10th February 2016. The date has yet to arrive, but when it does, it shall represent a historic moment for the Sperm Donor Abuse Foundation. For the past year, we have been working towards establishing a helpline to offer peer support, advice and information, for women who have used, or, are considering using, unregulated sperm donor websites or social media, such as Facebook, to have a baby. The Sperm Donor Abuse Foundation is non-judgmental and knows only too well that every woman’s journey is different and that there are many reasons that lead women online to find a sperm donor. Perhaps the two greatest reasons motivating women to go online comprise, 1) the high costs associated with fertility clinics for donor insemination, 2) the desire to get to know the ‘donor’ father.
Women considering using online sperm donor sites often envisage an uncomplicated, straightforward, and safe journey to motherhood. Whilst some women do find that to be the case, many others do not. This is an online community where violence, particularly sexual violence, is completely normalised. It is also a culture where men routinely strive to father vast numbers of children, irrespective of the profound child welfare issues, whilst at the same time frequently going to great lengths to conceal their true identity.
Our helpline will be there to offer women a listening ear, peer support, as well as information and advice on all aspects of using unregulated online sperm donor sites.
The Sperm Donor Abuse Foundation has produced a new guide. It is entitled ‘Stay Safe in Cyberspace.’ This is a detailed guide on cyber-safety as well as cyber and digital abuse in the online sperm donor community. It is a must read for all women considering using the Internet for donor insemination. The guide is also essential reading for those working in midwifery, policy, academia, journalism, the police and the criminal justice system.