A same-sex couple who have become parents through fertility treatment in Sheffield are urging more men to volunteer as sperm donors to help others like themselves.
Vicky Marshall and Tammy Lowe are proud mothers to little Henry Paul Marshall, who was born with help from a sperm donor.
The pair had intrauterine insemination - an alternative to IVF - at the Care Fertility clinic in Nether Edge, and now they want to raise awareness of the treatment to help other gay and lesbian couples.
Vicky, aged 33, and Tammy, 45, have been a couple for six years, and didn’t know they were set to have a son until Vicky gave birth to Henry, now aged five months.
“It was fabulous – he was born in an hour,” Vicky said.
“It was a really good experience and he is a good baby.”
Tammy has three other children - two boys aged 26 and 25, and a girl, 19 - but Vicky had never tried to become pregnant. There was a 15 to 25 per cent chance of her conceiving first time.
Tammy said: “We used a sperm donor and had to have a lot of tests done. You don’t need a father figure. He has big brothers. I think it is a bit of an insight for what dads go through. I let Vicky make the decisions as the mother, but I want to jump in.”
Unlike with IVF - where a human egg is fertilised outside the body - IUI involves introducing a sample of prepared sperm directly into the womb.
The couple, from Scunthorpe, paid £2,000 for IUI, whereas IVF costs £4,000 to £5,000.
Vicky said: “You should be given the opportunity to have children if you are in a same-sex relationship. We are all equal, and love is love.”
Adel Shaker, the couple’s consultant at the Nether Edge clinic, said: “We would be delighted if more men were willing to help couples have a family by becoming sperm donors.”
Donors can now be paid up to £350. They must be aged under 41, and be fit and healthy with no serious genetic disorders. Call 0114 258 9716 for details.