Single mother by choice smiles as her toddler daughter removes her sun glasses

Telling friends, colleagues and strangers that you had a baby on your own – 6 tips for solo mums

You might already know how to talk to your child about being donor-conceived (if not, then check out our previous blog post), but how do you approach the topic with adults around you? Psychologist Henriette Cranil gives you her best advice for the many conversations to come.

A single mother by choice smiles as her toddler girl removes her sun glasses from her face.

Having a baby on your own is a decision that usually comes with a range of questions from the people around you. 

Some questions have answers. In other cases, you might still be looking for the right response. That’s why opening up to a broader circle of people can be overwhelming, Henriette Cranil says. Cranil is a psychologist specialized in counselling women and couples on donor-assisted conception – and the mother of a pair of donor-conceived twins herself. 

“Many single mothers by choice fear that they’ll be met with prejudice or presumptions when going public with their decision. The majority of these women still dream about a two-parent family, but they haven’t found the right partner and their biological clock is ticking. I still haven’t met a single mother by choice that felt like the decision was purely positive.”  

Fortunately, with some preparation, you can ensure that your child’s unconventional family story is a non-issue.

1. Be as open as possible – to as many as possible

When telling others about your decision, try being as straightforward as possible. Tell the person that you’ve used a sperm donor to have a child and explain the positive as well as negative sides of your story. Secrecy only makes it more difficult for you, your child and the next generation of donor-conceived children, Henriette Cranil advises. 

“I advocate openness all around. I know that some people are more private than others but try to be as honest as possible to the people around you. Share your knowledge and your feelings to make sure that no one passes something on to your child that you’re not OK with.”

This honesty applies to strangers as well as people close to your child like teachers and caretakers. Parents to your child’s friends might need to explain it to their children, so include them too. “It might also be useful to tell your colleagues as you’ll need some flexibility in your work schedule as an only parent,” Cranil adds. 

2. Accept – and allow – critical questions

How can you let your child grow up without a father? Isn’t having a child on your own a selfish decision?

When opening up about your situation, you also invite potential scrutiny. The outside world can be quick to judge single women who choose to have a donor-conceived child. Some people will likely voice their views on the matter without you having asked for their opinion. That’s a challenging situation, but we need to find a way to co-exist with people who possess different beliefs than ourselves. That goes for all matters of life, and this case is no different, Henriette Cranil says.

Try to rehearse your answers in advance and find someone to test your arguments on. Also, consider the fact that complete honesty can be a good defence against critics. 

”Try articulating the positive and negative aspects when talking to someone with critical views. Then see if that prompts a more nuanced discussion. Tell them that you don’t know if your child will need a father, but that you’ll talk to him or her about it and explain your decision. Most critics will be impressed if you show that you’ve thought about your child’s well-being in every way – including the negative ones.” 

3. Think about what’s best for your child in the long run

Ultimately, telling people about your choice to be a solo mum is all about taking care of your child. Donor-conceived children will encounter situations throughout their lives where people will question their heritage. By preparing people and doing your bit towards breaking the taboo, you’re making things easier for your child.

For that reason, whenever you want to keep your family situation a secret, think about why. Is it because of your insecurities or for the sake of your child? 

Start with your family and close friends. Help them understand and equip them with the story and arguments that you want your child to grow up hearing. Keep them updated along the way. That way, you reduce the risk of your child feeling misunderstood or wrong. If a child grows up thinking that parts of his or her background are not to be talked about, they can internalise that sense of wrongness or shame. So it’s important to make sure that your child feels that it’s OK to discuss everything.

“If you opt for openness, your child will be able to seek guidance from other people than you when he or she is old enough to question their heritage. That way, you leave room for another person to fill in as an important figurre in your child’s life,” Henriette Cranil says. 

4. Turn the level of honesty up and down 

Random people that you meet on holiday, business partners or the cashier at your local supermarket. As much as you should be open to people around you, not everyone needs to know everything. 

Turn down the information level in situations where you don’t want it to be the narrative that defines you or when you’re simply not interested in talking about your personal life choices, Henriette Cranil advises. 

“There’s nothing wrong with sharing very little information or giving vague answers sometimes. It doesn’t mean that your child’s heritage is a secret”, she says.

