'The same man got us pregnant - but we love each other'

As soon as Jenna saw the photo, she knew the man had helped her conceive her daughter Gracie five years earlier
As soon as Jenna saw the photo, she knew the man had helped her conceive her daughter Gracie five years earlier -Credit:Reach Commissioned

Couple Kerry Forsyth and Jenna Kenyon were appealing for a sperm donor on Facebook - but what they found was rather surprising.

Starting a relationship in 2022, the pair from Blackburn already had eight children between them but were keen to have one together. Wanting a sperm donor so Kerry could conceive, they looked online and found a sperm donor they already knew - one who had fathered Jenna's daughter Gracie five years earlier.

38-year-old Kerry said: "We were looking on Facebook for a donor, then the first person messaged us and sent a photo of himself. As soon as Jenna looked at the photo she recognised him as the same sperm donor who had come forward to help her conceive Gracie.


"We couldn’t believe it! We told him, so he knows that he has fathered both our children." The Mirror reports the couple wanted a donor with dark hair and olive skin to resemble 33-year-old Jenna.

Kerry says: “It was something that was important to us. He was a perfect choice for us.”

Jenna Kenyon (left) and partner Kerry Fortsyth (right)
Jenna Kenyon (left) and partner Kerry Fortsyth (right) -Credit:Reach commissioned

The donor brought his sperm donation to their house and the couple had an anxious two-week wait. However, Kerry who had seven children from three to 19 conceived first time.

She says: “We were thrilled when we found out it had worked and I was pregnant, and the fact that our baby would have the same biological father as Gracie was amazing. It made it seem extra-special.”

At the 12 week scan, the couple found out there was something wrong with the baby's heart and at 17 weeks, doctors confirmed their son had a heart defect. This was particularly hard for Kerry who lost her son Charlie 16 years ago at seven months old to an unrelated cardiac arrest.

She donated some of his organs for research, to help other babies. She says: “It was such a shock, as I went on to give birth to seven babies without any problems. It was all too much to take in.

“To be told he had serious heart defects was crushing news. We were offered a termination, as doctors didn’t know if he could even survive. But both Jenna and I knew that we could never go ahead with that.

“We had to give our little boy the best chance possible. If he was still fighting, then we were fighting, too. There was no way we were giving up on him.” Jenson was born on July 9 last year at Liverpool Women’s Hospital at 3.35pm – exactly the same time as Gracie.

“It was another bond between Jenson and Gracie,” says Kerry. “Not only had they been fathered by the same donor five years apart but now they shared their time of birth, too.”

The boy’s heart defects included double inlet left ventricle, hypoplastic left arch, a large hole and main arteries the wrong way round.

“We just had time for a quick cuddle before he was whisked off to the intensive care unit,” says Kerry. “When we were allowed to see him, he was covered in tubes and wires – it was so scary. We just had to pray he would be strong enough to survive.”

The tot fought an infection for three weeks and had a band on a main artery to close it. The donor tissue cells were then grafted to correct the narrowing of the main vessel.

Kerry says: “It was an amazing operation. The doctors called it an ‘angel baby’ donation, as the tissue cells were donated by a baby who had passed away. We don’t know where it came from but it is such a blessing and we are so grateful for it.

“It was such an emotional time for me, as it also brought what happened to Charlie back. I knew that I’d given permission for Charlie’s organs to be donated to help others. Now, Jenson was being helped by another family who had been through a similar loss to me all those years ago.

“I have been on both sides of organ donation and to know that a family has made that decision to donate their baby’s organs, I can really understand what they went through. That makes me even more grateful that Jenson has been saved in this way. Organ donation saves lives.”

Jenson made an amazing recovery after his surgery and he was allowed home to be with Gracie and the rest of his siblings after 19 days. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength. His mums, who have been helped by Team IC, a charity supporting families of children with heart problems, know that Jenson needs further heart surgery at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital – but for now he is doing well.

“He’s having another op soon which will re-plumb the way blood flows around his heart,” says Kerry. “But he’s doing so well. He’s a bit breathless when playing but when this operation is done, he should be fine. All his brothers and sisters are fantastic with him. They know what a special baby he is.”

Jenson will need another operation when he is around five, then his surgeries should be finished. Kerry says: “He doesn’t let it get him down. He’s always got a smile for everyone. We are really grateful to Team 1C for their support, that’s been invaluable to us. It was a really scary time and they made it so much easier for us to cope with.”

When Jenson is old enough, they will explain to him and Gracie about them sharing the same father, who they are no longer in touch with. They will also tell him that his brothers and other sisters were conceived when Kerry was in relationships with their dads. Jenna is the first woman Kerry has fallen in love with. She says: “I’ve always known I’ve liked girls but I was scared to tell my parents.” The couple met on an online dating site and immediately felt a connection.

Kerry says: “I was nearing 40 and I needed to be true to myself.”

Jenna, who had Gracie when she was in a relationship with another woman, adds: “I’ve been in same-sex relationships all my life and I’m proud of Kerry for going for what she believes in. I love all Kerry’s kids and I love being a second mum to them all.”