“My Boyfriend is a Sperm Donor and I Can’t Get Over It”

I’m a 28-year-old female, having dated my 30-year-old boyfriend for about 11 months now, and he and I love and care for each other. He’s a really sweet guy and hardworking, and we had a good relationship until about four months ago when he told me that he had donated sperm after college for money. He donated at a sperm bank every two to three days for a year, and he could have dozens of biological kids out there.

I’ve done the research and some guys have 50 or more kids since not all banks are well-regulated. At 18 these biological children can request to have access to my boyfriend. I can only imagine they would want to have a connection with their biological father. Many do. I’m a very private person and would not be comfortable with strangers exerting some sort of claim to my partner and my future family. I know he didn’t cheat on me, but it somehow feels like he did. I can’t stop wondering every time I see a kid that looks a bit like him, and it makes me sad for some reason.

I’m upset about many things from feeling less special to being so overwhelmed with uncertainty that it has made me sick. I’ve even gone to therapy to help me process this and figure out how to move forward. Our relationship has struggled due to my becoming more cold. I think deep down I don’t respect that he donated sperm for money and I don’t respect the process of sperm donation, though I can appreciate how assisted-reproduction can be a good thing. (Still, I don’t think life should be bought or sold.)

I don’t like that he didn’t think about the long-term impact sperm donation would have on him and his partner and on their future. And it makes me wonder if he had this weird need to spread his seed or something. (He also has family stresses that aren’t helping. I have a hard time relating to and enjoying spending time with his rather needy family. Someone is always asking for money or getting in trouble with the law.)

I’m having a hard time letting him go, but should I just cut my losses and try my luck somewhere else? — Feeling Less Special

There’s a lot to think about and unpack here, from your feelings of being “cheated” on, to a potential difference in values between you and your boyfriend, to your feelings about his family, and the idea of what a future with your boyfriend might be like if it includes biological children coming out of the woodwork in the next ten years or so. That’s a lot, and it doesn’t sound like you are ambiguous about your feelings on any of this.

You say how bothered you are that your boyfriend seemingly didn’t think about how the decision to donate sperm would affect his long-term future. You say you don’t respect that he made sperm donations for money. You imply that you don’t even respect the idea of sperm donation in general – or, the idea of “buying and selling life” (which is such a strange and reductive way of thinking about sperm donation, but ok). You can’t accept the idea of your partner’s biological children inserting themselves in your lives should you have a long-term future together. And, in addition to all of this, you don’t enjoy or respect your boyfriend’s family.

You are not ambiguous about any of this. These are your feelings, and your job is to weigh them against your feelings for your boyfriend to determine whether the reality of the situation is a dealbreaker for you or whether you can live with – and be happy in spite of — the reality that isn’t going to change.

Generally, my school of thought is if there’s this much drama so early in a relationship — the sperm donation drama started about seven months into your relationship, and that’s pretty early — when you’re still getting to know each other and determining whether your lifestyles are a match (versus, say, building a life together, having children together, etc.), it’s probably best to cut your losses and find someone whose values and lifestyle better align with your own. And I feel no different here, with your situation.

What’s unique to you and what I worry will follow you to your next relationship is your seeming inflexibility and unrealistic expectations. This isn’t just about your boyfriend having potential biological children who may reach out to him one day; you actually think that a decision he made years ago, before he even knew you, is reflective of cheating on you, which doesn’t make sense.

In addition, you don’t mention any discussions you’ve had about HIS feelings — what he thinks about the idea of biological children reaching out to him one day, how he feels now about the decision he made years ago to donate sperm, how he envisions a future with you. You are making assumptions – and a lot judgments — based on your own disappointment. Your disappointment is understandable, but your treatment of your boyfriend is not. And if you go into your next relationship thinking that every decision your partner has ever made, even before meeting you, is a reflection of his feelings for you or his commitment to you, you’re going to suffer more disappointment.

People are not perfect. People make mistakes. People have made decisions in their past they wouldn’t make with the knowledge and resources they have gained as they have grown older. Certainly, it matters if those decisions affect one’s present or future. What matters most though when considering the future of a relationship with someone is how your values align, how well you communicate and problem-solve together, and whether you share similar lifestyle goals. And, yes, whether a person has a family you enjoy or not comes into play, but if you’re pointing to that to beef up a cons list and justify leaving someone you care about, the truth is your cons list is probably already long enough.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. Wow. LW, obviously, you need to end this relationship. It’s not working for you.