5. Work on your insecurities

For some women, the choice of having a child on their own balances between deep desire and last-call, so some mothers feel ambivalent and perhaps a bit embarrassed about their decision. That’s perfectly okay. But as a mother, think carefully about addressing your insecurities in order to never pass them on to your child, Henriette Cranil says. 

For that reason, Cranil advises that you examine your motives if you’re not honest in some situations. Make sure that embarrassment is never the reason not to be open. 

“When discussing the topic, try to offer nuanced opinions instead of defending your decision with everything you’ve got. Take responsibility for your choice and remember that it’s okay if your decision comes with both good and bad sides.”

If you need support, you can join networks with other single mothers by choice where you can share your thoughts and test your arguments. 

6. Start the conversation and assume the best

As a single mother by choice, you’ll face questions that two-parent families never encounter. But more often than not, you may get no questions at all. Or you’ll find people awkwardly skirting the topic or fumbling mid-sentence.

Take responsibility for the situation and don’t be afraid to start the conversation. In many cases, people stay quiet because they’re scared of putting you or themselves in an awkward position. They might lack vocabulary – for instance, do you say donor child, donor-conceived or something completely different – and they don’t want to seem rude.

Starting the conversation puts you in control of where the dialogue is moving. And by talking openly about your family, you provide people with the language that they might be lacking. You’re also signalling to them that it’s okay to ask questions. Ultimately, your courage and openness pave the way for an easier life for your child and children to come.


Looking for help and community from other SMBC women? Look no further. 

International resources

  • Single Mothers by Choice (SMC)
  • Facebook group: Single Mothers by Choice
  • ”Motherhood Reimagined” podcast
  • ”Single Mothers by Choice: A Guidebook for Single Women Who Are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood” by Jane Mattes

Danish resources

Small girl sitting at a table reading a children's book.

Children’s books for talking about donor conception and modern families

Small girl sitting at a table and reading a children's book.

Telling your child that he or she is donor-conceived can seem a little mind-boggling. Where do you start? And how do you approach the topic? Thankfully, there are plenty of children’s books out there that can lend a hand and provide you with vocabulary and imagery to relay the story to your child.

Here’s a list that we have compiled in collaboration with the Danish not-for-profit organisation Donorbørns Vilkår (Welfare Society for Donor Children). You can read more about them on their website (in Danish).

And if you’re wondering how to go about talking to your child about donor conception, we created a comprehensive guide with age-appropriate advice:

Read our guide: Telling Your Child that He/She Is Donor-Conceived

The following list contains children’s books in English and Danish. If you know any great children’s books about donor conception or modern family types, we’d love to hear from you, so we can add them to the list.

A few of the books are free and can be downloaded directly from the web.

English children’s books about being donor-conceived

  • Meeting my brother by Jennifer L. Dukoff
  • Our Story – How We Became A Family. The not-for-profit organisation Donor Conception Network has a wealth of books for all family types. You can see the full selection of books on download them directly from their website.
  • Hope And Will Have A Baby – The Gift of Egg Donation by Irene Celcer
  • Sometimes It Takes Three To Make A Baby by Melbourne IVF. About egg donation in a family of mum and dad. You can download the book for free here.
  • The Pea That Was Me by Kimberly Kluger-Bell

Danish children’s books

  • Astrid er donorbarn af Lone Løhde Rye
  • Slottet med de mange værelser. Hvordan er du blevet til? af Helene Goldberg og Maruska la Cour Mosegaard
  • Hvor er Karlas far? af Pia Olsen og Karla Elena Olsen
  • Forunderlige familier af Gitte Camilla Buus Lyngbye mfl.
  • Karla leger mor og børn af Pia Olsen og Karla Elena Olsen
  • Mor og Kærlighedsbarnet – en solomor-barn familie bliver til af Signe Fjord
  • Niller Pilfinger af Stine Josefine Dige
  • Karla ønsker sig en far af Pia Olsen og Karla Elena Olsen
  • Blev du til ved et knald af Trine Bundsgaard
  • Nu er det min tur – Maries mor og mutti af Cecilia Hafezan Abel
  • Tristan er donorbarn – HVEM er Tristans far? af Cecilia Hafezan Abel
  • Oline er donorbarn – HVEM ligner jeg? af Cecilia Hafezan Abel
  • Karla har en strømpetyv i familien af Pia Olsen og Karla Elena Olsen
  • Hjalte og Vega – børnebøger om en regnbuefamilie af Marianne Birkeskov
  • Hvem henter mig? af Signe Fjord
  • Hvor er din far Polka? af Marie Duedahl
  • Velkommen i familien af Mary Hoffman

Telling your child that he/she is donor-conceived: the full guide to parents

A mother sitting cheek to cheek with her child who is donor-conceived.

