(NEW YORK) — Like any new mother, Beth Gardner was overjoyed to welcome her baby girl, Lila, into the world. But how she got there is unique.
Gardner’s quest for motherhood began with many nights trolling the Web looking for a perfect match — and being disappointed. Gardner and her wife were looking for a sperm donor, one who not only matched their physical and intellectual criteria but also was willing to have a relationship with the child.
Gardner had tried sperm banks but was quickly put off by the steep costs. She turned to Yahoo Groups and Craigslist but was frustrated by the lack of information on donors.
“I talked about that in a group of friends, and I said, it’s really frustrating that there isn’t a website out there,” Gardner recalled. “[O]ne of them said, ‘Well then you should make one.’ So I did.”
In January 2011, Gardner launched Known Donor Registry (formerly known as Free Sperm Donor Registry). It encourages STD testing and talking to a lawyer before making any decisions with donors or recipients.
Gardner isn’t just the founder and manager — she’s also a client. She and her wife found their perfect match using Known Donor Registry, and on June 19, 2012, they had their perfect baby girl.
“It’s been quite a journey to get here, and we couldn’t be happier to see our dreams becoming reality,” Gardner told ABC News’ 20/20. “We can’t thank our donor enough for the selfless and amazing gift that [he’s] given us.”
Today, Known Donor Registry is thriving, having recently topped 7,000 members. As the site grows, so will Gardner’s family, she hopes. As she and her wife get into “the swing of being parents,” they will work with their donor to try for baby number two next month.
Watch the full story on 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Josh Friesen, Idaho State Journal
Karen Lehr, KIVI