I’m a single mum-of-5 at 28 – trolls accuse me of fleecing the taxpayer but I don’t care | The Sun

A SINGLE mum of five has hit back at trolls who accuse her of fleecing the taxpayer.

Brooke Withington told news.com.au that she always wanted a large family – which led her to find a sperm donor on Facebook to make her dreams come true.

Now at 28 years old, she is living her dream life with the big family she has always wanted.

Although Brooke could not be happier with where she is today, her journey to get there has not been as straightforward as she once imagined.

Her children Edward, eight, Gilbert, six, Odette, four, and Mabel, four months, were a happy surprise, and were conceived during relationships that have now ended.

But her daughter Nora, one, was actually brought into the world with the help of a sperm donor, which the mum found on Facebook.


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She has also opened up about the cruel comments she sometimes gets for wanting to have a big family.

“Ever since I was about eight years old, I knew I wanted a large family," she said.

“I always wanted at least five children. Of course, I thought I would be married before I started having kids.

“It didn’t work out like that, but I feel like it all happened exactly how it was meant to.

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“After I had my third baby Odette, I didn’t want to date anymore.

“I was so happy and content on my own, but I still wanted more children.

“That is when I decided I would go down the sperm donor route instead.”

Brooke did consider the possibility of going to a sperm bank, but had her reservations about that process.

She said she did not like the sterile nature of the environment, and would prefer to be able to meet the man in person.

That is when she decided to seek out an Australian sperm donor on social media.

“I had heard about a Facebook group called Sperm Donation Australia after I had my first child,” she explained.

“But I didn’t consider it at all back then. After I had Odette, I remembered the information I had heard all those years ago.

“It sounded perfect for my situation. I loved that you could learn about the donor, and actually meet with them and know what their personality is like.

“The whole experience is a lot more personable than a donation clinic.”

Brooke made a post explaining her situation, and was contacted by a few potential donors.

After deciding who she wanted to pick, the pair made a plan to meet in person, and she was able to ask him plenty of questions.

She also obtained vital information about his family history and health checks, to ensure both her and her child would be safe and healthy.

“We got to know each other beforehand and I told the donor I wasn’t wanting any co parenting arrangements,” she explained.

“I requested to see recent sexual health checks and I was also able to see genetic tests he had done.

“It was also really important to me that my donor had a limit of families he donated to.

“This donor had a Facebook messenger group with the other families he had helped, so we can keep track of the kids and organise catch ups from time to time.”

Brooke added that while she does sometimes receive negative backlash online for choosing to be a single mother, she would not have it any other way.

“I have gotten a lot of rude comments on social media about choosing to have five children on my own,” she said.

She said there were a lot of people using three words — “tax payers dollars” — to troll her.

“But I work at a great job, so I feel that I am contributing to the community, making my own money and also showing my children that working is very important.

“The main comments I get at the shops are ‘you’ve got your hands full’ or ‘you must be very busy’.

“This has been one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences.

“It is all worth it when you get to hold your baby in your arms for the first time. I’m so grateful everyday.”

But fertility specialist and associate professor Dr Alex Polyakov from Melbourne University highlighted the possible risks that can arise from using a sperm donor obtained online rather than from a clinic.

“There are long and short term dangers for women and their future children that we have to consider,” Dr Polyakov said.

“The men who are donating outside of the proper channels are not usually subject to appropriate screening procedures.

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“They have not done thorough evaluations or been tested for various genetic conditions and different types of infectious diseases.

“There are risks of various adverse things happening throughout the process.”

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