Do you wonder when and how to tell your child that it is donor-conceived? Then read on. We spoke with psychologist Henriette Cranil who specialises in counselling women and couples considering donor-assisted conception. Henriette used a sperm donor herself to have her twins. In this blog post, Henriette provides advice on how to tell your child and what to say at which age. 

When should I tell my child that he or she is donor-conceived?

The operative word here is when, not if you should tell your child. Henriette Cranil advises that you always tell your child about his or her biological heritage.

According to Henriette Cranil, it’s a good idea to start telling your child about its background from the very beginning. Most children can sense the mood in their mother’s or father’s voice before they develop language of their own. For that reason, your child will associate the topic of donor-assisted conception with something positive when you explain it to them in a relaxed and open manner.

“There are no guarantees that conversations with your child will always be easy”, Henriette says. But if you start telling your child at an early age that it is donor-conceived, you’re paving the way for a general openness around the topic. This will make it a more natural thing to talk about as your child grows older. Start by explaining in very simple terms how children come into this world. Then, explain how this is done with donor sperm or donor eggs. Keep your language simple and consider making your story more concrete by drawing it or using a picture book.”

The earlier you start having this conversation, the better. Sharing the truth has a huge impact on the connection and trust between yourself and your child. Knowing our biological heritage is incredibly important to our sense of self and the development of our identity. For that reason, a child should learn about being a donor child early on. Having said that, Henriette Cranil stresses that it’s never too late to tell your child about their biological background.

What should I say to my child when I tell him/her that they’re donor-conceived?

It might be difficult to start a conversation about being donor-conceived with your child. But Henriette Cranil reminds us that the relationship between child and parent won’t suffer from having conversations about difficult topics. On the contrary, it can strengthen the bond between yourself and your child.

According to Henriette Cranil, we should be careful not to transfer any apprehension we might have about the topic to our children. Often, children have a much more simple and straightforward outlook on the world. That goes for this topic as well.

Depending on the situation and the age of the child, you can start the conversation in many ways. Regardless of circumstance, Henriette Cranil advises that you, the adult, initiate the conversation. Don’t wait for the child to start asking questions. You need to take responsibility and make sure that the dialogue about the topic is positive and natural.

Henriette adds: “There are no details or considerations about the process that you should omit when speaking to the child. But make sure you match the level of complexity with your child’s age and comprehension level.”

At which age do I say what?

Donor children aged 0-2

At this age, it’s a good idea to tell your child about the situation gradually. Tell him or her in small snippets while your child is playing or while you’re spending some downtime together. 

“You can draw the situation or read one of the many good children’s books on the topic. Picture books showing how children come into the world are also a good option. At this age, your child won’t fully comprehend what you’re telling them, but fragments of your story will settle into their minds and over time, form the basis of their understanding.

Donor children aged 2-5

During this time, your child will develop enough language and cognitive skills for you to tell them more about the donor. You can also start to explain to them why you decided to get help to have children.

“Books, images and puzzles will enable the child to start asking questions and think aloud, so you can have an open conversation. Typically, children this age won’t maintain conversation for long, so it’s a good idea to return to the subject once in a while. Again, you should initiate the conversation and not wait for your child to bring it up.”

At this age, children will also start getting questions about their family from their friends. Questions or statements about how you can have two mothers or that the child doesn’t have a father will pop up. It’s natural for children this age to be curious about each other and wonder about things that are different from themselves.

Henriette explains: “It’s normal for kids this age to start making sense of what they experience. For instance, by saying that ‘Hannah’s dad is dead.’ This makes sense to a small child because he or she distinguishes between something being present or something being absent. If it’s absent, it must be because it’s dead.”

Henriette recommends that you explain to your child that his or her dad isn’t dead. Instead, tell your child that he’s a sperm donor (“a man who has provided sperm”). That way, your child has answers at the ready when friends ask questions. It gives the child a sense of security that he can answer the question himself: “I don’t have a daddy. My mum used a donor who gave her some sperm cells, so she could have me”.

