Two mums and a sperm donor

Close-up of a small child walking with the help from her mother who is holding her hands.
Stock photo

Kellie got her dream family with the help of a sperm donor. She has three kids with her partner – a daughter who is 9 years old and twin boys aged 8. The family of five is like most other families except the kids have two mothers and no father.

Having two mums is normal to the kids

As a same-sex couple, Kellie and her partner knew they would need help to conceive from a sperm donor.

“My partner and I wanted children and to make our wish come true we got help from a Danish sperm donor. It’s hard to put into words how amazing it is that men out there help people like us who can’t have children on our own. We are forever grateful for the gift our donor gave us.”

All three kids have the same donor and are being raised with the knowledge of him and his helpful deed. But to Kellie and her partner, it’s important not to give the kids the wrong impression of what their sperm donor can and cannot offer them.

”We have been talking with our kids about what a sperm donor is and what role he plays in our life. Because of our conversations they don’t seem confused about why they have two mums instead of a mother and a father like most of their friends. And when their friends ask who their father is, our kids tell them the story about the man from Denmark who helped their mums conceive a baby.”

A sperm donor is not a father

Kellie is not fond of calling the sperm donor ‘father’. Though she understands that there are varying opinions on the subject, Kellie believes that a sperm donor’s role is very different from that of a father. For that reason, she always uses the term donor.

“Sperm donors give the greatest gift possible. They help so many women and couples who need donor sperm to conceive. We are forever grateful for that. But we must remember that not all donors sign up to be involved in the lives of these children.”

“Being open about our kids’ heritage is essential”

Kellie is aware that her children might become interested in knowing more about their background at one point. That’s not an issue, because being open about how their children were conceived has always been vital to Kellie and her partner.

“It’s important to our family that we talk openly about our donor and give our children all the information we have about their heritage”, Kellie says. She believes that honesty coupled with unconditional love from both parents are the key components of raising happy children, not whether or not they have a father.

So far, the kids have seen a baby picture of their donor. Kellie and her partner have told them that he is Danish. Apart from the usual explanation about the birds and the bees, they haven’t asked for more detail.

When they are older and more curious, Kellie and her partner will take their kids on a trip to Denmark. The UK couple wants to show their children the country where their donor was born. Kellie also likes to tell them about the biological process and to explain how donor-assisted conception is possible.

”For the moment, our children don’t show a lot of interest. But when that time comes we will support them in their curiosity. We have a full donor profile with a long list of information about him. So even though he is anonymous and the kids will never know his identity, we are still able to answer many of their questions.”

Disclaimer: views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the person who is interviewed, and not necessarily to European Sperm Bank.

Helle Rasmussen's baby girl crawls across the floor. Helle decided to become a single mother by choice and have a baby on her own.

Single mother by choice: from career goals to baby dreams

 

Helle decided to become a single mother by choice and have a baby on her own.

Helle Rasmussen didn’t spend her 20s dreaming of a nuclear family like most of her friends. Much less, of having a baby on her own. Instead, she focused on her career as a lawyer. She loved her life and enjoyed the challenges that came with the job. But when her sister became a mother, Helle started reflecting on her life choices.

“I was dedicating my time to solving other people’s problems. I started wondering if this was what I wanted my life to be about or if a family of my own would make me happier.”

From then on, her priorities changed. She knew she wanted to become a mother one day.

Her boyfriend didn’t want more children

A few years later, Helle was in a relationship with a guy who she hoped would become the father of her future child. He already had two kids from previous relationships. Despite this, Helle hoped that her dream of having a family was still possible. She was heartbroken when it became clear that her boyfriend didn’t want another child. Helle had to figure out what was most important to her – becoming a mother or keeping her boyfriend. It was a difficult decision to make.

“I felt torn between two feelings. On the one hand, I had the rational feeling that he was not the one for me. After all, he couldn’t fulfil my biggest wish. On the other hand, I felt an irrational question weighing on my mind. Would we be together forever if having a baby weren’t an issue?”

In the end, Helle couldn’t give up her dream of having a baby of her own. After three years together, the couple split.

Searching for the father of her future children

While searching for the right father for her future child, Helle started dating again.

