Many more women are turning to sperm donor websites to find donors or co-parents, fuelled by the shortage of donors within the UK, along with many NHS authorities cutting back on IVF treatment. Pride Angel reports on the increasing demand by both lesbian couples and single women for ‘gay sperm donors’.
Their study looked at the number of recipients looking for gay men from their database of over 4500 members. Of the 4500 members 64% are women looking for ‘sperm donors’, with only 16% registered as ‘sperm donors’. This shows a huge shortage in the number of willing donors, compared to the demand. They found that of those recipients who requested ‘looking for’ in their profile, 51% are looking for a ‘gay single man’, with 31% looking for a ‘gay couple’. In contrast, of the registered sperm donors only 23% record themselves as ‘gay’ within their profiles. 53% of sperm donors request ‘looking for’ a single woman, with 33% ‘looking for’ a lesbian couple to donate to.
Why are lesbian and single women looking for gay donors rather than heterosexual men? There may be many reasons for this preference. Erika co-founder of Pride Angel says ‘Many women are wishing to find genuine gay men, either single or in a couple, who are willing to co-parent or donate sperm with some form of on-going contact’ ‘This may be because they feel that gay men may be more sensitive or caring, or easier to co-parent with’. ‘We would really like to see far more gay men coming forward to donate sperm.’
Pride Angel also looked at data received from a questionnaire undertaken by people attending the Manchester Pride’s Lifestyle Expo in August 2010. The questionnaire was completed by 150 people and requested individual views on ‘the level of contact’ they felt the donor should have with any child conceived from known donor conception. The results were very interesting and showed that the vast majority of people did wish for their child to have some form of ongoing contact with their donor, only 26% of women and 20% of men thought that any donation should be anonymous. 27% of women wanted some kind of active involvement from their donor, be it regular or occasional contact. In contrast 51% of men wished to have regular or occasional contact with their donor child. A significant number of women 31%, wanted for their child to be able to contact their donor if needed while growing up.
Some gay men may wish to donate simply to ‘pass on their genes’ and help a lesbian couple or single woman experience the joy of parenthood. Other gay men may like to be more involved, either seeing their child occasionally like an ‘uncle type’ figure or wishing to share parental responsibility by entering into a co-parenting arrangement. Whatever the level of involvement a donor wishes; there are many women who are looking for the same form of arrangement.
Pride Angel is the leading parenting connection sites aimed towards the LGBT community wishing to become parents. For more information on donating sperm, co-parenting, health screening and legal agreements visit www.prideangel.com