Donor children aged 5-9

When children reach this age level, their way of thinking starts to mature. The child will start asking questions of her own and connect pieces of information provided to her.

It’s common that children from the age of 6 or 7 are interested in matters relating to life and death. For instance, the origin of life on earth, where we come from and perhaps the history of the family. That means lots of openings for new conversations about the topic of being donor-conceived. Including themes like what does mum know about my donor?, can I meet my donor?, do I have half-siblings? and so on. Again, Henriette Cranil recommends that you, the adult, initiate the conversation. But most likely, a lot of the questions will come from the child – provided that the topic of donor-assisted conception has been openly discussed in the past.

Children this age pick up impressions from all over: television, social media and so on. These sources of information will provide ample opportunity for conversation. Perhaps it’s an interview with a donor explaining his thought process before deciding to donate or an adult donor child telling her story. You’ll be able to gradually tell your child more and more about the topic. And in turn, this will lead to more questions from your child.

Pre-teen donor children (9-13 years of age)

Most pre-teens have a well-developed capability of abstract thinking. This means that they’re able to ask nuanced questions, draw logical conclusions and imagine situations that are not based on personal experience.

At the beginning of this age level, children go from asking “what questions” – what are egg and sperm cells? What is a donor? What does it mean to be donor-conceived? – to an interest in correlations. That means, questions starting with “why” or “how”. Why did mum choose to use a sperm donor? Why don’t I have a dad? How does a medical professional perform inseminations?

“As a parent, you need to welcome these new types of questions. Also, know that your child will reflect more deeply on the topic: how do I feel about being donor-conceived? How do I feel about being compared to a traditional family?”, Henriette says.

The role of the adult continues to be that of supporting the child in all reflections. You need to be open and curious about positive as well as potentially critical thoughts that the child is having. This openness and willingness to listen to the full breadth of what your child is thinking should be sustained through adolescence.

Henriette summarises: an adult donor child should possess all information about their biological heritage and the considerations driving the choices to have him or her.

Can I get help to tell my child that it is donor-conceived?

Some professionals have specialised in counselling parents on donor children-related topics, among them Henriette herself.

“I find it really positive when parents seek professional help to make sure that they do the right thing for their child and the family as a whole”, Henriette says. “That said, a lot of the work can be done by parents on their own if they shed their insecurities and apprehension about the topic. Start talking to your child today – if you are open to and non-judgmental towards their reactions, you’re already well on your way.”

Single mother by choice holding baby in her arms with a playground in the background

Having a baby on your own? 7 survival tips for single mothers by choice

Single mother by choice holding baby in her arms with a playground in the background

If you’re considering becoming a single mother by choice, you’re probably asking yourself a wealth of questions. How will I cope with years of interrupted sleep? What about male role models? And the question to sum it all up: Can I do it alone?

The short answer is: yes, you absolutely can. But there are ways to organise yourself that will make your life as a single mother by choice a lot easier.

At European Sperm Bank, we speak to thousands of women who choose to become single mothers each year. Here, we’ve collected our top tips for preparing to have a child on your own.

1. Baby-proof your life as a single mother by choice

Becoming a parent is one of the most incredible experiences and it’s a decision you’ll never regret. For many people – whether they be single mothers by choice or couples – having a child is also one of the most overwhelming experiences they’ll ever go through. So think about how you can organise yourself to make everyday life with a child as easy as possible.

Making life with kids as easy as possible could mean moving closer to your family and friends, so you have your network close by. Or perhaps you’ll want to find a job with a better work-life balance.

Also, it’s expensive to have children. So start your journey to motherhood by reviewing your financial situation. Creating a budget will give you an overview of your fixed vs. your discretionary spending. That way, you can determine if you need to make changes to your life in order to pay for everything that a child needs.

And while you’re at it, consider leaving room in your budget for more than just baby stuff. With extra money to spare, you might be able to afford a regular nanny. Or you can order take-out for the umpteenth time. Whatever gets you by when you’ve had 3 hours of sleep.

2. Find someone to share the small moments with

Have you ever rolled your eyes at parents cooing over their baby’s newfound ability to ____? Or wondered how people can spend so long talking about toilet routines and feeding rituals?