    As for offspring looking up their sperm donor, did your BF consent to being “discoverable”? I know with the ubiquity of genetic tests nowadays, consent likely doesn’t matter as much, but I do wonder about the wisdom of looking up someone who may have never intended or wanted to be found, particularly when they donated sperm anonymously for cash in college, likely never even thinking about being contacted by successful offspring decades later. It’s such a thorny issue.

  2. You’re making a lot of assumptions, here: that any children will want to look up your boyfriend, that they’ll be allowed to, and that he will want to be a part of their lives. None of these things are necessarily true. I’m also not sure how his decision to donate sperm for cash makes you feel “less special”. That decision has nothing to do with you and it is unreasonable to expect him to take your feelings into consideration when he didn’t even know you. I definitely think you need to walk away from the relationship and maybe get some counseling to process some of these unrealistic expectations that you have.

    1. When this sperm donor’s “needy” family hears that they can take a genetic test and be connected to any biological nieces/nephews/cousins/relatives whose parents could afford reproductive assistance they might be really excited to communicate and ask for money or legal assistance. The family might do that instead of respecting the sperm donor’s privacy.

      1. That would be the other family’s problem, not the LW’s. It’s a waste of energy to get this worked up over something that has nothing whatsoever to do with her. If she wants to MOA because of his needy family, that’s another issue.

  3. I am a person that has benefited from this type of thing. When my husband and I tried to have children in our late 30’s, we had a very painful experience of losing a fetus and then having a miscarriage. After being tested, it turns out my eggs were prematurely aged. Two fertility doctors told me that my egg quality was so low that the odds of me carrying a healthy baby to term were ridiculously low. After a lot of soul searching and therapy, I decided to use an egg donor. Yes, it cost us money, and it was a lot more than if it had been sperm. The process of egg donation requires a lot of drugs and then a painful extraction for the donor. Who would do this for free?

    Because of the generosity of a donor not unlike your boyfriend, I have the amazing gift of my twins. Some woman I will never meet allowed my husband and me to have these amazing kids. To imply that there was somehow cheating involved to use someone else’s biological seed is just absurd. The entire process was entirely clinical, and I never once felt like my husband was cheating on my when his sperm was injected into her egg.

    And let me tell you this. We started the process 6 years ago, and I was sure at the time we’d never find out who the donor was. DNA testing services such as 23 and me were not big yet. I’ve had to since grapple with the fact her anonymity may not always be the case. It appears that your boyfriend probably did this about 8 or so years ago based on his age. I’m sure he needed money, and he didn’t think in a million years these children he may have helped to create would ever have the capability to find him. Technology changes this world in a faster and faster pace. And think about this. For all you know, his sperm fathered no children. The first egg donor we tried to use had no quality eggs to use.

    To say you “don’t respect” this is just annoying. I hate when people always throw out the privilege card, but you are coming across as exactly that. It’s very easy for someone who hasn’t gone through the utter heartbreak of losing very wanted babies to dismiss donation so flippantly. I had to give birth to a dead baby, and the fact that someone did this incredibly “disrespectful” thing so I didn’t have to go through that again to me is anything but. How does his donation of sperm make you “less special??????” Just break up with the guy.

    1. Allornone says:

      Thank you for sharing that, Jennifer. It needed to be said and it’s far more powerful and meaningful coming from someone who truly knows the heartbreak and struggle.

      1. JaCurria Carter says:

        I understand completely how you feel. I just found out this is my situation as well. You feel robbed and it does seem fair to you.
        I am stuck thinking the two children we have aren’t as special as I thought. Quite frankly this is no light topic you are allowed to feel how you feel regarding this.
        I am back and forth about will those potential children be loved and how does my guy feel about the value of life, his legacy as well as how it could effect all parties surrounding this. I saw a statistic that most sperm donor children have problems connecting to others and family. I believe it should’ve been a joint decision with the intended wife.
        I’m currently trying see if we can retrieve his samples to use them or trash them.
        Guys what you decide effects more than you and to the person who thinks it’s none of her business I’ve never heard a more false response to something as important than this.

  4. Thank you for posting this. I’d just like to add that aside from people with fertility challenges, female same sex couples need sperm donors to conceive. Many of them rely on people “buying” and “selling” life like the LWs boyfriend.

  5. GertietheDino says:

    Not your sperm, not your say. Also it was way before you. Again, you get no say in this matter.

  6. mellanthe says:


    This isn’t cheating. Any more than it would have been if one of his previous girlfriends had fallen pregnant and you both only found out about the kid later. You point out that it makes you feel less special – why? It sounds like you’ve tried to get past it and really struggled. It sounds like you’ve tried therapy – has it helped?

