How to Buy a Baby: a not-very-short guide to (legally) acquiring spawn when a free sex baby isn't happening


This. Makes me so upset whenever I hear it. Even my friends who did adopt bristle at this.

Aside from the very obvious ways this is so offensive to anyone trying to get pregnant, on which I could spew for an hour,

#1 Most of the time I hear this from parents! Um, why didn’t you adopt? Cuz reasons that are ultimately personal and not my effing business? Yep. Thought so.

#2 To me when people say this, it’s soooo dismissive of the details of ALL these choices, not just the desire for a biological child.

#3 It feels so icky and reduces the many facets of the foster care system to a transactional, consumer mindset. “Why didn’t you just pick out a kid at the kid mall and be on your way?”

I mean, why is it that people think this way about the lives of children when NOBODY would suggest I get a horse if I say I’m looking at adding a cat to my family?!


Ok now that I’ve gotten that mostly out of my system,

@Bracken_Joy THIS IS AN AMAZING RESOURCE! Wow. Thank you for sharing this in such clarity!!


Yeah … I also remember that when I was researching buying sperm with the ex wife, IUI or being taught how to do home IUI (having now experienced having things happen to my cervix I’m horrified at the home IUI) didn’t add much to the cost. Especially if you followed the recommended initial purchase of 6 vials. Then there was a discount that fully covered IUI.

Now as a uterus bearer planning to go the free sperm route, I should probs remember to buy/steal a syringe in the next 6 weeks. I’m considering a Ziploc bag instead of a cup for the convenience of donor dude.

BUT I love the sneaky way @Bracken_Joy suggests getting myself some free fertility testing!

Also I’m 99% sure that ubering to get a baggie of sperm is gonna be 7000% less fun than getting drunk and banging a loved one. I can do a/b tests on fun and report back once I try ubering to the baggie? Currently I find banging a loved one 10/10 for fun, 0/10 for procreation


You’re my favorite.


My friends used a baby meds syringe, free at a pharmacy. I think they added a skinny, flexible tubing to get it right into the cervix. You can ask next month if you want.


Sliding in here as a birth mom in an open adoption to say THANK YOU for this trove of good, clear, accurate information.


I’m so glad it’s been accurate to your experiences as well :heart: I’ve tried to do all the research I can, and speak to people directly experiencing it all, but there’s always that nagging doubt you’ve missed something.


I also get my hackles up at “You should just adopt” for all the reasons.

Same for the gross and uninformed ideas that: foster-to-adopt is “easy” OR that queer folks should automatically step up to raise foster kiddos who have experienced significant trauma or have medical/developmental challenges.

Yes, I have friends who foster and are awesome, some have done foster-to-adopt. My complaint is from the people who act like same-sex couples or queer singles should be “lucky” they get any kids and take on the most challenging (or are “heros”…ick).

@Bracken_Joy- This is a fantastic resource! I haven’t looked into surrogacy in a while (at least 5 years ago?), but that’s adds a whole additional set of costs to an IVF process, deep worlds of hurt/disappointment, and ethics about privileged people paying poor women (and internationally, often poor brown women who culturally may not be able to consent) to be uterus-havers in the baby-making process.


Thanks for this amazing post! My spouse and I are currently talking about children and this is very informative. We’re a cis/straight couple so a free sex baby is an option in theory.

The big debate in our household is whether we for sure want to raise a child throughout it’s life (i.e. try for a bio baby) or whether we want to foster. If we foster, it would be with full knowledge that the goal is to do what’s best for the child and there will almost definitely be some heartbreak along the way. We’d be open to foster-to-adoption if it worked out though.

Since I’m in my early thirties and my family has a mixed history with fertility issues, if we are going to try for a bio-kid it needs to be ASAP but it’s a hard choice for so many reasons (current family support structure, demanding careers, fears about climate change, etc.).

Anyway…hopefully this isn’t too off topic! Thanks again for all the great information!