Once you become a mother, you’ll realise how the smallest things can mean so much – whether it’s glee or worry. It’s your baby girl snoozing on your chest. Or the tiny rash on your toddler’s arm that’s been lingering for days.

Two-parent families have each other. They can marvel at and obsess over everything together. As a single parent, it can get lonely sometimes.

To counter this feeling, make sure you have a reliable network to share things with. If you don’t have family or friends that you’re close with, there are online communities for single mothers by choice. Speak openly to the special people around you about wanting them to be close to your child’s life. It means the world to have someone who takes an active interest and to whom no moment or concern is too small.

“Sharing the small moments in life with other adults creates what you might call life witnesses. People who are included in the small things, not just milestone events. This shows the child that his or her life is important – a crucial way to build their self-esteem,” says psychologist Henriette Cranil. Henriette specialises in counselling women and couples who are considering donor-assisted conception. She is part of our expert panel here at European Sperm Bank.

3. Creating your family’s story. Or the answer to “where is my daddy?”

At some point, your child will start asking questions along the lines of “where is my daddy?”. As a single mother by choice, it’s a good idea to think about how to explain your family situation to your child early on.

For instance, the choices you make about your sperm donor might affect your story. How did you choose the sperm donor? Did you want someone you could see yourself dating in real life or did you choose a donor who looked like you? Open or non-contact donor – what were the reasons for your decision? Consider writing down your reasons if you worry that you might forget over time.

Also, make sure you acquire as much information about the sperm donor as possible. Your child might never want to know all the details, but having a full donor profile leaves options open for your child to find out more about their donor.

With these preparations in place, you’ll have the building blocks you need for telling your child about how they came into this world. Experts advise that donor-conceived children are told the truth as early as possible, so start telling your child this story from day one.

4. The sad, legal stuff. Who will take care of my child if I die?

Nobody wants to think about this part. It’s an uncomfortable question and it’s hardly something you’re thinking about when choosing to become a mum. But it’s a good investment of your time.

Once a mum, make sure that you create a will in which you nominate a guardian for your child in case the worst happens. Make sure that you ask the person you’re nominating if they are willing to take care of your child.  

Legislation and legal practice vary from country to country. Typically, a family court will decide who should take care of orphaned children. The court will assess all options and make a decision based on what it deems best for the child. In such cases, knowing the will of the parent is valuable information.

5. Stop comparing yourself to two-parent families

Many women considering single motherhood worry whether they can provide everything that a child needs. Basically, will the child suffer from not growing up in a normal family?

The truth is that no family is ‘normal’. In the UK, for instance, single-parent families make up nearly a quarter of families with dependent children

And remember, two-parent families eat lots of frozen dinners, too.

6. Practice asking for help

Most of us are terrible at asking for help. But like all new parents, you’ll appreciate a helping hand. Whether it’s a last-minute deadline at work or taking time to yourself, you’ll be wise to lean on others for support sometimes.

Psychologist Henriette Cranil advises that you plan early: “It’s a good idea to ask your network about their commitment before the baby arrives. How much can you count on them for errands or last-minute babysitting? That way, it’s easier for you to ask for help when you need it.”

Also, remember that most people love to help. By asking for help you’re showing the other person that you think of them as resourceful and trustworthy. Don’t worry about being a burden.

7. Take some time to yourself and don’t beat yourself up over it

Mothers are excellent at caring for their children. Sometimes they do pretty poorly when it comes to taking care of themselves, though. But the truth is, you need time to yourself to be the best parent you can be. Especially as a single mother by choice.

Henriette Cranil reminds us that taking time away from our kids actually benefits the children, too: “Children will love walking home with a friend to their house after school once in a while. It teaches them that they are not dependent on their parent(s). ‘I can do this on my own.’ Learning that lesson builds self-esteem and confidence.”

‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’

Many women considering single motherhood worry whether they have the stamina or resources to have a baby on their own. But with these tips and your unconditional love for your future child, you will be fine. In fact, the only regret we hear from single mothers by choice is “why didn’t I do this sooner?”

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.

Open eller Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor? Dette skal du overveje, når du vælger sæddonor.

Der er flere ting, du skal tage stilling til, når du vælger at få et barn med hjælp fra en sæddonor. Et spørgsmål du uden tvivl kommer til at stille dig selv er, hvordan vælger jeg, om sæddonoren skal være Open eller Non-contact (anonym)? Valget får senere indflydelse på dit barns mulighed for at få sæddonorens identitet udleveret.

