Hello, world. My name's Stephen LaConte, I'm a writer here at BuzzFeed, and according to my friends and family, I'm pretty darn good at giving advice.
So I've invited readers like you to message me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places) with your biggest problems — and I'm solving 'em right here on BuzzFeed, one DM at a time. Let's get right to it.
Today, we've got this woman, whose friend is looking to get pregnant and wants her husband to be the sperm donor:
Oof. Your friend definitely crossed a line here, and you should be honest with her about that. But, if at all possible, I think you should approach the conversation with some empathy for what she's going through, because it sounds like she could use a little guidance and support right now.
First things first: You and your husband should decline her donor request. Her proposal makes you "so weirded out," which is understandable, and this is not the sort of everyday favor that friends are obligated to do for one another. You're not picking someone up from the airport; you're bringing a human into the world. That's a permanent, irreversible decision with lifelong consequences for all involved, and if your gut tells you it's not a good idea, listen to that.
Now, to be clear, plenty of people do choose sperm donors they know personally — maybe a friend, acquaintance, or relative of their partner — and in the right circumstance, this arrangement can absolutely work! But it's a very, very delicate subject to bring up with someone, and it requires a whole lot of careful consideration, sensitivity, and tact from the person doing the asking. Unfortunately, your friend failed on all three of those fronts.
Let's break down some of the flaws in her logic here: There are lots of factors she might consider when looking for a donor — family history, medical compatibility, the donor's preference of being anonymous or not, etc. But having a baby that is "cute" or "well-behaved"? Those things should probably not be the driving force behind her decision-making right now. (It's also not how biology works — there's no guarantee her baby would look or act anything like yours, just because they share a father.)
And then there's the contradictory way she speaks about your husband's role in this. On the one hand, she says he would be a "sperm donor," which implies that once he hands over that vial of the good stuff, his job is done. But then she suggests that you would raise your kids "like siblings." It's hard to see how that could happen without your husband inevitably taking on a father role for her kid. Your friend needs to ask herself some serious questions about what, exactly, she's looking for: Does she just want some sperm, no strings attached? Or does she want a co-parent?
And lastly, even if your friend had all her ducks in a row and knew exactly what she wanted out of this, you and your husband were not the right people to ask. You're new parents yourselves, with plenty on your plate as it is. And there's not exactly a tactful way to point at someone's baby and say, "Hey, that's cute, can I have one just like it?"
All of this is to say: It's clear that your friend is a bit lost and confused in her fertility journey right now. I'm left wondering who she has in her life to support her through this. You say that she's single — does she have any family or friends (besides you) to help guide her? What about doctors? Does she have access to the experts she needs to make healthy, informed decisions about becoming pregnant?
Your friend's request was misguided, awkward, and inappropriate, without a doubt, and it's totally fair if you decide you need some space from her right now. But! If you feel like you can reasonably move past this — if you can chalk this up to a good person making a bad choice in a vulnerable moment — perhaps you can continue to be a part of her support system and get her some help. She could probably use it right now.
Maybe you can help her find a fertility specialist to walk her through her big choices ahead. Maybe you can connect her with a parent who's been through the process of using a sperm bank before. Maybe you can accompany her on some doctor appointments for moral support. You can't offer her your husband's sperm, but you can offer her friendship — and in the long run, I think she'll be much better off with that. Good luck.
That's all the advice I'm giving today, folks, but if you've got any words of wisdom for our DMer, please share them in the comments. I'll be reading...
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