Today we hear from Aysha and her family about their experiences building their family. This is the second story in our new series highlighting and celebrating family building with a known donor. We asked each family in the series the same four questions and left their voices and messages unfiltered so you can hear directly from them. We hope you find this series helpful, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
We are continuously inspired by the love and tenacity of all the families in the Mosie community. Our sincere thanks to Aysha and her family for sharing their story!
How did you know you were ready to start your family?
My sister and my niece lived with me and my wife for about a year and a half because her boyfriend was deployed. When he came back to the states, my sister and niece moved out and to a different state. Even though my wife and I still had each other, we really felt like something was missing. The house was so quiet. There were no more little knocks on our bedroom door in the mornings. There was no more “Titi Eshaaaa/ Titi Nenaaa” that came with a big little hug when we got home from work. I found myself randomly singing songs from my nieces favorite tv shows and My wife would laugh and say “I’m so sad that Harlie doesn’t live with us anymore”. That”s when we started talking about the idea of having our own little minion that would be stuck with us forever. After we decided we wanted to grow our family, we didn’t waste anymore time. We were all in it!
How did you find your donor? Did it take a long time?
My wife and I decided we wanted to use a known donor. Someone that we both knew of but had no real connections with. We thought of a few people that we came across while working. It was pretty easy for us to think of the people we wanted to ask because we were looking for someone that sorta resembled me a little. The first guy we asked said he was flattered. He wanted to help us grow our family. I asked him if he was married or in a relationship. He was. So then I asked him if he could get permission from his wife as well. She wasn’t on board with it. She said “I’m sorry, but those are my babies“. So we moved on to the next potential donor. He was single and already had two babies of his own. He said he wanted to help us. We paid him a portion of the money up front after he signed a contract that stated he would get the rest of the money a month after a confirmed pregnancy test. We had issues with this donor because he was always out of town or busy when we needed him to come make a donation (during my ovulation). We ended up telling him that we no longer needed his help and would be seeking assistance elsewhere.
The third time was really a charm! We are so glad that we didn’t lose hope after what happened with the first donor. The third guy we asked was an angel. We could tell he really wanted to be a part of this journey.
I think the hardest part of finding a known donor for me was building my confidence to ask another person to be a part of this journey. I was nervous and didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. So before you ask anyone I would recommend taking time to write down the things you want to ask so that your wording is clear, and there is no confusion or uncomfortable-ness.
Any advice on how to approach the topic of signing a contract with your donor? Was it awkward or were you all okay with the whole process?
Telling the donor about the contract was actually the easiest part for us and for him. My wife and I made a contract on our own and then we went over it with the donor to see if he had any questions or if there was anything that he thought we should add in to protect him. The contract was made to protect all parties. He asked if we would send him pictures of the baby here and there and we were glad he asked because our answer was “no” and we made that clear in the contract. The contract we made is equivalent to an anonymous donation which means we aren’t able to discuss who the donor is or have any contact with him after our agreement was completed.
Did you work with a lawyer for your donor agreement?
Yes, we did work with a lawyer. I’d never worked with a lawyer before so I didn’t know what kind of lawyer we needed to help us with this. I started off by googling “contract lawyers near me”. There were many in the area so I emailed a few of them telling them exactly what we were looking for. The contract lawyer we ended up working with looked over our contract and told us up front that we did NOT need a lawyer for our contract to stand in court of law. He said as long as all parties signed the agreement then it would be just as legit as a contract he made for us himself. He did not mind helping us edit our contract but he gave us that information in the very beginning because obviously if we chose to use his services, it was going to cost us. And it did ($3,500)! He’d never had any clients with similar needs so there was no template he could use. He had to do his own research and that took time and money. If we ever decide to have another baby, we won’t be hiring a lawyer again. I think we were just really worried about the donor trying to fight for parental rights later on down the line and, as silly as this sounds, having a contract with a stamp on it made us feel safe.
*If you’re considering using a known donor, please know that anything referenced here is anecdotal and not considered legal or medical advice. For more info,read this article and checklist from Family Equality. You’ll want to be sure to discuss your donor’s physical and mental health, along with STD testing.
If you're hoping for additional resources, check out our full digital course with Connecting Rainbows on growing your family with donor sperm here.