DEAR DEIDRE: I WOULD do a lot for my best friend but I’m not sure about her latest request – to be the sperm donor for her and her girlfriend.
We’ve known each other since secondary school and have been through thick and thin together.
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I’m male and 32, she is 31, and her girlfriend is 34. We all get on brilliantly and hang out regularly.
They’ve been together for five years and in the last few years have considered having a baby.
Rceently my friend broke down in tears and explained they had both had one night stands with men to try to get pregnant.
Having sex with strangers was taking its toll on their relationship and they both agreed they didn’t want to do that any longer.
My friend even admitted she was feeling jealous of her girlfriend’s flings and questioning if she was bisexual, rather than lesbian, and enjoying the experience.
She came right out with it and asked me if I’d consider donating my sperm to them.
I was pretty thrown, so I told her I would think about it.
She has assured me she wouldn’t put my name on the baby’s birth certificate so I wouldn’t be legally responsible for the child and that I could see the baby whenever I liked.
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But I’m not sure how I’d feel about my own child being out there and not having a legal say in their lives.
I would feel there was a piece of me missing if I couldn’t have a proper father/child relationship.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Instinctively you want to help your friend, but fathering a child is more than your average favour.
There are so many issues to think about. Will the baby grow up knowing you are the dad?
Will your friend and her girlfriend involve you in the child’s major milestones and decisions around the child? Will you be financially liable for the child?
I know your best friend says she’s happy to agree that you won’t be legally responsible for the child, but any written contract to that effect isn’t legally binding.
As this would constitute an informal arrangement and insemination is taking place outside a licenced clinic, the law could consider you to be the biological father and therefore legally and financially responsible for the child.
Donating is a wonderful thing to do but it’s important to establish the legal implications and if it is the right thing to do for all of you.
Please have a look at the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority guidance (hfea.gov.uk).
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