An Australian couple are courting potential big-screen fame, after telling their extraordinary ‘back-to-front’ love fairytale to an Australian television audience.
IVF recipient Aminah Hart and her once-anonymous sperm donor Scott Andersen have moved up a notch with the announcement of their engagement.
Hart met Andersen for the first time just after their daughter, Leila, turned one.
He was invited by Hart to see his daughter once a month but shortly afterwards the parents fell in love.
Ms Hart had chosen Mr Andersen to be the sperm donor for her IVF treatment, based on “three bits of paper” he had completed which detailed his “vital statistics”.
Following the broadcast on Australian Story on Monday night, the ABC production team had been inundated with requests from news outlets, women’s magazines and television shows from around the world.
Enquiries included one from Working Title Films — creators of movie hits Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary — about obtaining the film rights.
The modern family is currently in Thailand, enjoying their first ever holiday together.
However, their planned escape has been upended by the intensity of interest.
“I’ve been completely surprised by how widely the story had resonated,” Ms Hart said.
“Articles have been sent to us from China, Denmark, Germany, Italy as well as the UK. It’s astonishing that it’s had global reach.”
When told of the prospect of a movie based on their story, she said: “Bloody hell, this is insane!”
Ms Hart, who lost two sons to a rare genetic disorder before giving birth to Leila, said she has also been overwhelmed by positive responses from viewers.
“Somehow it’s beautiful to me that so many people know of my boys now,” she said.
The family planned to weigh up its options next week, after returning to Australia.
Legislative changes passed in Victoria in 2010 had opened access to IVF for single women, giving Ms Hart one last chance of becoming a mother to a healthy baby.
She was given three choices of anonymous sperm donors, with the information giving their vital statistics, physical qualities, medical history and hobbies.
She chose the one named Scott who described himself as “happy and healthy”.
Mr Andersen had agreed to recipients and offspring contacting him, but did not think it would happen for years.
After arranging a meeting Ms Hart and Mr Andersen subsequently fell in love.
“Scott and I had talked about getting married before,” said Ms Hart.
“But [we thought] not for about another five years.”
Ms Hart said that had her second child to die from a rare genetic disorder, Louis, lived, he would have recently turned six.
She was thinking about him on his birthday, October 31, during their Thailand trip when the unexpected happened.
“I was feeling melancholy and imagining what Louis would be like at six,” she said.
“Scott returned from the shops with some milk for Leila. He reached out to hold my hand and in his very laconic, unfussy way, asked me to marry him.
“And then he produced a ring from a shop in the village. I loved it because it was so Scott.
“Maybe we’re rushing it. Who knows? We’ve both got a track record of marriages that have ended.
“As Scott said: ‘I’ve got five kids to three women and you’ve got three kids to three men!’
“But it just feels right — I feel very certain of that.
“None of this has been at all conventional. We certainly are a very modern family.”
The couple plan to be married at the end of next year.
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