Solo mum Pia chose the same sperm donor for all of her children
Pia Jensen from Copenhagen, Denmark, chose the same donor for her children – and thus, Anna became a big sister to not just one but two full siblings. This was possible because she chose to set up a storage solution holding donor sperm for more than one course of treatment at the sperm bank. The benefits include the possibility for your child to have a full brother or sister.
Pia Jensen with her daughter.
42-year-old Pia Jensen shares a home in the middle of Copenhagen with three determined, but also pleasant, little ladies. Asta and Alma, a pair of beautiful, red-haired identical twins who are six months old and their proud big sister Anna aged four. Biologically, they are full siblings, as Pia chose the same donor for both pregnancies.
Fertility treatment and pregnant without difficulty
Initially, it was almost too easy. After a few months and on her second attempt, Pia became pregnant by means of insemination and without the use of hormones. The pregnancy leading up to Anna’s birth was also without significant discomfort. The list of requirements for the sperm donor was not very long, but he needed to share a few common features with Pia: Fair hair and blue eyes. She would also like the donor to be taller than her. However, Pia did have one strict requirement: She wanted an open donor.
“I realise there are no guarantees that the donor is willing to meet my children, but my future child should have the opportunity to learn more about her biological father. In any case, if she feels the need at some point, the option has not been ruled out from the start. The donor is not, and never will be a father, but he might still be able to answer some important questions that Anna might have,” says Pia Jensen.
Choice of sperm donor
Pia discussed her choice of donor with family and friends. She spent a few days thinking about it – and it suddenly became very real when she was looking through the profiles from the sperm bank. After filtering by appearance and her open donor requirement, there were 10 donors left who met the criteria.
“That was a good number of donors to choose from. Otherwise, it would have been too confusing. I wanted the child to look like me, as I’m a solo parent. My future child would already be different compared to the average child.”
You never regret the children you have. If you want children, then go for it. And remember to ask your network for help.
Pia has printed and saved all of the information in the donor’s profile. In particular, the personal, hand-written message, the baby photos and the audio interview helped give a sense of the person behind the profile.
“Being donor-conceived is my girls' reality. I'm prepared to tell them that there are more half siblings out there when they are old enough and want to know more. I’ve found other families who have used the same donor on Facebook. Perhaps we can benefit from each other’s company in the future.”
Full siblings with the same donor
When Anna was 2½ years old, Pia made another big decision. Pia has a younger sister herself that she shared a strong bond with as a child. They are still very close. So Pia wanted to give Anna siblings. In particular, full siblings.
Pia had investigated the possibility of using the same donor early on and spoke with European Sperm Bank regarding status and stock in the process.
The biological aspect means more to some than others. If Anna's donor had been unavailable, then my desire to give Anna siblings clearly outweighed the fact that it had to be with the same donor.
The following period was characterised by a major round of three insemination attempts, hormones and IVF treatment. For that reason, Pia took a break for a few months in the middle of everything. She went through three embryo transfers before her efforts paid off. In turn, the reward was a double jackpot.
Double bliss after IVF treatment
The midwife detected a heartbeat – and a shadow – at the scan in week 7. The pregnancy also felt very different compared to when she was expecting Anna. This time around, Pia was struggling with food aversion and fatigue. There must be something wrong, she reasoned.
Then one afternoon in week nine, before Anna is to be picked up from daycare, she finds out for certain. Pia is in shock, as she is staring at the scan with the two tiny flashing hearts. Once the shock had subsided, Pia was closely monitored during her pregnancy as is customary with twin pregnancies. One late summer’s day in 2020, Anna became the big sister of her full sisters.
“The biological aspect means more to some than others. If Anna's donor had been unavailable, my dream of giving her siblings would definitely have outweighed the desire for it to happen with the same donor,” says Pia Jensen.