I think part of the struggle with foster is that it frequently doesn’t seem like what’s best for the child. =\ But yeah, for people who go in with eyes wide open, it can be a really wonderful thing. I also really hope if you do try for genetic children that you have no issues at all! If you do though, of course feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Ughhhh the “lucky to have any kids” thing is so true and just gets my hackles up. Same idea you run across with infertility. “What, it’s a kid. Isn’t that what you want?”
So glad you liked the piece =) I should add more on surrogacy. If I get a burst of energy, I may do that. A friend has been going through that gauntlet- she can’t afford to pay a surrogate, so she’s been trying to coordinate with women close to her who have offered in the past. People keep backing out now that it’s real though =( I’m just heart broken for her.


Yeah, I should have clarified that I would be expecting
heartbreak from:

  1. Getting attached to a child even though we know it’s not a long-term placement
  2. Seeing a child stuck in a system that doesn’t actually have their best interest at heart, even though it should.

Either way, if we go through with fostering I think the best we can do is to provide a stable and kind home for as long as the child/children is with us.

Based on what you’ve written, I’m not sure how far we would go with medical intervention for a genetic child. I’m seriously impressed by how much you have persevered through everything, but since we are so on the fence about it I think we would take infertility as a ‘decision’ made for us. I could see that changing though if we actually decided to try for a kid though!


Great post BJ. I’d be interested in the surrogacy topic if it gets detailed. We still have no idea if we’ll end up with a FSB or not, but I’m still curious about the options.


This was weeks ago, but I was curious why having pcos would make it easier. I would’ve assumed it would lead to lower fertility. But apparently it can mean an increased ovarian reserve. Interesting.


Yep, if you have the polycystic ovary part of PCOS (interestingly, you can have PCOS without PCO), then by definition- you have poly (many) cystic (in this case, follicles containing eggs) ovaries. A typical 25 year old will have something like 20 ‘resting/antral’ follicles on each ovary. Someone with polycystic ovaries will often have something like 30-50 per side. This certainly carries risks- you can easily over stimulate someone with that many follicles, and they have a high risk of a complication called OHSS from an egg retrieval- and there’s also the fact that NUMBER of eggs does not speak to QUALITY of eggs. But in general, women with PCOS have higher AMH and antral follicle count, and often yield far more surviving embryos from a single egg retrieval. I know a 35 year old woman with PCOS that yielded 15 surviving embryos from one single egg retrieval. They retrieved like 55 eggs!

PCOS can lead to lessened natural fertility, but that isn’t always the case. A personal rage point of mine is doctors who don’t adequately explain the nuance of possible infertility to women with PCOS. Too often, they think they’re infertile then have an accidental pregnancy because they went without BC. While PCOS can result in longer time to conception, it is by no means a guarantee. And women with PCOS tend to have incredibly good outcomes with fertility treatments.


This was a rage point for an ultrasound nurse I spoke to as well, and I have a friend who did exactly this (PCOS, will take ages to get pregnant, WHOOPS.). I have since heard from a second friend that friend #1 has other false ideas about the menstrual cycle despite being educated and married to a dr, so… :woman_shrugging:


I technically had sex ed at school, but I saw this glitter clitoris and had NO CLUE it looked like that. It’s a little gorillapod!


That is the coolest!!


Ahhh PCOS, my old friend. I had so many doctors tell me I had it simply because I’m overweight. It’s such a crapshoot because a lot of people do have it, and it causes issues in so many areas of a person’s health. And it causes issues that even some doctors don’t fully understand it. It fills me with rage that even some of the reproductive specialists I’ve seen still get all “women, how do they work??” :woman_shrugging:t2:When this comes up.


At my first visit w my gyn surgeon last summer he straight up said that womens’ reproductive ailments are mysterious and not straightforward and anyone who thinks pain is easy to diagnose is probably a man :joy:

Then he had a whole analogy where “men’s junk is all right there like the engine on a 1960 Ford truck. Women are like a Ferrari…a whole lot of power crammed in a small space under a fancy hood and nobody wants to figure out what’s wrong in case it gets messed up”

And he said if men experienced any of the pain women did in the abdomen we’d have cures for everything. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, Viagra has benefitted my patients too, but it’s criminal, the disparity in research and care”

And he has a comb over and wears a bowtie

Oh and he broke into song at one point

Hands down my favorite first appointment EVER

/derailment over


I want your doc.