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Having Harrison

Sarah, Alison, their son Harrison, and their donor maintain close relationships. How do they make it work?


Image Credit: Jettyblue Photography


Sarah and Alison are both social workers and happy mums to Hurley (feline), Missy (feline), and Harrison (human). They’ve been together for 12 years, and credit the longevity of their relationship to their mutual passions.


Having Harrison

When a lesbian couple decides to have children, there are a few more factors that come in to play than with a heterosexual couple. Sarah and Alison decided to do something a little different – their sperm donor was a close friend, and he would be known to Harrison from day one. Their experience working with children showed them the issues having a ‘missing piece of the puzzle’ can cause for children. They wanted Harrison to have an open relationship with his donor from birth, so there were no big secrets or big reveals as they can be damaging to childhood development. This openness extends beyond their immediate family and friendship group.


“It’s an open situation with…whoever wants to know so we can educate people. We have no secrets. Asking a child to keep a secret is not fair to the child, keeping secrets and revealing them later in life could negatively affect that child.”


Before making the decision, Sarah and Alison had several discussions. With each other, with the donor, and even his sister. Everyone’s questions and concerns had to be thoroughly examined, and all possibilities considered- including that their friendship could drastically change. They discussed every challenge they thought they could face, and discovered they had similar approaches to situations before they went ahead.


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