But Karen wanted her child to know the father’s identity, and she also wanted to know more about the donor’s personality and general health. Following a year of discussion, they opted for a friend of the family as donor, and after health tests the inseminations began.
Three months later Karen was pregnant and the couple now have a wonderful, happy nine-year-old daughter. The result was all they had hoped for, but Karen recalls that the whole experience of planning their baby was an immensely stressful time.
With this fresh in her mind, Karen teemed up with fellow scientist Erika to form Pride Angel, a service that provides couples with all the advice and support that she wishes she had been able to access herself.
As Erika points out, many women are looking for gay men, either single or in a couple, who are willing to co-parent or donate sperm, with ongoing contact in some form.
Gathering expertise from fertility lawyers, fertility clinics, nutrition specialists and using their own knowledge of health screening, they provide everything you need to know, from insemination procedures to the right legal advice.
Pride Angel now has more than 35,000 members, and through its professional connection service, allows you to add your personal profile as a sperm donor, egg donor, co-parent or recipient, and search their worldwide database.
The site avoids high set-up fees and monthly subscriptions by using a message credit system, and you can get to know members through viewing profiles and photographs, as well as exchanging messages. Completing and viewing health questionnaires gets the basics dealt with easily.
Alongside being a mine of information on surrogacy, adoption and fostering, the Pride Angel site is also a valuable resource on such issues as when and how to tell your child they are donor conceived, and how to tell children in your own family about your donation.
Most importantly, Pride Angel provides a highly supportive and safe environment for you to interact with other members – creating a profile, searching members and communicating safely using on-site mail – to find your parenting match.