For at give dig de bedst mulige forudsætninger, for at vælge den type donor der er rigtig for din familie, har vi spurgt psykolog, Henriette Cranil, til råds. Henriette Cranil har specialiseret sig i at vejlede solomødre til børn af sæddonorer.

Hvad er forskellen på Open og Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor?

Den eneste forskel der er mellem en Open sæddonor, og en Non-contact sæddonor, er muligheden for, at dit barn kan få sæddonorens identitet udleveret, når barnet bliver myndigt. Uanset om du vælger en Open eller Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor, kan du få de samme detaljerede oplysninger om sæddonoren. En donorprofil indeholder blandt andet beskrivelser af donorens helbred og familiens sygdomshistorik, personlige og fysiske karakteristika, mv. Du kan læse mere om donorprofilerne her.

Open sæddonor

• Detaljerede oplysninger om sæddonoren i en online donorprofil
• Når dit barn fylder 18 år, kan barnet kontakte sædbanken og få udleveret donors identitet. Det er kun barnet, der kan få donors identitet at vide

Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor

• Samme detaljerede oplysninger om sæddonoren som gør sig gældende for Open donorer
• En Non-contact (anonym) sæddonor ønsker ikke at udlevere sin identitet

Hvordan vælger jeg, om sæddonoren skal være Open eller Non-contact (anonym)?

Der er intet rigtigt eller forkert valg, når du skal vælge mellem en Open eller Non-contact sæddonor. Begge donortyper er lige meningsfulde. Når du træffer valget mellem en Open og en Non-contact sæddonor, skal du være bevidst om, at du tager et valg på vegne af dit barn, som ikke kan gøres om. En sæddonor kan ikke skifte fra at være Non-contact, til at blive Open sæddonor, eller omvendt. Det er derfor en god idé, at du tænker begge muligheder igennem, og gør dig det klart, hvorfor du vælger, som du gør.

Hvad betyder valget af sæddonor for mit barn?

Ifølge psykolog Henriette Cranil, påvirker det ene valg ikke dit barn mere positivt eller negativt, end det andet: “Dit barn påvirkes af mange forskellige omstændigheder, relationer, og betingelser, og bliver ved med at udvikle sig hele deres liv. Børns identitet bliver i høj grad påvirket af alle de mange faktorer, der rent faktisk er til stede i deres liv – forældre, eventuelle søskende, institutionsliv, skolegang, og graden af omsorg og inddragelse, for blot at nævne nogle få af faktorerne. Dit barn kan, med andre ord, blive påvirket ad andre veje, end lige præcis det, at der er tale om en sæddonor, man aldrig vil få et personligt forhold til” fortæller Henriette Cranil.

Om du vælger en Open eller Non-contact donor, er helt op til dig, men vi råder dig til at være afklaret med beslutningen, og at turde tage samtalerne, når dit barn begynder at stille spørgsmål. Med årsagerne bevidst har du et godt udgangspunkt for at give dit kommende barn gode og velovervejede svar om dit valg.

Kommer mit valg af sæddonor til at påvirke mit barn?

Det er helt naturligt, at dit barn vil komme til at stille spørgsmål, der handler om deres biologiske ophav. Det kan være spørgsmål som, “Hvor har jeg mine læbers form fra?” eller, “Hvor har jeg mit særlige temperament fra?”. Og mere reflekterende: “Ved sæddonoren, at jeg eksisterer?”. Mange af disse spørgsmål er besvaret i de donorprofiler, som er tilgængelige for forældre og børn og er ens for både Open og Non-contact sæddonorer. Opstår der spørgsmål, som ikke kan besvares her, har hverken børn af Open eller Non-contact donorer krav på at få deres spørgsmål besvaret af donoren. En Open donor forpligter sig kun til at udlevere sin identitet – ikke til en relation med børnene.

Henriette Cranil fortæller, at det generelt for disse børn er vigtigt, at de lærer at acceptere, at de er børn af en sæddonor. De skal lære at forholde sig til, at de ikke kender deres biologiske ophav, og for børn af en non-contact sæddonor gælder det også, at de ikke vil have mulighed for at få hans identitet udleveret.

“Det kan være en gradvis proces at acceptere, at man er barn af en donor, og det kan hjælpe børn af en donor at dele processen med en fortrolig, der respekterer og deltager i refleksionerne. Børnenes følelser skal imødekommes, accepteres og støttes. En del af denne støtte kan være blot at lytte til tankerne og følelserne. En anden del af støtten kan være at deltage i refleksionerne: Hvorfor optager spørgsmålet dig? Og hvordan ville det være, hvis du kendte svaret?” fortæller Henriette Cranil.

Vær ærlig om barnets ophav, uanset hvad du vælger

Det helt afgørende for dit barns trivsel og identitetsfølelse er, at der er åbenhed om barnets ophav hos de nærmeste, fortæller Henriette Cranil. At barnet kender til sit ophav, og at du som forælder kan rumme både de positive og de negative tanker og spørgsmål.

“Vi ved, at det kan være svært for et barn, hvis forældrene holder det hemmeligt, at de er barn af en sæddonor – eller at far ikke var den far, man troede. Det kan få indflydelse på børnenes identitetsfølelse,” forklarer Henriette Cranil.

Grunden til at hemmeligheden kan påvirke børnenes identitetsfølelse er, at der er tale om et grundlæggende tillidsbrud, og en livs- og identitetshistorie, der skal skrives helt forfra. Henriette Cranil råder derfor forældre til børn af en sæddonor til at tale åbent med barnet, om deres biologiske ophav, allerede fra 2-års alderen. På den måde bliver det, at være kommet til verden ved hjælp af en sæddonor, en integreret del af barnets livsfortælling helt fra starten.

“Dialogen med de helt små børn, omkring hvor de kommer fra, bør være enkel og faktuel. Senere i barnets udvikling kan samtalen indeholde flere tanker, følelser, og måske kritik, som en sund del af det at vokse op med donorbaggrund som livsvilkår,” afslutter Henriette Cranil.

I decided to use a sperm donor

Our newest blogger, Henriette Cranil, is a psychologist and mother of two 7 year-old twins conceived with help from a sperm donor. As a psychologist, Henriette has made it one of her specialities to advise singles and couples in having children with a sperm donor. She helps find solutions to the many questions and dilemmas that rise when they consider conceiving with the help from a donor. 

This is Henriette’s story.

WHEN I was in my early 30’s I began to imagine how it would be to become a mother. The pictures in my head became more and more defined and I started to see images of myself as a mother. I also began to stop and look at children’s clothes and teddy bears. I knew a lesbian couple who were pregnant at the time with help from a sperm donor. They were flying on cloud nine, completely consumed with bliss and happiness. To me it was amazing to witness, and I was wildly inspired.

During that time, I was single, happy and in a really good place in my career as a psychologist. Summer came, I was 34 years old and I asked myself what I was really waiting for in regards to becoming a mother? The answer was, of course, a boyfriend in a “the love of my life”-way but that kind of love doesn’t necessarily appear exactly when you want it. Therefore, I decided to change the order and instead become a mother on my own and subsequently bet on – hopefully sometime – meeting a lovely boyfriend.

Becoming pregnant, becoming a mother

From here on things moved quickly and a few months later I was pregnant. When I reached 5-6 weeks of pregnancy, I went to have the first scan at the Hospital. This was the moment I got one of my life’s greatest and best surprises: there were two beating hearts. I was expecting twins! Today I am the mother of a boy and a girl of 7½ years. 7½ intense, wild, enriching, changing, different, fun, loving and sometimes exhausting, years.

The decision to become a mother on my own was easy for me, but I also went through a lot of considerations during the process. Should I choose an anonymous or open donor? What if it turns out I cannot get pregnant? What is it like growing up without a father? How will the outside world react? How do you talk to the children about it? How do we get by every day? How would it be for a future boyfriend to be involved in this little family?

Let’s share knowledge

I will regularly be discussing questions like these and many others on the blog. Today, I have made it one of my specialties as a psychologist to advise singles and couples in becoming parents through a donor – throughout the journey from the reflection phase to the many phases of questions and dilemmas you meet as parents.

I look forward to sharing thoughts, questions and suggestions for answers and hopefully inspire you to lots of courage, ideas and good decisions!

l’European Sperm Bank vous invite à une réunion d’information à Paris

Nous vous présenterons les différentes techniques de procréation médicalement assistée (telles que l’insémination et la FIV) ainsi que les différents types de don de sperme et la différence entre un donneur anonyme et un donneur ouvert.

