Why this lesbian couple is helping their son build a lifelong relationship with their sperm donor

lesbian moms with their baby
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As the debate over anonymous sperm donation grows, one lesbian couple is touting the magic of using a known donor who can build a lifelong relationship with their son.

Virginia couple Paige Kennedy-Winston and Danielle Winston conceived their son, Lucas, born August 29, 2023, using an Italian sperm donor named Flavio who they say has become part of their family.

“We feel so happy that we picked a donor and that he got to meet our child and will continue to see him, and future children, periodically so that when the time comes for our kids to ask who the donor is, they will already know him,” Paige told Newsweek.

Unlike how it works when using a sperm bank, it was important to the couple that they meet their potential donor before making a final decision to confirm it was someone they felt comfortable with. They wanted their son to have a relationship with him from the very beginning so that he always knew where he came from.

“Known donors are a super thoughtful choice, and donor-conceived children all grow up feeling they wish they knew their donor or had a relation with them,” said Paige, a pediatrician. “Not to mention, the banks have some unethical practices we’ve learned about that we wanted to avoid.”

While Flavio lives an ocean away, the couple plans to see him as often as they can. In December, they posted a TikTok video of Flavio’s first meeting with Lucas, where the donor/baby duo dressed up together for Halloween and seemed to have a great time getting to know one another.


The known donor we chose came to visit our son when he was two months and it was the most heart-warming experience. Wait til you see our son’s photobomb at the end 😂 #fypage #fyp #lesbianconception #TTCqueer #LGBTQfamily #Queerparenting #prideparenting #wlwwedding #lesbianwedding #wlwcouple #newborn #seedscout

♬ Lil Boo Thang – Paul Russell

The couple describes Flavio as “kind” and “thoughtful” with “the best heart.” They found him through a company that Danielle herself founded called Seed Scout, which helps people find known donors.

On the company’s website, Danielle writes that the couple started their parenthood journey looking at sperm banks but “were struck by how impersonal it felt: sifting through catalogues of donors with a handful of pictures and personal facts.”

The couple also says they still took all the proper legal measures to protect their parental rights.

“With a strong legal contract, second-parent adoption, having parents’ names on the birth certificate, and having the donor’s intentions in writing, you are well-protected in terms of parental rights,” Paige explained.


A NYT article recently stated that known donors were a risk to parental rights, which is just false. If you take these steps, your parental rights are insured. This shouldn’t have to be the case for LGBTQ+ families, but it is our unfortunate reality #fypage #fyp #wlw #lesbianconception #TTCqueer #LGBTQfamily #Queerparenting #prideparenting #lesbiancouple #babiesoftiktok #donorconceived #knowndonor #twomoms #seedscout

♬ Little Life – Cordelia

Sperm banks continue to be the most common route for sperm donation in the United States, but amidst growing expenses and increased calls for industry regulation, an increasing number of couples are seeking alternative routes.

“We wanted other people to know that banks weren’t the only option,” Danielle said. “A successful relationship between recipient parents and donors is possible and an incredible thing when it happens.”

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