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When your wife gives you permission to be a sperm donor

When your wife gives you permission to be a sperm donor

It is more common than you think for a wife to give her blessing for her husband to become a sperm donor. Most people would think that in a conventional marriage there is no way a guy could go along donating sperm to single women and lesbian couples without there being some marital issues or the husband leading a double life. Wrong. A considerable amount of men now donate sperm with their wife's full consent and blessing. 

sperm donor holding child on a beach

Why do married men donate sperm?

1) Sometimes the wife already has children from a previous relationship and doesn’t want any more. The husband still has a yearning to experience fatherhood.

2) For altruistic reasons a man wants to donate sperm and his wife supports him.

3) Some women who have fertility issues preventing them from having children are happy for their husband to donate sperm to other women.

4) There are men who have children, are happily married but they still want to go on reproducing outside of their marriage.

Of course there are most certainly married men who donate sperm behind their wife’s back. Some of these men genuinely want to experience fatherhood without their wife knowing whilst other married men are happy to donate sperm and never be known to the child.

There must be some interesting and heartfelt discussions in households between a women and their sperm donor husbands. To be approached by your husband asking for permission to impregnate another woman is not necessarily something you can plan for.

specimen cup for home insemination

What methods are married sperm donors using to achieve pregnancy?

Home insemination - a simple but highly effective method using a sterile cup and syringe known as a home insemination kit. This method usually requires insemination over at least 2 consecutive days during a woman fertile window.

Artificial insemination - this method takes place at a licenced fertility clinic. IUI and IVF are two of the most common techniques used. The sperm donor will donate sperm, have his sperm tested, frozen for 6 months and thawed. At this point more medical tests usually take place before insemination can happen.

Natural insemination - NI is not necessarily a method most married women would give permission to their husband to pursue. It is an effective method for achieving pregnancy however it carries a lot of sexual health risks and it is physically and emotionally bonding. Sperm donation is very rarely about a one off donation. Sperm donors can sometimes be required to donate over 2 to 3 consecutive days every month for a year or more.

What are the legal implications for married men donating sperm?

The conception could take place either at a licenced clinic or by home insemination. The female carrying the child will always be the legal mother.

You will be considered the legal father of the child providing:

 The woman is not married, in a civil partnership or in an enduring relationship;

 You receive treatment with the female “together” and she does not receive treatment with another person;

 You do not sign the relevant consents to exclude your status as the legal father.


Again, as the female is carrying the child, she will be the legal mother of the child. If the female is married or in a civil partnership then her partner will be considered the second legal parent of the child. If the woman is single then you will be the legal father, regardless of whether the insemination was by artificial means or not.

You will be financially responsible for the child and will also have rights to the child. You would not automatically acquire parental responsibility as you would need to be named on the birth certificate to acquire this. Alternatively you can enter into a parental responsibility agreement with the mother or apply to the court for parental responsibility.

However, even if you do not have parental responsibility, you will still have rights in your capacity as the legal father. As you are making a known donation it is important to regulate and agree the roles you and the mother will have in the child’s life.

It is advisable that you put in place a “Sperm Donor Agreement” or a “Co-Parenting Agreement” .

If you are looking to become a sperm donor please register now.

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