A sperm donor who has fathered 17 children and says that he often walks on the street and wonders if strangers are his ‘family’.
Brett Webb, 58, and his wife Padma had been trying to have a baby for 12 years when he started donating sperm in 1998.
Since then, the Melbourne material testing technician has begotten 10 boys and five girls with strangers and has had twin Zoe and Zane with his wife.
“We found out that my wife had polycystic ovaries and clogged tubes, and then she developed diabetes from IVF medication, and it would be very difficult for her to have a baby,” Webb said.
“She had many miscarriages. One day I was at the IVF clinic and saw a sign on the wall with the text: “Do you want to be a father?”
“I thought,” Yes, I do, “so we looked at it and realized that maybe I couldn’t have my own children, but I could help others.”
Webb, 58, and his wife Padma (photo) tried to have a baby for 12 years when he started donating sperm
Four years after the sperm donation program, Mr. and Mrs. Webb (center) conceived the twins Zoe and Zane (left and right) via IVF
Webb stopped donating sperm when he had his own children in 2001 and he met three of his sons and three of his daughters.
However, he still walks past trusted people on the street and wonders if they are family.
“I wonder every day,” he said.
“Someone walks by and they have similar characteristics and I think” they look like family. ” The thought only lasts a few seconds, but I’m always behind it. ”
One of Mr Webb’s daughter is Casey Burns, 20, who had known since she was seven that she was conceived with sperm donation. Mrs. Burns grew up in Geelong in Victoria with her mother and had two stepfathers.
Casey Burns, 20, knows she was conceived using a sperm donation from Brett Webb since she was around seven
“It’s a bit sad because I know I probably will never meet many of my half-brothers and sisters, and I don’t make it my life’s mission to find them, but the best way I can describe it is” strange ” ,’ she said.
“Sometimes people will say,” You look a lot like this person I know – are you family? ” and I have to tell them that maybe I am, but I just don’t know. “
Of her 16 brothers and sisters, Mrs. Burns has two half-brothers and a sister who is also conceived with a sperm donation. She also met Zoe and Zane.
Since she was young, she spent time with Zoe and Zane (18), Mrs. Burns said that all three have a good relationship and that knowing them and their father has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.
“I last saw Brett a few weeks ago – we have a good relationship.”
Mrs. Burns (left, as a child) said she has a great relationship with Zoe and Zane (right, as children)
Zoe (left) and Zane, who grew up with both biological parents and are now 18, have always known that their father was a sperm donor
Zoë Webb, 18, has always known that her father was a sperm donor and could get along with her half-sister Casey
Zoe and Zane, who grew up with both biological parents, have always known that their father was a sperm donor.
“I have been aware from such a young age that I never really had an opinion that my father was a sperm donor, it has always been his own and how I see him,” Zane said.
“Many brothers and sisters are a good way to start a conversation, but in general I am quite indifferent to my father as a sperm donor.”
Although Mrs. Webb initially did not want anyone else to know that her husband was donating sperm – she was afraid that others would think he was taking extreme measures to have children – more than 20 years later, the family is open about it.
“Everyone just knows that’s Brett … he’s the man with the kids.” He’s the man, “Mr Webb joked.
“Being a sperm donor has been a great experience.”
“I don’t expect all my biological children to contact me or want a relationship with me – I can be what they want me to be – I’m totally up to them.”
“I am aware at such a young age that I never really had an opinion that my father was a sperm donor, it has always been his own and how I see him,” said Zane (photo)