Starting a family – known Donation and Co-parenting
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Date Published:26 Oct 2018 Last Updated:19 Jan 2022

Starting a family – known Donation and Co-parenting

Fertility Law

Starting a family is exciting, and there is a lot to think about when you are planning your journey. You may decide to conceive with the help of someone you know (a known sperm donor). Some families are choosing ‘co-parenting’ arrangements, where the biological father (and his partner, if he has one) will have a degree of involvement in the child’s life.

If you are thinking of conceiving with the help of a known sperm donor or co-parenting with another person or couple, then it’s important that you carefully think things through, to ensure that you’re setting your arrangement up in the best way. Careful planning at an early stage can help to avoid disputes further down the line.

The first thing to consider is who the legal parents of your child will be, and this will depend on a number of factors, including where you conceive and the birth mother’s marital status at the time of conception. It’s really important to have a clear understanding of what everyone’s legal parental status will be once your child is born, and what practical consequences this may have in the future.

You also need to think about what your expectations are, and whether these are aligned. For example, are you all agreed as to the level of involvement (if any) the biological father will have? Have you decided whether he is donating with no expectation of having a relationship with the child, or is he envisaging a co-parenting arrangement? It’s crucial to make sure that you are all on the same page before you go ahead with your plans.

It’s helpful to have a written agreement, to set out your plans in black and white. This won’t be legally binding, but if you all work on it together, it can help you to identify and discuss areas which you haven’t yet considered, or things which you don’t agree on. We can help you with this.

If you are thinking of starting a family with the help of a known donor or a co-parent, get in touch with our specialist team who will be happy to help. Please call on 01202 525333 or send us an email at