    I can see why it might be scary; because it potentially changes the rosy future that you pictured. But this is no different from dating a guy with kids; this is either a fact you can deal with, or it isn’t. If the idea of his sperm donation kids potentially contacting him bothers you to a big degree, you may have to evaluate if you can be with this guy if it’s making you miserable. it might never happen, but you have to be able to accept that it may. Then again, any boyfriend might have an ex show up with a baby they weren’t told about. People have made decisions in their past. Maybe he’s fine with it, and maybe he thinks it was a mistake but it happened and can’t be changed now.

    They also won’t be strangers. They’ll be biological offspring of your partner. I doubt my boyfriend donated sperm, but it woudn’t bother me that he did, any more than it bothers me that he had sex before we met (thanks, ladies, for whatever lessons you gave him!) and a pregnancy had ensued. If it turned out some ex had raised a baby of his, I hope I could learn to respect that child enough to get to know them – because they are his, and the child of a man I love is someone I want to be able to love. If he ends up having a relationship with them, then it’s his kid, not a ‘stranger.’ It might be reasonable to be upset if he’d covered it up and a kid showed up, or a kid ensued from an affair (which would not be the kid’s fault, but harder tobut in this situation your guy is keeping nothing from you.

    It’s OK that you feel conflicted about this. It may not be something you can get past. But please don’t judge people for donating, or judge those going through fertility treatment. As it is, I’m undergoing gynaecological investigations in recent months; perhaps fertility will be an issue, perhaps it won’t. But I have a deep respect for the struggles people go through with fertility issues, and the people who help them.

    1. Anonymous says:

      i found out my boyfriend while married and starting with a family with his wife via sperm donation created seven children which i found uncomfortable due to my own moral and ethical framework,he played down how he keeps in regular communication to a same sex couple he gave four children to.i read communication which at first due to the familiarization i initially thought he was cheating.
      fast forward the tape and i found out i was pregnant and was shocked and supprized and i thought we would be a family and our baby would come first but while talking about our babys christening he asked me if i wanted to go to one of these childrens confirmation which made me realize he was obviously still in close contact with them even though ive tried to make him understand how insecure and uncomfortable it makes me feel and to think he would take me somewhere he would be introduced as the baby father while with his present gf and their baby just upset me as its the last situation in would want to be.it makesd me feel one of many and our family and our baby isnt first and how they are like a secret family in his phone and how they share images of their children and he gives them money and goes out of his way for them but quietly so i just feel like i am one of many and something so sacred he gave away without any thought for the future.his two childdren from his marrige have no idea that other children came before and after them via donation and how heart broken they would be and he doesnt understand how invalidated i feel as a mother and how his engagement with them impacts us and our family .ive tried to understand his rational but its bizzare and ive tried to come to terms with it but i struggle and now having his baby i feel stronger in my thoughts and also that he should protect me and our family from perceived threat

  7. Bittergaymark says:

    NEWSFLASH: Your boyfriend didn’t “think ahead” as few plan on ever dating a deranged and judgmental brat.

    1. CinderALLIE says:

      Haha, I love this comment.

  8. LW — you are 28 and dating a 30 year old. It is totally unrealistic (and controlling) to think anyone you seriously date is going to have a prior decade of sexual history of which you are entitled to know all and approve all. Life isn’t like that. You take guys as you find them today. If you like how they are today, and apparently you do, then everything which came before you is just something which forged the person you fell in love with. You come across as incredibly controlling and ideological. Let your bf go. This relationship isn’t going to work and its failure is 100% on you, because he did absolutely nothing wrong.

    Really, you should have married your virgin H.S. sweetheart when you were 18. That’s about the only way to have as much control over a guy’s sexual history as you demand.

    I see nothing morally or philosophically wrong with sperm donation. An emotionally-charged, super-religious phrase like “buying and selling life” tells me that you are going to be a good match for only strongly religiously conservative guys.

  9. I also find the LW judgmental, I think that she is freaking out and overreacting. That said, it is not an easy new to hear and I wouldn’t be thrilled either. You have to have some detachement, maturity and good communication with the man to be able to deal with the situation. You have to project yourself in what seems to you the worst case scenario and see wether it would be really the disaster you imagine. I don’t think so.
    But you have to wonder if you want to deal with the situation in the first place. It is a process and you don’t have to do it.
    LW, if a one year old relationship drives you to the therapist, and drives you nuts the way it shows in your letter, you had better end it. I think that you will never really accept it. It is OK and your right to walk away. You don’t need to justify yourself or judge your BF: it doesn’t work for you. Anyway, I think you have already made your decision. You have one foot out, you dislike and despise his family. Go find a boyfriend who will give you a more secure feeling, and take some lessons in the advice you read today.

  10. Demanding that the world and its people be a certain way in order for you to “feel special” is never, ever going to work. Why do you need to prove special-ness anyway? Can’t you just like yourself as you are?

    I was mildly sympathetic to your insecurity, until you came out with “I don’t respect the process of sperm donation” and “I don’t think life should be bought or sold.” Really incredibly narrow-minded and kinda mean.

    1. anonymousse says:

      Yeah. I agree with this. At first I was ready to be like, “Hey we all have irrational feelings sometimes…” but then the absolute audacity to be so judgmental and holier-than-thou. Ugh.

      Just break up with the guy, but please make sure he knows it’s because of your weird hang ups, and not anything he has ever done.

      1. I got an email reply from the LW telling me that she’s actually been treating her boyfriend and his family well “considering all that has been going on.” She really does not get that he didn’t do anything wrong and that she’s the one with the weird hang-ups and unrealistic expectations.

      2. Not surprising.

  11. dinoceros says:

    I can get finding it weird and deciding that’s not what you want in your life, but it’s not really appropriate to frame this as him doing something wrong. Some people wouldn’t care or would get over it. It bothers you and appears that it won’t change. Just break up, but acknowledge it’s about you, not him.

  12. Bittergaymark says:

    I was also — frankly, a little put off how Wendy seemed to imply that what he did was… somehow… a mistake. Worthy of judgment even. More — that her feelings of “disappointment” were in any way valid. This letter struck me as unbelievably fucked up. So vapid and narcissistic.

    1. I certainly did not mean to imply that what he did was a mistake. I did use the word “mistake” in the final paragraph, but that was in reference to the general mass and not to the LW’s boyfriend, specifically. Sorry for confusion.

      1. Bittergaymark says:

        Just saw this response. Thanks for the clarification.

  13. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

    Dear “Feeling Less Special”,

    I completely understand what you’re going through, as I am currently experiencing the same issue with my partner. Don’t let people on this forum make you believe that you’re crazy. Your feelings are valid and you’ve been impacted by this lucrative industry. My boyfriend and I have been together for five years, and I had once believed that he had resolved this issue (meaning he had been making payments to prevent his sperm from being sold) when he knew I was against it at the beginning of the relationship. I’ve just found out that he now has one biological child and that it’s very likely he’ll have more. It is out of our control, as the sperm banks revoked his rights. It was quite the blow and it was devastating news to both of us. You do feel “cheated” and maybe not by your boyfriend, but by the industry.

    My personal opinion and questions about the ethics of the sperm/egg donation: I don’t like that sperm banks separate families across the globe and I don’t support the commodification of children. I don’t like that they disparage half-siblings, simply because they share one biological parent. It’s a very lucrative business that’s protected by the people that are desperate to have their “own” children. Since blood relations are so important to the people that seek fertility via donor insemination, don’t they think that their children will wonder who their biological parent is some day? Sperm banks are also leaving children that are already born into this world unadopted and homeless. Though, it saddens me to think of those struggling to have their own children, I would also like to have my own children and I’m worried that they wouldn’t be comfortable knowing that they have siblings in the world that they may never meet, especially if they could have a lot in the world as well. On top of that, the donor-conceived children have the choice to reach out to their sperm father (in the case that the donor is not anonymous), but our own children that we would raise would not be able to learn more about their half siblings if they desired. Sure, they’re giving children to families that want them, but sperm “donation” isn’t completely altruistic so it’s difficult to understand why somebody would want to have children from a complete stranger. Also, in the event where the donor passes away, how would the donor-conceived children be able to contact their biological family that they simply want to learn more about, as it should be their right? I’ll support the process of sperm and egg donation as long as it is altruistic and the families are receiving their donations from people they know. That way children will grow up to know who all of their siblings are without feeling like they’re missing a part of themselves if they’re never able to meet or know their biological parent or half-siblings. Selling your sperm/eggs to families that want children can be great for some and damaging to others. This business targets young and naive men who may later regret their decision and resent their biological children that attempt to reach out to learn more about their families. This topic is never exhaustive because everybody is going to have their own opinions on this matter.

    As for your relationship, therapy and time will help. For others that are reading this that are going through this similar issue with their partner just know that it’s okay to take a break from your relationship and reflect on your values and how you see yourself with your partner in the future. If you realize that you’d rather not lose them then I think you can be happy together. I hope this helps and just know that you’re not alone! <3

    1. ele4phant says:

      So the one thing that I would say is useful from your post is, yes feelings are valid. Feelings are feelings, they are by definition not always rationale or absolute, but they exist and we can’t wish or argue them away with reason or comparing them to other people’s feelings.

      Whether it’s irrational or not, some people are uncomfortable dating someone else that already has biological kids. Whether that be the result of sperm donation, of a one night stand they didn’t know resulted in a child, or whether its a child they are coparenting with an ex. That’s dealbreaker for some people, and that’s fine.

      There are also some people in which a biological connection is REALLY important. Which, I don’t think it’s all that important, I think the day to day of showing up and loving a child is what really matters, but I aknowledge it is for some so you do you.

      THAT SAID, you also can’t argue people into accepting your view as the universal one right thing, that sperm donation is a blanket BAD THING.

      It’s not.

      1. Yeah, sperm donation as blanket bad? How could someone say that? People aren’t entitled to have or know siblings, or to have information about their parents. My own parents are not required by law to give me their medical records/history, or their financial information. Why should donors be required to?

        My sister and her wife placed an order online for sperm, and their son was then conceived by IUI. It was a business transaction, to be sure, but does that make them any less a family?

  14. Like the OP it doesn’t sound like you need a break from your relationship to reflect on your values. You are extremely clear about your values. You’ve even subcategorized that sperm donation from a person you know is fine, while sperm donation from a stranger is bad. It sounds like your bf has come to agree with you, but you still cannot forgive something he did before you met him. Do him a favor and MOA. You r relationship isn’t going to work.

    You and OP have some ideas which strike me as very strange. You oppose the commodification of children, but how is sperm donation the commodification of children, even if the sperm was sold? OP prefers adoption. Well, there is a ton of money involved in adoptions. It also is a huge business, especially the international adoptions. You both say that it’s awful that your children might never know their half-sibs. It can be equally, or far more, awful to learn that you have half-sibs in your own town, parents’ friend group, extended family. Either can be a problem; neither has to be a problem if the childrens’ parents handle the situation well .

  15. From One Girlfriend to Another…
    Your post is kind of disturbing and has many logical and factual errors. Sperm banks do not “disparage half-siblings.” What does that even mean? They also don’t “target naive men.” (?!?! They aren’t out on the street soliciting sperm!) You say sperm and egg donation is NOT altruistic, and then you say you might be able to support altruistic donations. This makes no sense.

    1. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

      I know this is a touchy subject, especially for people that desperately want their own biological children. However, many sperm banks do not keep accurate records of the children that are conceived via sperm/egg “donation”. Therefore, many of them seem to not appreciate that there are a lot of donor-conceived people that are searching for their half siblings that have no way of knowing how many they actually have. That’s disparaging them. Sperm/egg donation isn’t altruistic in the United States. They are sperm/egg sellers. They are getting paid. I will absolutely support altruistic donations because it will lessen the chances that these “donors” regret their decision later as many of them do and this isn’t fair to the donor-conceived people involved who are ignored by their biological parent when they attempt contact. I don’t think these young men (the average donor is between 18-25 years old) understand the repercussions that come with being a biological father to 10 to 20 to maybe even 50 offspring. They are emotionally responsible for these children as they grow up when they seek contact, however many of them leave their children feeling abandoned. This is wrong and many sperm banks need to take responsibility for this and properly coach their donors about how this may impact their own children that they raise and future partners. I understand that this can help many people conceive and start a family, but it can be damaging to relationships and the children that are created as a result of this industry. Feelings are hurt and that is never all right.

      1. A sperm donor is not emotionally responsible for any children conceived with his sperm. That is the responsibility of the parents who raise the children. They sought help to have wanted children, whom they love and care for. They are the children’s family, not the sperm donor.

        Sperm banks should have procedures to retain health information about donors — a file which is updated over time as the donor ages and health issues emerge.

        In many ways, it is best if child and sperm donor never meet. Really, this information should be confidential — that was the agreement at the time the sperm were donated, in most cases. The donor’s identity should not be revealed without permission.

      2. ele4phant says:

        Well, at least we have 23 and Me now, so that should take care of the record problem.

        And, I get that it’s distubring to realize, oh I maybe have dozens of people that are biologically closely related to me that I didn’t know about, and I understand that it’s important for some people to feel like they know where the come from, but you know what, DNA ain’t everything.,

        Family is so much more than who you have genes in common with, it’s the people you love, your parents are the people that read you a bedtime story every night and stayed home with you when you were sick, not some poor college get that gave up a little bit of their genetic material in exchange for a cash.

        And at a certain point, we all lose the thread about what our ancestory is, it’s just for some that threads stops sooner.

  16. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

    Dear Feeling Less Special,

    As far as feeling less special, you do feel less special because you feel as though you were robbed of sharing this intimate experience with your partner that comes with experiencing pregnancy and having your biological children together. He gave his children away to allow other families and women to experience pregnancy and have healthy babies. And not just families that he knew, but strangers in the world that he doesn’t know anything about. But remember, there is one thing that you could share with him that these other families don’t have, and that is the ability to raise children in a household that know both their biological parents. You have a community of women and partners that have the same feelings you do. You truly are not alone! <3

    1. Excuse me, but sperm is not babies.

      1. He didn’t give away any “babies.” He’s not responsible for any babies that were created by inseminating a woman with his sperm. There is a social contract here that is not at all the same as when a man has sex with a woman, resulting in a baby. If I donate my blood or plasma or an organ, I’m not responsible for what happens after that. I’m not responsible for the person who got those items from me, or for their family members.

      2. Yeah, exactly. Sperm are not children. He didn’t give away children. It was a business transaction which benefitted both parties, and which the LW was clear she didn’t approve of.

    2. ele4phant says:

      Would I feel a little weirded out to know my husband might have biological children out there wandering around? I mean, sure, I guess, at least it’d be weird at first (although, seeing as I’m not his first sexual partner, that’s still strictly possible the old fashioned way).

      But, I’m also not one that puts too much stock in genetics. Blood doesn’t make family. DNA doesn’t make family. Love, sweat, and tears do.

      A child concieved by help of a sperm donation (or egg donation) is being raised by their rightful parents, even if they aren’t biologically related.

      A man that donates sperm isn’t giving away “his” child, because the child “belongs” with the people that love them, raise them, and put in the work.

      A child that was raised by a loving man that isn’t biologically related is not at a deficiet compared to a child raised by their biological father.

      What matters is does the dude show up and love the child? Biological ties, or lack there of, don’t really matter. Plenty of men are real stinkers to their biological children, even when the acknowledge and are aware of them, so there’s that.

    3. Oh my lord dramatics much. OP can still have that experience with their partner because guess what?! There’s a HUGE amount of difference between giving sperm and having a baby with an intimate partner, I hope I don’t have to spell out how.

      1. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

        Hahaha I’m just reading this! I’m pretty sure you just spelled it out, genius.

  17. Sea Witch says:

    Sperm banks are pretty tightly regulated nowadays, ever since the discovery that some fertility doctors were using their own sperm on clients and fathering dozens or even hundreds of children.
    The record probably goes to the oldest fertility clinic, founded in the 40s. The doctor who ran it is believed to have fathered at least 600 children.

  18. avatar From One Girlfriend to Another says:

    People really need to do their research before they get involved in this industry. Just look up stories in anonymously.org and wearedonorconceived.com. I’m tired of stating my beliefs as to why I personally believe that there still needs to be reform…

    1. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

      Correction: anonymousus.org

      Also, people need to realize that partners have a lot of influence over their SOs that have donated sperm/eggs. We can tell them what place they have in their donor- conceived children’s lives, so people should be respectful of our feelings. If I told my partner that I don’t ever want him to respond to these kids and tell them about his life, he’d respect that.

      1. ele4phant says:

        Gosh, that seems very cold to me.

        If anyone is faultless here, it is the children that were conceived and brought into this world. They had no say over the choices their biological parents made, as heedless, naive, and short sighted though they may have been. I can understand that these kids may want to know where they came from.

        I can understand your discomfort at the thought that your partner might have multiple biological children out there, but even you have a choice here. The choice to accept what he’s done and if you stay with him, there’s the potential out there these kids may pop up and want to know about their biological lineage, or to move on and find a man where that’s not a possibility.

        The past can’t be changed, all you can do is make peace with it or move on.

      2. To ele4phant says:

        Yes, and the sperm and egg industry need to provide more thorough donor counseling for people that are considering selling their gametes. It can be overwhelming for both the donors and their partners to realize that their own kids will have 20, 50, or even 100 siblings in some cases and people need to have more compassion for those that are worried about letting strangers into their lives. It’s not like somebody donated their kidney, they’ve created their living, breathing offspring with feelings of their own and interest in learning about who makes up half of them.

      3. Don’t use someone else’s name in your handle, please.

        And no, the donors didn’t “create” living beings. The medical staff and parents do that with the donated materials. A sperm or an egg is NOT a child.

      4. While some people have to grieve the family that they thought they could have, meaning that they have to resort to a donor to conceive, the donors family might have to mourn the family that they thought they could have too. Who wants to give their child a bunch of half siblings? It’s never an ideal family arrangement…

        There’s so much moral gray area when it comes to this topic, some people will think it’s wrong while others think it’s right. While some may believe the donor’s partner is selfish for not wanting to extend her family in an unusual way, the donor’s partner may see these parents as being desperate enough to conceive from a stranger when they could’ve just accepted that they were infertile and adopted a child in need. It’s important to respect the opinions of others and understand that it’s not for everybody.

        Thank you, Kate!

      5. Don’t use my name.

      6. It’s important not to make ridiculously incorrect statements such as “the donor gives his children away” or “the donor creates children.” Do you understand that a thing of semen is not a child? Do you understand that a man cannot create a child on his own?

      7. Goodness Gracious! says:

        As I said, anybody can be negatively impacted by this industry. Some children that are donor-conceived might feel wanted by one biological parent, while feeling that they were abandoned by the other. Everybody’s going to have their own opinions on this topic. I can respect that you don’t see it as “giving children away”, while I have an entirely different perspective.

        These children might come looking for my partner later in their lives because it is natural to want to know who your biological parent is, and I’d want to be there for them too as it will impact my family and children as well. Partners just need time to accept this as their reality if they want to move forward in their relationships and it’s not always easy.

        The end.

      8. If you want people to listen to you and take you seriously, you can’t say factually incorrect ignorant things like “sperm = child.” No one cares about your opinion when you’re just dead wrong on the facts. I’m glad this is the end of your idiotic string of blather.

      9. Another reason your opinion doesn’t matter – at all – is that it’s your partner’s choice and his choice only, whether he would want to have contact with or be responsible for any products of his sperm donation that might come looking for him. What you think or don’t think about his responsibility is not relevant.

  19. ele4phant says:

    So, I don’t necessarily agree with your view of sperm donation, assisative reproductive technology, or his money making decisions as a young adult having anything to do with how he feels about you…but that’s neither here nor there.

    You feel how you feel, and you’re not the only person that has a had time wrapping their brain around the fact their partner may have random biological children out there, and that any future children you have togetether won’t be the “only” or “first” children technically your partner has concieved.

    But, what’s done is done, you can’t put this one back in the box. Train has left the station. That sperm has made babies, or is on ice and doesn’t belong to him anymore and could be used in the future. And there’s no way to stop them from popping into his life if they so choose when they turn 18.

    You can either make peace with this, or you can’t and you need to move on.
    That’s really the one option you have, you just have to dig deep into whether you can or can not live with this,.

    And if you can’t and do move on, I guess figure out early on in your next relationship if your next partner has also donated sperm (or I suppose given up a child for adoption or is outright co-parterning a child with an ex) as it is apparently a dealbreaker for you.

  20. ele4phant says:

    LW – totally aside from all the sperm donor/potentially anonymous children, you should also break up with him because you don’t like his family.

    Let me tell you, when you get married you get tied to the whole, not just the one person you happen to love. So…if you find his family hard to relate to, needy, and you don’t like being around them and it’s not even been a year, you’re probably not going to come around on them.

    You will be misreable, or you will drive a wedge between him and his family and he will resent you.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else get the feeling this conversation Venn diagram would mirror a pro-choice/pro-life Venn diagram?

    We have these people who keep referring to the sperm/genetic material as babies, and they’re determined not to see it otherwise.

    1. Aren’t pro-life people opposed to IVF and artificial insemination though?

      I think this conversation Venn diagram would mirror an average+ / low IQVenn diagram.

  22. Donor conceived kid here – your boyfriends samples will be split, frozen, and sold for decades. He could have hundreds of children. Odds are, at least a few of them will come knocking whether he wants them to or not. If you stay with him, these people will be biologically your children’s half siblings whether you want them to be or not. With frozen sperm these kids can continue to be born DECADES after he stops donating. If you can’t be kind to his children when they show up, if you can’t bring yourself to be compassionate, if you would hate to have them in your lives, leave now.

    1. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

      Finally, a donor-conceived person has responded! The opinions/needs of the donor-conceived person should be paramount in this equation. Your partner should try to get an accurate number of how many genetic children he has or will likely have to give you and him an idea around how you can begin to plan for your own family how this may impact your own children in the future (if you choose to have any with him). I find that if you put the needs of the children first in this and work on your own insecurities/fears, everything will fall into place. <3
      When you do shift your focus on this, there's no denying that a lot of legislative work needs to be implemented to reshape the third-party reproductive industry to be more child-centric, but try to focus on that and not your boyfriend's "faults" or decisions that he's made in the past.

