5 Great Questions Donors Should Ask During Counselling
Author: London Sperm Bank
Let’s start with the first question that usually gets asked: ‘Why do I need counselling?’ To which the response is usually, ‘We think it’s very important.’
In between all the tests and medical forms and the process of donating sperm that could one day become a child, counselling may seem a little peripheral. However, donating sperm can bring issues in your life to the surface that you hadn’t thought of previously.
Family, friends and people you’re in relationships with can all have opinions on the donating process and it’s important to go through with your donation with full clarity and confidence.
We asked LWC Senior Fertility Counsellor Tracey Sainsbury to provide answers to five great questions that donors should ask during counselling.
1. I’m perfectly comfortable donating, so I don’t really feel like I need to attend. Do I have to be here?
We provide counselling as a routine part of donation. We know you’re comfortable with donating now, but we also know that thoughts and feelings can change. This is one of the things that we talk about, myth-busting and future-proofing, for you, your partner if you have one, your current and future children, or your wider family members.
2. I’m worried what the people in my life will think of my decision to donate. What do I say or do to reassure them?
The expectations of others, especially family members, can weigh heavily on a person entering this process. Just keep in mind that you can only control your own thoughts and feelings on the matter.
Your time with a counsellor will help you explore how those close to you might think and feel about there being genetic offspring in the world, whom you may never have contact with. This is becoming more relevant as the use of home DNA kits increase.
We look at partner attitudes and the potential evolution of them: from feeling confused, irritated, frustrated, to accepting your decision and eventually feeling just as proud as you do.
3. How might my thoughts about donating change over time?
It’s difficult to say. The truth is, no one quite knows what the future holds. The majority of our donors remain very happy with their decision to donate, but sometimes, life events and the changing perspective of the people around you, can change your own opinion. For example: if you and your partner decide to have children of your own and hope for a girl, but go on to have only sons. Meanwhile, the recipient of your sperm donation has a biological female.
Support is not only available for you and your partner during donations, but afterwards too.
4. If I wanted counselling support in the future, what would the cost be?
Counselling during and after donation is always completely free of charge for our donors.
5. Is there a time limit for future counselling support?
Absolutely not. We meet and speak with donors who donated many years ago, sometimes they have donated decades ago. One of our historic donors only got in touch for support when he became a grandparent. Donating sperm is a gift that keeps on giving and the process of watching children created through donation grow up and have families of their own can be very emotional.
We also tackle these thoughts and feelings during counselling and again ensure that this support will be available going forward.
We recommend that you always embrace the counselling that comes along with your donation. Not only is it completely free and workable around your schedule, but we strongly believe that it’s important to go into the process with a clear and healthy mindset.