When Ann Barter was celebrating her 18th birthday and blew out the candles on her birthday cake, she wasn’t dancing and drinking with pals. Instead, she surfing the Facebook for sperm donors. Obsessed with becoming a mum, single Ann did not want to waste time going on dates and waiting for Mr. Right. She decided to take matters into her own hands.
She joined a Facebook group where men offered their services to women looking for donors. It did not take long till she found one. They did not have sex, they just met in a London hotel and after a few minutes of him spent in a bathroom, he handed over his sample. She Ann used do-it-yourself insertion kit to become pregnant. After staying with her legs up against the wall for about an hour, she and her friend went to have burgers. Three weeks later a pregnancy test was positive, making her what is believed to be the youngest woman ever to get pregnant using a sperm donor.
Now Ann, a simple girl living in the UK, is a single mum to eight-month-old daughter Anela and has no regrets. She says: “For years, I felt totally ready to be a mum. It was what I was born to do. But I didn’t have a boyfriend, let alone a man willing to start a family with a 17-year-old. When I realized the NHS won’t even consider helping someone my age get a donor and the cost of going private was too much, I knew finding a willing donor was up to me.”
Ann says she consulted with other women who got pregnant from Facebook donors and made sure she joined the reputable Facebook group – there are many where men offer natural insemination, which basically means they are looking for sex. Before using the guy’s sperm Ann checked his STD blood tests. “I know some people will be shocked I used a sperm donor when I was 18, but it’s my choice and I’m a great mum. I’m a mature, independent woman and I have no regrets. It’s my body and no one can tell me when I should or should not get pregnant. I was raised by a single mum and didn’t meet my dad until two years ago, so I never placed massive emphasis on needing a man to bring up a child,” says Ann.
Ann says that she started looking for a donor when she turned 16. At first, she went on the NHS website, but soon she realized that they provide services only to married couples and women experiencing issues with fertility. The research on the private clinics showed that they are way to expensive. Insemination with a donor sperm would cost £1 500, she did not want to start life as a mum in debt. At that point she decided to organize everything herself.
In January 2017 she started messaging one man who she though was a perfect candidate. He was a 31-year-old university graduate from London with blond hair, blue eyes and a great physique. She asked him many questions about his background and motives behind donating sperm. “He always answered politely, told me he’d successfully fathered three girls and one boy, and didn’t want to be involved in the upbringing at all. He said he did it to help women or couples have children — he just seemed like a nice man,” says Ann.
From the date she first messaged him to the date they met 11 months passed. Surprisingly, Ann was honest about her intentions with her mum. “She was furious”, Ann recalls. “We argued a lot about it, with her saying it wasn’t right or safe, but I was having none of it.”
When Ann realized she was pregnant, she called the donor to tell him the news, he seemed happy and congratulated her. “When I was three months gone, I made the announcement on Facebook. There were lots of congratulations and questions asking who the dad was. I told close friends I’d used a donor but didn’t advertise it online. My relatives were shocked. Some even told me I was stupid to trust a total stranger, but I explained I’d done all the checks.”
After giving birth Ann applied for government support to get a one-bedroom apartment. She also works part-time as a barista and will start midwife course soon.
There is no father’s name on Anela’s birth certificate, and a man who provides sperm as a donor gives up his legal rights over the biological child. Ann says: “Tom didn’t want his name on the birth certificate. He doesn’t see himself as her dad and neither do I. He met her shortly after she was born, which was nice, but it was more to congratulate me than anything else. I’d absolutely use a donor again. I want Anela to have a sibling and if a man doesn’t come along in a few years I’ll use Facebook to fall pregnant again”
Photos: The Sun
Based on the article by the Sun