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A lesbian couple say they want their "incredible and kind" sperm donor to be involved in their baby's life.
Danielle Winston and Paige Kennedy-Winston have become close friends with Flavio who helped them to start a family.
When the couple decided they wanted to have a baby they set out to find an 'identifiable' man after being put off by stories of serial sperm donors.
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They were delighted to 'matched' with Italian Flavio and have now taken the unusual step to include their donor in the baby's life.
Danielle, 34, and Paige, 29, whose child is due on September 3, went to Italy for the 'babymoon' so Flavio, 28, could meet the family.
Flavio said: "I felt very proud because these two beautiful and lovely girls chose me as their donor.
"I had the opportunity to meet Danielle and Paige in DC (Washington) a couple of times before the donation and when I met them, I felt immediately part of the family.
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"I couldn't have found a better couple to donate my sperm to, they are simply the perfect couple to raise a child and I'm sure their son will be the luckiest boy with Danielle and Paige as mothers."
Danielle said: “He cooked us Italian food, and both our mums loved him.
“Once we found him, everything came together. He is the most incredible and kind person. We paid for him to fly to US twice, and it was worth every penny.
“It’s been best process ever, and we would not change it for the world."
Danielle and Paige tied the knot in May 2022 and decided they wanted children – but were put off by stories of serial donors, who can submit their sperm hundreds of times.
A friend of theirs then said he was happy to donate but following some medical tests the pair decided not to go through with it.
Danielle said: “We realised it probably was for the best that it wasn’t close friend. We thought it would be better to have some kind of barrier."
The couple then scoured the internet looking for potential donors. They found several matches before coming across Flavio, from Rome
Danielle said: “We had the view that we wanted the donor to be open to answering questions when our child grew up. But once we met Flavio our minds changed a lot as we could tell he would be such a good influence.
“So, we think we will introduce him to our baby from a young age."
The process had been so transformative for Danielle that she had decided to ditch her job as a lawyer and set up her own company – The Seed Scout – which helps couples find their own sperm donors.
Paige, a paediatrician, has also helped out with the company since its inception. The company helps people navigate the “minefield” of finding a donor.
Danielle, who is now in her third trimester, said: “My advice to other couples going looking for a donor is to start early in thinking about which route they want to go down.
“The more preparation you can do beforehand the better and it’s also good to really consider how the relationship is going to look between your child and the donor.
“One of the things that was important to us was knowing that our baby wasn't going to have multiple half-siblings, it gave us so much more peace of mind than say if your child is one of 70 from a donor.
“We truly have zero regrets about choosing a known donor, it has been a rollercoaster experience, but it has all been worth it.”
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