La réunion se tiendra en français.

Vous aurez la possibilité de poser toutes vos questions, tant générales que personnelles, pour bien vous préparer à prendre votre décision.

Lors de la réunion, l’European Sperm Bank sera représentée par Lilian Jørgensen, coordinatrice donateurs á ESB et Giulia, sagefemme de la clinique de fertilité Vitanova. Ensemble, nous voulons vous aider à bien vous préparer en répondant à toutes vos questions.

Notre prochaine réunion aura lieu le 07. Juin 2018 de 19H30 a 22H00 á :

Hotel Turenne le Marais, 6 Rue de Turenne- 75004 Paris

Pour toute question, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter!

My husband was a sperm donor

Emma’s husband became a sperm donor at European Sperm Bank before she met him. She wants people to know that the deed of a sperm donor is just as noble as those who donate their blood. She is immensely proud of her husband! But the fact is that many women do not want their partners to be sperm donors, and they are sometimes shocked when they find out that their partner could already have fathered multiple children around the world.

“I donated my sperm…”

I had been going out with my then boyfriend for two months when he suddenly mentioned that he had something serious to tell me. As I was madly in love, I was petrified that he was going to break up with me, but he said, and I clearly remember even though its many years ago: “I believe you and I are going to be together forever, so I need you to know that I was a sperm donor a few years ago”.

I didn’t take it lightly at first – him being a sperm donor, but I must also say that I am incredibly proud that he made the choice of giving a little bit of himself in order to help others. I have both friends, family and colleagues who have struggled to conceive. Before I fell pregnant myself, I actually worried a lot about if this was even possible. We hear a lot about fertility issues in the media. In fact, we hear about it so much that we easily forget that most people luckily, do not have any problems conceiving. But still, what if no one wanted to donate their sperm? What about the families where the man has been diagnosed with cancer and become infertile as a result? What about those who suffer from azoospermia or diseases that are preventing them for having children? Or what about lesbians and their hopes and dreams of having children?

It’s not a taboo, it’s amazing!

I honestly have a hard time figuring out WHY so many women do not want their men to donate sperm, and I cannot help thinking “What if it was YOU? What if you couldn’t have the child you’ve always dreamt of having?”

This goes for both of us, we do not consider children born resulting from my husband’s sperm as our children, or even half siblings to our own children. I know some women would think a lot about “the other children”, but I firmly believe that these other children have a magnificent family where my husband doesn’t play any other role than being “the man that made this possible”. I do like the idea though of sperm donors being open and for the children to be able to contact them, but it’s just not something I think about on a daily basis.

We haven’t been super open about it. It still feels like a private thing and really, my husband did it to help others and there isn’t much else to it. I can say for sure, that I do not worry one bit about any “consequences” of my husband donating his sperm. We have our own family and I feel certain his data is protected by the sperm bank.

What can YOU do?

Are you interested in becoming a sperm donor, or do you know anyone who may be? Please take a look at our website to find out more or call us at +4588771757. Our donor coordinators are ready for any questions you might have! If you are considering using a sperm donor, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Summer is here! Time to relax and reflect


Things have a way of slowing down during summer.

​But thoughts about having a child are just as strong and pertinent as ever.

We do our best to provide you with answers to the questions you might have.

No matter where you are in the process, there is advice and shared experiences relevant to you right here.

You’ve probably already visited our company website Here you can access all the practical information about how to purchase donor sperm – and you can find your donor directly in the donor search.

But perhaps you are wondering what others in your situation do or how they approach finding a donor? Read some stories from other women here or go directly to some of the articles:

  • If you are considering to travel to another country to get your treatment,
    you should read about Sandra’s experiences.

To give you the best chances of getting pregnant, European Sperm Bank offers  sperm donors in perfect health with a very high sperm count.  You may be interested in how we select, test and screen our sperm donor candidates? Well, here you can learn about how tough our screening process is.

Our role as your sperm bank is to assist you in making the right choices for you. We do this directly by email or telephone, and by sharing our knowledge on this blog.

We want to give you advice that can make a difference in your life. We give life to your choice.

//posted by Stinne and MichaelEuropean Sperm Bank