A Legal Foundation For Your Family

Coping with the emotions that come with using a sperm donor

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Assisted Reproduction

Fertility problems have all kinds of causes, and sometimes – when the issue is on the male’s end – sperm donation is one of the only viable solutions. 

The decision to use a sperm donor to conceive, however, is not without some emotional weight for a lot of men. Those emotions can stem from both personal and societal factors

What are some of the key negative emotions that men may experience?

Many would-be fathers feel an enormous sense of gratitude toward sperm donation since it offers a fairly easy solution to infertility and allows them and their partners to achieve their goal of parenthood. For those, nothing else matters. However, many men experience:

  • Feelings of inadequacy: Social values in many cultures place a high value on a man’s virility and tie their ability to father a child to their masculinity. The inability to biologically contribute to their child can end up challenging their sense of identity and self-worth.
  • Jealousy or resentment: Sometimes men feel angry, jealous or resentful toward the sperm donor, especially if they’re struggling to accept their own infertility. Sometimes that resentment or jealousy can also transfer to their partners and affect their relationship.
  • Fears about bonding: Some men may worry about their ability to emotionally bond with a child that doesn’t have any biological ties to them. They may worry that they won’t feel like a “real” father – or that their child may eventually reject them because they have no genetic ties.

Over time, most men find ways to reframe their concept of fatherhood. They come to embrace the idea that being a father is more about emotional, social and psychological bonds than genetic ones. This shift in perspective can help them find peace and fulfillment in their role as a parent. If a would-be father is feeling conflicted about using a sperm donor, counseling and lots of communication with their partner can help.

When you’re building a family through reproductive assistance, it’s always wise to make sure that you fully understand the legal issues that may be involved, especially when another party’s genetic material will be used to conceive.