Mrs. and Mrs. Barnes-Wallace: Two Lesbian Moms, Two Kids

The creation of our family was a very intricate process that lead us through many different trials and tribulations. Some considerations were having secure jobs, educational advancement possibilities and the ability to take time off once the children arrived. A very important decision was who was going to carry the baby. The logical choice was Lynn, she had health insurance and the ability to take leave from her job.

The next avenue we explored was: do we know the sperm donor or do we use a sperm bank? After talking to many people from different types of families, we decided we wanted a known donor. This came about because one comment our friends who were adopted made was they wanted to know “who do I look like?”

Mrs. and Mrs. Barnes-Wallace and Family

The next step was to find a donor that was willing to agree to our conditions, which we spent many hours discussing. We didn’t want to share custody, so he would have to release all rights; we wanted two children; we didn’t want any half brothers or sisters, so he’d have to agree not father any other children. This was a tall order for someone to fill and we were willing to wait to find the right person. So the search began interviewing possible candidates and we stumbled upon the perfect match. Then with a leap of faith we began the insemination process.

We decided to administer the inseminations ourselves because ovulation was irregular. With some sterilized cups, syringes and early morning visits to the donor’s home we began the process. We chose to use the Basal Thermometer as the indicator of ovulation and after a year of trying and the help of a reproduction specialist at the zoo, we were pregnant with our first child. The donor was in the delivery room when our son was born and a few weeks later the donor’s mother held her grandson for the first time. Our daughter was much easier to conceive, we became pregnant with her in two tries. The donor was also present for her birth.

The children were both second parent adopted by Lori and the donor signed all of his rights away. The agreements we made still holds true thirteen years later and to this day he may see the children anytime he wishes. His parents are very involved in their grandchildren’s lives and have lunch together once a week during the summer.

We are very satisfied with the arrangements of having a known donor and feel that all the planning paid off. Now we are a family enjoying the life long task of raising and loving them.

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