Advice for Dealing with a Sister Considering a Sperm Donar


My younger sister, raised Catholic, is actively in the process of getting a sperm donor. She is 25 and single. There is a history of sexual abuse, so she isn’t interested in a partner or in dealing with the issues surrounding her difficulties with men. This comes on the heels of the birth of my daughter (first grandchild in the immediate family). In addition, she’s not in a stable financial situation and works as a waitress, so she doesn’t even have the means to effectively support a child - even on a tight budget.

I have told her that I don’t agree with her decision because 1) the Church is very clear about sperm donation in any situation for very good moral reasons; 2) she is purposely bringing a child into the world without a father; and 3) she is very young and has a lot of time for her circumstances to change. Her response is that she agrees with the Church in all things except this because it is denying her the ability to have children if she never has a partner (I went into having a calling outside motherhood, adopting a child in need, or her circumstances changing in time - she hasn’t been swayed). She also says that she doesn’t think a father will be that big a deal, and I think she’s partly jaded since our father was not very involved with us despite our parents being married and in the same house.

My problem is that I’m not sure how to proceed from here. I don’t feel that I can take a hard stand and stop contact because I know that she’ll need support when this blows up in her face. I also want to be a support from any children that may result from this recklessness. I can’t get excited the way I would if she were married and pregnant, either. Is there any advice for ways to handle this beyond praying for her? Anyone have any resources for my family in talking to her before it’s too late? Her planned date to start “trying” is February 2010. I’m also wondering if she could have her child baptized in the Church and how that would work.


Has your sister always wanted to do this, or did she only start thinking about it once you had a child?

Maybe you should let her spend time with your daughter, so that she sees how difficult it is to raise a child. Maybe take her shopping with you so she sees how expensive diapers, food, clothes, and other baby necessities are.

If she goes through with it, of course her child could be baptized in the Church, and it would work as with any other child or adult.


Your sister is not thinking clearly. She thinks that having a child will fill what she sees as missing in her life. You mentioned that lack of a proper father as being a possible cause, ask how would bringing another child into a situation like that help her?

She will not know much about the man donating his sperm. She can know that he is already a sexual deviant of sorts by the fact he is willing to masturbate for money. He could have all kinds of medical and mental issues. Normally a child is created through a marriage with a person of your choosing, not with an unknown man who is either is either a pervert or a someone who is apparently unable to find a mate to procreate with.

I am saying this more to help you change her mind (although the genetic health of the child is a real concern). Of course if she does go through with this that baby would be a child of God deserving total love, respect and support. This child would be at a huge disadvantage and need a lot of support from family, friends and the Church.

What your sister really needs is to take her time and meet a man who will restore her faith in the male gender. Someone she would desire to share a life and raise a child with. I agree that she should spend a lot of time with you and your baby, and observe your husband interacting with the baby.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit