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Fertility, Miscarriage & IVF Support by MamaBe
1,352 members679 posts

Donor Babies

I’m in floods of tears writing this after an argument with my Mum and Husband. I might be a little hormonal and sensitive being 35 pregnant with sperm donor twins. We have a 4 year old son born from ICSI after a successful sperm retrieval operation over 5 years ago, we weren’t so lucky when we tried for a sibling and after many failed attempts with very poor quality sperm we decided to take this route.

My husband brought up in conversation tonight with my Mum that the babies are from a donor. My Mum already knew this but jumped at the chance to ask questions, I appreciate she’s curious and also feels she would like to be supportive. The trouble is.... ever since I told her I’ve cringed at the terminology she uses for example, after we told her I was pregnant, “can I just ask.... these babies are not _____’s right?”....... tonight she used the words “will these babies at some point get to know who their Daddy is?”........

This isn’t the first time I’ve corrected her but tonight I asked if I could just please correct her terminology. These babies ARE my husbands, make no mistake they would not be here had it not been for him. Also the term is ‘The Donor’ not “the daddy” as my husband will be their Daddy. Instead of just apologising and saying she will use the correct terms she said “oh he knows what I mean”..... This then lead to me getting even more annoyed and eventually my husband (who was annoyed that he thought I was upset on his behalf) storming out and my Mum doing the same.

The thing is, I wasn’t upset on his behalf, I genuinely cringe at these terms and the thought that anyone would ever look at things this way. My husband says I should be more tolerant as it’s all knew to her and that I was harsh.

I genuinely don’t know why I’m the bad guy here...... also concerned that I might be more worried and more sensitive about all this than I thought.

6 Replies

Oh hun, I am sorry you are having such a rough night.

You are definitely not the bad guy here and have every right to voice your opinion and want your mum to use the correct terminology. How she said, what she said is definitely going to be hurtful to both you and your husband.

Good luck xx

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thanks x


The lack of education and understanding around donor conception in this country is alarming. But there is a generation before us who will struggle to understand it.

Do remember that as long as you and your husband are happy then that’s all that matters. However; you might be able to nip this early by speaking to your mum directly and explaining that that type of language will never be appropriate in front of the children or friends and family. That’s your place to tell. If she fully understands that then I think you’re within your right to explain that you and husband are no different and don’t need it either.

There’s a book you can buy, I saw it on donor conception network which is specifically for parents so you can let them read etc.

Lastly, don’t worry about your husband too much. Accepting you need a donor is the bravest this you both did. And in heated moments; if he’s anything like me he will wish the conversation went away, didn’t need to happen, wasn’t causing stress and that your mum would just stop - even though it’s new. I remember wishing I’d never been so brave as to try and tell someone! Big love x

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That's spot on! I think it's more lack of understanding and predispositions are responsible for such alarming reactions around the whole the whole donor conception thing. Yes, for a couple there can several dilemmas when deciding over donor conception.... but I don't get it why others are so inclined to place their ill judgement and awkward inputs over it when it doesn't even concern them. No one really enroll for this willingly .... it's just another situation that doesn't leave you with any other alternative.


There was a time IVF procedures were considered a controversial topic... terms like "test tube babies" often were terms used to referred to children born through the process. The very first time my doctor told me i would need IVF to conceive , i was shocked and even embarrassed that i would go through such an unnatural process (i was in denial). Fast forward 1 and half years later, its one of the greatest things to happen for mankind and as have gone through it twice, i no longer think the same. What i am trying to say what might seem difficult for your mum to comprehend today will be different tomorrow. Time is what is needed.

FYI your reaction was calm, i would have been a complete nightmare

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Some situations are hard to explain to others... no matter how much you try the other won't be able to comprehend donor conception. Possibly because they don't want to or perhaps can't put themselves in your shoes. However, I guess your mother's opinion doesn't really matter here... so don't break-down over her deliberate confusion between the daddy and the donor. She can poke in some awkward moments maybe even in future but then that's it. It's a very private and totally personal decision since you and your spouse sounds like on the same page about the whole donor conception thing... that's all matters. Though I don't have kids of my own yet... but one thing I can tell you, children grow up to reciprocate what they receive. The world is progressive and each generation ahead is being more practical than their predecessor, chances are your twins probably won't even bother to pay heed to "donor" word. Raise them as your own and extrovert they will be your own ... as simple as that. Stay strong!


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