he is. I can imagine that I would feel pretty left out and maybe even a bit embarrased about it.

    So If i was in your postion, i'd either try to find a close family member or friend who might be willing to act as a father 'figure' in the childs life so that they dont miss out on having that male influence in their life...perhaps an uncle, brother or a cousin.

    The other alternative is to establish what sort of relationship your donor friend might 'want' to have in the childs life (if any) and see if you can come to an agreement about him having some involvement. I have no idea on how a donor man might think in terms of the child so perhaps its something to find out.

  5. #5

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    I don't think you are overthinking this. I think you need to give it alot more thought.

    You need to make it very clear what you do and don't want. It might not even be 'fair' to ask him to donate for a baby but have nothing to do with it. However he may be happy with it this way. Make it clear. Get it in writing or legalised in some way.
    If the only reason you don't want him to be in the childs life is in case 'he takes the child away' you need to stop and get a bit real. No one can take the child away from you (unless it's docs and you do something terrible). You don't own a child in any case, they need as many people around them that love them that is humanly possible.

    However if he takes the role of god parent so to speak you may well find he might want a bigger role. I imagine it might be hard to see a child growing, knowing that it has half your DNA and even looks like you - and be expected to take a back seat.

    And even if he did want a bigger part in the childs life - why would that be so bad?

    I think you need to be very careful what your own motives are here, and if you are even being realistic.

  6. #6

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    hi
    we also used a friend as our sperm donor, my advice is make sure you are very detailed in what you both want out of it and both sign a stat dec stating this. Although it isnt a totally deal breaker if it ever went to court it would go in your favour, as he cant actually give his parental rights to a female Our donor at first agreed with everything we said he didnt want to be a dad, wanted to be uncle figure, no child support, (we didnt want any of that either) we also said he had no input into any parenting decisions which he happily agreed with. when our daughter was born he came to visit began to tell us he told all his friends he was called daddy wanted to take her to meet his family on holidays what she should and shouldnt be eating drinking ect after alot of tongue biting we held our breaths and thought what have we done!!! when alone we spoke about the best way to approach this after he left, we decided maybe it was an ego thing and began to keep note of any gifts he gave her, the amount of times he rang, and if he actually asked about her so if it became ugly and we needed proof that his input has only been of a donor. needless to say we dont have much written down yet and our little girl is one and a half!! We totally understand that it was easy at the start to say yes you dont want anything when the little person isnt actually here and of course when he saw her and knew she was part of him it would be hard for anyone to walk away. She will know that he is her biological father and if she wants to call him Dad it will be because she wants to do it not because anyone has prompted her to do it. We are started to try for another baby with the same donor and now that everyone know where they stand fingers crossed it will be all smooth sailing!!! good luck

  7. #7

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    As gay male with a son I have a perpective on this:

    Firstly everyone needs to speak very openly and candidly about what the intentions are, not just what you think the other person WANTS to hear but what you genuinely believe. I personally dont believe it is healthy for a child to be denied the information of who their biological Father is...it doesnt mean he would be the childs Dad or parent. My partner and I have a beautiful 17 month old son via the help of an amazing Traditional Surrogate. Our son will always know that she is his mother...he will not call her Mum but by her first name...but at least he knows who his biological mother is. I hope not to be too controversial here but as a male I sometimes think females under estimate the attachement that males have to their children and somtimes can tend to think of a donor as simply that...a donor as a means to an end (ie to have a baby). i wonder how some ladies would feel if I said that our surrogate has given birth to our son and now we do not want her to have any contact etc because we are worried that she will want custody. I just wanted to put another perpective on this...from the view point of a male.

    Each and every situation is different and what is right for some is not for others.

  8. #8

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    wow glad you offered your opinion "curiousaussie" because it is very rare indeed that we as "lesbians" hear the other side - well done.

    if i may offer my opinion;

    I have always thought about things from my son's point of view and not from my own from the outset. My son has a known donor and im glad he does - it is important for a child to know who is a biological link to that child and it is important for that child to be able to have access to that relationship if that is mutally agreed or even possible. of course when it is not - the discussion can not be had.