      1. ele4phant says:

        I dunno, seems like from all your previous posts you felt that the opinions/needs of a donor’s partner were paramount.

        I don’t think that Susie’s post has anything to do with your opinions and in no way supports the points you’ve been trying to make for months now.

        From my read – she was backing up most everyone else was saying – what’s done is done. If you can’t handle being with a guy knowing that his biological children might be showing up for decades, your one option is to get off the pot.

        Would I agree that it might be a good thing for prospective donors to get more of a reality check on what will be happening with their genetic material before they are allowed to donate? Should there be a waiting period or confirmation that these donors really get all the implications of what they’re about to do before they’re allowed to donate? Yeah sure, that’s probably a good idea.

        But, in the case of this letter, and in the case of your relationship, it’s too late for that. It’s done. If you can’t handle being with this guy knowing he might have biological children showing up wanting to know where they came from, if you can’t handle the thought that children you have with him may have dozens, maybe even hundreds, of siblings, all you can do is move on and find someone that’s never donated.

        That’s it. That’s your one move.

      2. To ele4phant says:

        Yes, what’s done is done. I can just empathize with the OP because I’ve been there. Who’s to say that the OP still feels this way? Will my own opinions and feelings about this evolve over time? Probably, but I stand by my partner because losing him sounds worse to me than being by his side when his donor kids come a-knocking. The best that we can hope for is that everybody involved will be healthy and happy. I’m also crossing my fingers that my partner’s donor children don’t resent him in anyway either, but we’d still want to be there for them should they ever need any emotional support.

  23. From One Girlfriend: I don’t think Susie’s views are as congruent with your own as you believe. I agree with her that the gf needs to leave the sperm donor — she says she can’t over this, so that’s that.

    The bf did nothing wrong. What you and LW decry wasn’t even seen as a possibility when he sold sperm. These genetic testing services are new. They screw up a sense of what family really is: the family you grew up with, the parents who raised you, the siblings you shared a home with and loved your entire life. All the children produced from this man’s sperm: strangers who share half their genes with the donor’s future children whom he and his partner love, support, protect, educate, share their vision of what is important in life. The half-siblings will be raised by different parents whose values and child-rearing practices are different. They will not share common experiences.

    His selling sperm does not prevent him and future wife, who won’t be someone who thinks like you, from starting their own family and his wife experiencing pregnancy with their child.

    1. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

      The boyfriend might not have done anything “wrong”, but a lot of sperm donors regret their decision years later because it becomes overwhelming to them, their families, and their partners to communicate with 20, 30, or 50 or more offspring. The donors’ partners opinions should be accounted for because it will likely impact the relationship donor-conceived peoples may have with their donors, but in recently discovering that my own boyfriend has donor children, I’ve come to find that shifting my viewpoints so that they’re more child-centric makes me feel better about the prospect of them connecting with us later.

      If a partner of a genetic donor can’t come to terms with them having multiple children outside of their relationship and family, then absolutely they should leave the relationship. Many people will realize that this is a dealbreaker to them and that’s all right.

      1. From One Girlfriend to Another says:

        Also, I want to add that these “children” that will come knocking on their donors’ doors will be strangers and adults to the donor and their family, so it can seem quite daunting from the perspective of the donor and their partner at first because they want to ensure that their own families will be safe. It makes sense that a lot of people don’t consider their perspectives though, so here we are to state it.

  24. Texican Ashley says:

    So I don’t have a comment on the ethics of sperm donation, so going at another angle here. Your letter read like it was written by a 21 year old, not a 28 year old with presumably a decade of adulthood under her belt. You sound incredibly naive and inflexible. You’ve been with this guy less than a year. Of more importance is your thinly veiled contempt for his family, who would probably give you more headache than any hypothetical children. I have a feeling you want a “good” excuse to break up with this guy and you know what? Just do it. Nobody a week after you do it is going to care exactly why.

  25. Um, we can see that you posted as multiple different people 🤔

    1. are you getting off on this fantasy about impregnating hundreds of lesbians, or…?

    2. It’s pretty good typing considering it was probably done one handed

  26. 4 different persona, back-to-back, in less than an hour, all in the same writing style and perfectly edited. Somebody doesn’t understand the technology.

  27. Allornone says:

    I haven’t been to this site in a couple of weeks, but oh boy, did I return at an um, interesting, time.

    Holy crap, that is some amusing BS.

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