Hi, we are Charlie and Rosie. We have been together for nearly four years - madly in love, happily engaged and living together in our first home with our beautiful dog Alfie.
Our lives are brilliant. However, the next step for us is a huge hurdle - only because neither of us make sperm. If we were straight, we like to think we would have a baby already. We have so much love to share; we are ready and desperate to be parents.
We started this journey in June 2018. Our GP assured us that we would get NHS support for fertility treatment. Generally, couples get their first IUI treatment for free.
Shortly after, we received the upsetting news that gay couples in Cornwall are not eligible for IUI. If we were straight: we would get one IUI for free. Gay couples are not eligible because sperm is not stored in Cornwall.
Next, we took a trip to Derriford, in Plymouth, to explore our options through Nuffield Health. We had our first appointment: 45 minutes with a £180 bill.
Our second appointment was important. This is where we signed the paperwork that protects us and our future child. If we had a sperm donor without a clinic, the donor could claim custody of the child and would be named on the birth certificate. With the paperwork (which was longer and more complex than our mortgage papers) we have legal rights that make us our child's parents, always. 1 hour at another £180.
We were then told that Rosie (who will carry) is CMV negative, which means we can only choose a CMV negative donor. At the Ocean Suite in Plymouth, there were two donors available that were suitable for us. We chose one, who had the code name of Cobalt, and he seemed perfect. Similar traits to Charlie, intelligent and musical - we reserved him and started to get excited. This sperm would be £400 as it was donated at the Ocean Suite.
Then, Rosie got a call from the Ocean Suite a few months later to say that the sperm had been stored "incorrectly" and wasn't suitable for use. We were devastated as we had our hearts set on him. This donor was our only option as the other sperm donor was not suitable for our needs.
We now have to choose a donor from an external provider, such as The European Sperm Bank. Unfortunately, this comes at a much higher price. All in, it will cost about £950 for one sperm sample to be delivered to Derriford and stored for us. On top of this, the IUI treatment itself costs £600.
I'm sure you can understand that this has been an emotional journey for us that isn't over yet. We are looking at a bill of £1910, just for one attempt at pregnancy.
To those of you who know us personally: I'm sure you already know that we are ready to take the next step and start our family. We have so much love to give.
We both work full-time, however, as I'm sure you can all understand - life comes with many twists and turns in the road. We have come to a point where we recognise that we need to ask for help.
We trying to raise £950. This will cover the cost of the sperm we desperately need to start our family in a safe and legally protected way.
You will have our eternal gratitude for any donation you can make, even the smallest amount you can manage will help. We can also promise you cuddles with our future bundle of joy!
From the bottom of our hearts: thank you.
Charlie, Rosie and Alfie xx