My wife and I have talked a lot about children, we both would love a child, but we both want to travel and live our lives without being tied down – no matter how harsh that may sounds. In the 10 years we have been together we have gone back and forth with if we want to have children or not. We have considered adoption, fostering, birth child and not having any at all.
In recent times our biggest problem has, when it comes to having a child, has been me. I don’t want to have a child at all until my sex has been legally changed, something I am hoping will happen till year. There is also my many surgeries to consider, several of which will take 6+ weeks for me to recover and during that time I will be stuck in bed for 2-3 of those weeks. All of these things cause a problem with having a newborn baby or even a toddler.
Something I have been struggling with for a several month now is the idea that I can’t get my wife pregnant, even though I am not bothered about our child having my DNA, as I don’t feel that makes a person a parent. But as a male, who one day will be assumed cisgender by strangers it is assumed that you will make a child, I guess it must be similar to have cisgender people feel when they find out they can’t create a baby, naturally. I have been trying to get over this feeling and I know that I won’t love my future child any less just because I couldn’t create them naturally, so isn’t that all that matters. With that in mind, my wife and I have decided to try for a baby, with the knowledge that that doesn’t mean it will actually work.
With our decision in mind, we know have to make several other decisions. Making it a long, stressful progress. It’s nice to pretend everything will be nice and simple, but it isn’t. There is a lot to consider when you can’t just have sex and make a baby. We have to think about what we want our sperm donor to look like, we have to be sure that the sperm has been tested for sexual infections, genetic disorders. We have to decide if we want to use IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation – a process by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside of the body) or IUI (Intrauterine Insemination – a process by which sperm is inserted directly into a female’s womb in hopes it will fertilise an egg itself) or even home insemination (where a person/couple use sperm and insert it into the female’s vagina close to cervix and allow the sperm to work the same way as it would during natural conception). Each come with their own pros and cons. For example, IVF has the highest success rate but cost upwards of £5000 per cycle (and it can take a lot of cycle to fall pregnant); IUI has a success rate of about 15% for women under 35 years old but cost around £2000; Home insemination is by far the cheapest option as it cost very little, this is because it is illegal to pay for sperm however the success rate is hard to measure but if you take the success rate of natural conception as a guide it would be around 20%, raising to almost 80% over the space of a year. Home insemination does seem like the best option, calm, familiar surroundings is said to help, and the problem with home insemination is finding a sperm donor. In the UK all donors, sperm or egg, have to be known (they cannot be anonymous) this change in the law years ago has led to a dip in donors coming forward. In other countries, Denmark for example has a high donor rate as they can still remain anonymous. So even if we used a clinic, stayed at home, go sperm from a sperm bank outside the UK the donor will need to be traceable, so that at 18 any child could be able to find this person.
There is still a lot to think about, to decide upon, but I do hope that we will make the best decisions for both us and our future child.
-Honest Trans Guy