Plan C – Adoption or Donor Sperm

It’s been a few weeks since Mr.E’s mTESE during which zero sperm were found. *sigh*

Plan A was to get pregnant like everyone else does. Didn’t happen. Plan B was to get pregnant using mTESE, ICSI, and IVF. Not gonna happen.

So now we have to move to Plan C. But we don’t know what Plan C should be! We basically have 8 options. In no particular order, they are:
1. Random sperm donor
2. Known sperm donor
3. Traditional adoption
4. Embryo adoption
6. Random egg donor plus sperm donor
7. Foster parenting
8. Remain childless

Options 6, 7, and 8 are not appealing to us, so we aren’t considering them right now. So that leaves us with some form of sperm donor or some form of adoption.

We’ve thought a lot about each of the 4 options. One of my biggest fears is that a child will have an identity crisis of some kind with any of these options. I would like to minimize their pain as much as possible.

Option 1 – Random Sperm Donor
With a random sperm donor I worry that there will be a big black question mark in the child’s mind about who their bio-dad is. And when the kids are teenagers and they understand what it means, they’ll realize that we picked their bio-dad out on the internet like shopping for a purse or shoes! Which, to me, is crazy. Huge black question mark! The pros:
– we could order sperm tomorrow and be pregnant on my next cycle
– inexpensive compared to adoption.
The cons:
– bio-dad could be crazy, ugly, socially disabled, etc.
– there’s that big black question mark.

Option 2 – Known Sperm Donor
So what about asking someone we know to be the donor? My first choice would be Mr.E’s brother. Actually he’s my only choice. When using a known sperm donor, our clinic requires the donor and his wife to have at least one meeting with the clinic’s Reproductive Psychologist to make sure everyone knows the consequences of their decisions. The pros:
– his genes are pretty close to Mr.E’s genes
– no big black question mark or identity crisis
– the family tree hasn’t changed.
The cons:
– potential awkwardness at family gatherings
– there’s minimum of 6 months from the day he gives his first sperm donation until the sperm can be used (FDA requirement to quarantine the sperm)
– if he says no, I might not be able to speak to him or his wife ever again

Option 3 – Traditional Adoption
Traditional adoption is a possibility. Personally, I like this option the least. We’ve already started the paperwork for our home study. During this process I’ve had 2 important thoughts come to my mind about why this might not be the right choice for us:
– there are a LOT more couples hoping to adopt than there are children and it seems wrong for us to take a baby away from another hopeful couple if they cannot carry a baby like I probably can
– I believe we are supposed to multiply and replenish the earth and adoption doesn’t accomplish that the way one of these other options would

We will still move forward with the home study because it’s required for Embryo Adoption (see below) and because we haven’t ruled this out completely.
Aside from those thoughts, the pros:
– if it’s an open adoption the children and their birth moms can be in contact
– there are lots of other people on the earth who are adopted so the children would have others they can relate to.
The cons:
– I don’t carry the baby
– I won’t be able to breastfeed
– VERY long process
– VERY expensive
– bio-dad could still be a mystery
– we might never be chosen!

Option 4 – Embryo Adoption
Embryo Adoption is exactly what it sounds like. When other couples go through IVF and have their desired children but still have embryos remaining they can choose to have the embryos destroyed, donate them to research, or put them up for adoption by couples like us who can’t make our own embryos but who can still carry a baby. It is estimated that there are 600,000 frozen embryos in the United States. The adoption is still facilitated by an agency like traditional adoption. Most embryo adoption agencies require a home study and allow the bio-parents to choose the adoptive parents.

The pros:
– some of those 600,000 embryos will have a chance at life
– the birth mom can’t change her mind at the last minute
– I get to carry the baby and breastfeed
– faster than traditional adoption
– the children will have biological siblings within our family
– the bio-parents won’t be a mystery.
The cons:
– bio-parents could be crazy
– more expensive than donor sperm but cheaper than traditional adoption
– quality of embryos is not guaranteed so there’s a potential for more heartache because of BFNs and miscarriages
– we might never be chosen by bio-parents!

Which would you choose? Or, which did you choose and why?


4 thoughts on “Plan C – Adoption or Donor Sperm

  1. I’m so sorry you have to make such a difficult decision for plan C. If we don’t find sperm when they do the mTESE we are wanting to try a sperm donor. We had hoped we could use my brother-in -laws but he has a very low count and very mutated sperm but somehow he’s been able to have 2 children.

    I don’t know how you weigh the options of asking your brother-in-law or not. It seems like it would be difficult to always wonder what he would say if you asked. But at the same time it would be uncomfortable/heartbreaking if he or his wife said no. Maybe when/if you tell them about your situation he would offer to be your donor or you would at least be able to put some feelers out there and see if it seemed like something he would do.

    So sorry! I’m praying for you and your husband.

    • Yes! Is it crazy to hope that he might come up with the idea of giving is his sperm without us having to ask? It seems far fetched, but I do hope that! When he and his wife were trying to get pregnant it took 12 months. They were actually at the doctor to find out why they weren’t pregnant when they did an ultrasound and saw the baby there. They called us to tell us the good news exactly 7 days after Mr.E’s first SA. Boy, was I bitter that day.

      Anyway, I was thinking that during their 12 months of trying maybe they had discussed some what-ifs… I just hope they weren’t thinking they would “just adopt.”

      I really like to live my life without regrets. I think we would regret not asking more than we would regret asking and hearing no. I think.

      Fingers crossed!!!

  2. Oh man, that would definitely be a bitter day. I want to believe that if I had a family member or friend who was having infertility problems and one of the solutions would be donor sperm, that we would just offer up the sperm {if we had it, which we don’t}. But I suppose my husband and I are a bit more open-minded than other people.

    I really hope and pray that it will work out for you guys that your brother-in-law will be open to it. šŸ™‚

    And the whole “just adopt” thing – I know adoption is a wonderful thing. My two youngest siblings are adopted and I can’t imagine life without them. But saying “just adopt” is one of the worst things to say to someone with infertility, at least in my opinion.

    I don’t know if you read this article but I thought I would share it in case you haven’t.

    • No I hadn’t seen that article! Thanks for sharing it!

      You know what’s funny about us asking my brother-in-law for sperm? I think if the roles were reversed I would probably say no! Now that I understand the sorrow and heartache caused by infertility, though, I think I would be more inclined to say yes. But in my mind I know Mr.E’s sperm is rare (non-existent) so if we had any I wouldn’t be able to give them up! Haha, I’m such a nerd for analyzing all of this šŸ™‚ I think if we knew where the sperm were going that we would do it. Random sperm donation… I don’t think we would.

      You know what else is funny? After we told everyone (I’ll write a new post about it), it feels a lot less necessary to ask him for sperm. I have no idea what happened or what changed in my mind!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s