Arty’s donor has been the perfect donor.


He completely understands and respects the difference between a donor and a father. He has no desire to be the latter, so we have never felt for even a moment that he might want to involve himself in our family in a way that we’re not comfortable with.

He is someone we love, admire and respect. He’s kind, gentle, funny, creative, intelligent and handsome, so we knew that any traits our son might inherit from him would be ones that we would love (and they are).

He was local, which made the actual process of getting pregnant as straightforward as could be.


Though it was nerve wracking and emotional, and full of new and unknown experiences for us, getting pregnant with Arty was almost embarrassingly easy.


Since deciding to try for Twoby, we’re gaining a new level of appreciation for how unusual Arty’s donor has been.

donor brainstorming


SJ and I have had a lot of thoughtful talks about logistics and potential donors. We made a (short) list of people who we’d consider asking, sat with it for a while, and continued to discuss the pros and cons of each person over time.

Some were too much a part of our daily lives to be sensible choices.

Some lived too far away for the conception process to work.

Others we knew would have too much trouble drawing the father/donor distinction.

Still others had too many question marks over their own family and relationship situations for us to feel that they’d be ok with turning their attention to ours.


In the end, everyone got crossed off the list but one.


A few weeks ago we sent an email:


Dear [Person] & [Partner],

We have this really big thing we want to ask you.
For some time we’ve wanted to do it in person, but we’ve since talked about it and decided it might be kinder and more respectful to do it in writing so that you can have your reactions and your thinking time without us actually in the room.
As you know, we’ve been talking for some months about having another baby, and we’d like to start trying later this year (August at the earliest). 
We’ve thought about it a lot, and we wanted to ask you both how you would feel abut [Person] being our donor. 
There are a bunch of things we want to say straight off the bat about this:
First, we realise this is a big thing to ask, and as such we will completely understand if it’s not something you’re willing to consider. Please know that whatever you decide, our friendship is safe, and we would never be resentful or angry if your answer is no.
Secondly, we don’t want to overload you with details, but we also recognise that there are some points that might have a bearing on the decision you make. 
As things stand we are asking for a low intervention conception process (home insemination – no doctors or clinics), and no parental or financial responsibility from you. The finer details of this are things that can be discussed if and when you’re ready. 
Please know that you can ask us any questions you like before committing to an answer either way. When you do make a decision we’d like it to be one you’ve really thought through, so we’d rather wait for a sure answer than have a rushed one you’re not certain about.
[Person], you are an intelligent, kind, funny, and gentle person. These are the qualities we admired most in Arty’s donor, and what we are looking for in a donor for our second child. Plus, you made 50% of [Their daughter], who is pretty much the awesomest girlchild in the world, so your form on the kid front is pretty unparalleled.
We know that this is big, but if you’d consider it, we would be inexpressibly happy and grateful. 
Essie & SJ x
P.S. We have a written agreement that we made with Arty’s donor and his partner that covers everything from the conception process to financial details. If you’d like to have a look at this we’re happy to send you a copy. 
P.P.S.  <3


We clicked send, and we waited.

The waiting was hard, but we told ourselves the whole time that it was great that they were giving it so much time to really think it through. Whatever answer they gave us, we were sure would be a carefully considered one.


Then, this weekend, we met up with them and talked about it.

They’d thought about it a lot, and come to the conclusion that they couldn’t do it.

We could see the regret that they felt in not being able to help us, but neither of them felt that they’d be able to maintain the emotional distance that all of us would need for it to work.

How would they feel if our child looked like someone from his family? How would they react if something happened to their own daughter, and they could see shades of her in our child?

There were too many what ifs, and all of them pointed to the fact that this wasn’t the right choice for any of us.

We were sad, grateful, and a lot of other things besides. That door was definitely closed.


This puts us in an interesting position moving forward.

We’re having to accept that the perfect donor for Twoby probably isn’t someone we know. That means we’ve got more new and unknown experiences in our future as we go about trying to bring them into being.