    My son at 3.5 years understands who his dad is, and that he has a mum - and significant other's in his life. My ex-partner who i conceived my son with is of course his parent in our opinion however for some reason my son doesn't identify her as Mum and instead refers to her by her first name as well as my current partner whom he currently lives with. in his world he has a mum and a dad as all the other kids at daycare. he just doesn't live with his dad.

    the donor does not have a significant decision making power in his life, does not visit regularly or send cards or presents on birthdays or christmas - but is happy to be as involved as is needed when it is needed.

    my son identifies the donor as "x my dad" - i haven't corrected this, i haven't encouraged this, i haven't opposed this - simply because i feel it is his right to identify the people in his life as he sees fit and to not be prescribed into thinking who are more important and those who aren't. or that in fact he has a mother that is a lesbian and therefore a dad is out of the question. my sexual preferences are not my son's and i don't want him defined by this.

    the donor i used has donated to others - i know from speaking to him that he feels a link with all offspring however for some reason or another he has a stronger relationship with some and not others -perhaps due to the insecurities of others or early mistakes made. im glad i chose a known donor - as my partner's 6 year old (anon donor through a clinic) quite eloquently put it "i know i don't have a dad (my son's name) but can we call x dad too - because we wish we had a dad too".

    in my opinion too often we (as a group) make assumptions based on what we think is right - i don't think that this is one area where we have that right. the right belongs to the child, and whilst we as parents bring that child into the world to protect and care for - we can not discount that half of that child's DNA as irrelivant based on our own insecurities.

  9. #9

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    Hi Levi78

    I couldnt agree with you more

    Thanks for explaining my thoughts alot better in words than I did

  10. #10

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    We used an unknown donor, so obviously I disagree with most of the above comments.

    All I have to say is that the agreement MUST be mutual. You just CANNOT lead a man along to think he is going to be a father and then decide you don't want him in the child's life as a father.
    In our case, we used an unknown donor who had willing donated sperm knowing that he will not have access or acknowledgement as a 'father' to any child that is created of his sperm. We don't know him. Never met him. Don't know his name. He doesn't know us, never met us etc. That was fine as this is what we wanted, and obviously what wh wanted or he wouldn't have become an unknown donor.

    So if he wants to be a part of this child's life, you either have to accept that, or use an unknown donor. It's just not fair if he donates on the understanding that he is going to be a father, and you change the deal and decide he is nothing more than a sperm donor, or 'godfather'. In fact, in that scenario, I'd expect him to take you to court for access or custody.

  11. #11

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    I think as long as you are honest with all parties and with the child then things will work out. If the donor is unknown, telling the child "I don't know who it is" is telling them the complete truth, which is all our children generally want from us.

    Knowing the father and not telling the child is a lie of omission and if the truth ever comes out then I could foresee mother/child relationship problems occurring.

    As another poster said, the father's opinion is so important in this too. He may be willing to be a donor, but does he realise that he will have no place in the child's life? Would be still be prepared to be the donor? These details must be straightened out before conception to avoid problems down the track IMHO.

    Best of luck with it all

    T
    xx

  12. #12

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    Hiya,

    My son is almost three and goes to a regular daycare centre. He wants to know where his daddy is, everyone else at daycare has a daddy so it seems - where is mine? At this point in time I told him his father is in sydney. I have told him numerous other more eloquent but more difficult to understand answers but "my dad is in sydney" is something he can repeat to the other kids when they ask, or when he asks himself. I'd like to know what other mothers and co-parents from lesbian headed families have told their children at different stages of their lives. My son is the result of a one night hetro fling with an old friend who refuses any contact, different to most lesbian parents, but at the end of the day - having two mummies is different to the other kids

  13. #13

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    Hey,

    I am no expert and certainly not on the subject of kids without a dad as a result of "a one night hetro fling" but for my son - i provided him with the information that he had a donor his name and that he lives in sydney. I then let him come up with his own theory on what that mean't. He has since decided that he is going to call him dad, and his dad x lives in sydney. He has informed all the daycare kids that have asked or quizzed him and i have helped him out when he asks questions. I try not to make a big deal of it or give him too much information to complicate things.

    of course things for you are different as your little guy is by your time chart a little younger than mine was - he was about 3 yrs and 3 months when he started to ask specific questions, before then he knew of this infamous donor but hadn't asked for any clarrification. also i have a known donor who is happy for contact when my little guy or i would like it - so that is different to your situation. Perhaps you could tell him that some people have a mum and a dad, some have just a mum or a dad, some have 2 mums, or 2 dads, and that there are lots of different mums and dads. Perhaps you could say that "your dad live in sydney and you may get to meet him one day". I don't know perhaps that isn't posible but it at least may comfort him until his level of understanding is a little more advanced - i.e older.

    It is difficult and as i said im only suggesting - but perhaps a child age appropriate book may help on mums and dads that don't live together?? You may not want to sugar coat the situation but i guess you can only say so much. Im guessing that one day you may have to explain the situation in real terms.

    From what ive found with my little guy he is happy if i provide some anwsers and can satisfy his questions.

    hope this helps,

    cheers
    Levi

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