“I was desperately dating guys hoping to find my true soulmate to start a family with. The dream of a husband and a child dominated all my thoughts, and I wasn’t ready to give it up. It became a time-consuming project and I felt like I was racing against time.”

She didn’t find the man of her dreams that time around. Looking back, Helle believes she was in the wrong state of mind to get involved with someone – even if the right man turned up. She was too consumed by her dream to really get to know another person.

Making the decision to be a single mother by choice

While searching intensely for a future baby daddy, Helle noticed women around her were choosing to have babies on their own. She had never thought about starting a family without a man, but the idea seemed strangely appealing. Still, she wasn’t sure if she was ready to give up the dream of a nuclear family.

“I was so focused on finding the man and then having the child. The possibility of turning the order on its head hadn’t crossed my mind. Having a child without a man and then hoping for a man to enter our life later became a rational solution.”

Next, Helle got an appointment at her gynaecologist to talk about her options. She was relieved to find that the gynaecologist advised her to get started right away. That message gave her the final push she needed.

“I was in a place in my life where I felt like I had a lot to offer. I had the house, the car and the job. The only thing missing was the man and the child. After talking to the gynaecologist, I felt certain. I was ready for this journey.”

Finding a sperm donor that looked like herself was vital

Helle started her search for a sperm donor at European Sperm Bank. She chose this sperm bank because her gynaecologist and a lot of women online recommended it.

“The most important thing for me was that the donor looked like myself. Actually, I only looked at donors with pictures of them as a baby. Donor profiles without images never interested me. I also considered the vibe I got from donors seeing as I was looking for someone I found appealing. It had to be someone with a personality I would consider dating as an adult in real life. The process was almost like online dating. If the picture and profile didn’t speak to me, I was on to the next. These factors, along with the donor’s medical history and his nationality, were really important to me.”

6 inseminations and 4 IVF treatments later

The following year, Helle went through 6 inseminations and 4 IVF treatments. Each time, her doctor advised her to choose a new sperm donor to ensure that it wasn’t a bad biological match between her and the donor that kept her from getting pregnant.

“It was a hard time emotionally and financially. Every time an insemination proved unsuccessful, I thought to myself: “is this really what I want to do?” And every time the answer was yes. So I kept going.”

Her luck finally turned on the tenth attempt and this time, Helle was expecting twins. During week nine, Helle lost one of the twins. But the remaining twin kept growing bigger and stronger.

Being single and pregnant wasn’t an issue for Helle. She was prepared and she had thought it through. She was so on board with going through the process alone that she didn’t feel the need to involve anybody else. In October 2017, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

Today, Helle and her daughter are thriving. Helle is so happy that she chose project baby before finding the man of her dreams.

“This is how it was meant to be for us. I’m so obsessed with her and for the moment I can’t imagine our life in any other way.”

European Sperm Bank at the Fertility Expo in Copenhagen

26-27th of May we will be at the annual Fertility Expo in Copenhagen!

If you are contemplating starting a family soon, already trying, or if you are receiving fertility treatment, Fertilitets-messen is the place for you and everybody in search of knowledge, facts, explanations and dialogue regarding all aspects of infertility and fertility treatment.

9 percent of children born in Denmark every year, are coming in to this world with the help from fertility treatments. Most of the people seeking help at a fertility clinic are couples who are having trouble conceiving; some are suffering from PCOS, some need donor eggs, some need special procedures such as ICSI or IVF. Others are single women and Lesbians who need donor sperm.

One of the reasons to have a fair about fertility is to share knowledge and bring it into focus. Today, we are all probably familiar with friends or family who have needed assistance in trying to conceive. We all need to speak up and openly about it – let’s help each other and spread the word!

Fertilitets-messen aims to break the taboos so often associated with infertility by providing unbiased information and heightened levels of information, enabling you to make an informed choice.

Obviously, we at European Sperm Bank are participating and we are ready to discuss and answer any questions you might have about donor sperm, how to choose a donor, differences between open and non-contact donors etc.

Time and Place

26-27th of May 2018

Docken, Copenhagen

Opening hours

Saturday/Lørdag: 10.00 – 17.00

Sunday/Søndag: 10.00 – 17.00

Get more information here!