Aminah Hart’s story sounds more like the plot of a Harlequin romance novel than a real-life news headline: The London-born Australian mom married her anonymous sperm donor. Hart and her now-husband, cattle farmer Scott Andersen, met a year after Hart had given birth to their daughter, Leila, who was conceived via IVF. The two hit it off and were married in December. Hart explained to Australian Story, “I just essentially say to people the cart well and truly came before the horse and the horse caught up eventually and hooked itself on.” The couple’s unorthodox love story has struck a chord with people all over the world, and — unsurprisingly — has also caught the attention of film studios.
Hart decided to have a child through IVF in 2011, at the age of 42. The advertising exec had already had, and tragically lost, two sons. They died at the ages of 14 weeks and 14 months, due to X-linked myotubular myopathy, a rare genetic disorder that only affects male children. When it came time to choose a donor for IVF, Hart selected Andersen, a cattle farmer and AFL football coach who described himself as “happy and healthy.” “I thought happy and healthy — they're two things that just have eluded me, and so I locked it in [and] booked a date for the clinic,” Hart told Australian Story. She added, “It takes the romance out of it a bit, doesn't it, when you decide to take on donor sperm to try and have a baby.” Little did she know that her sperm donor would become her romantic partner.
Hart gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Leila, in 2012. Eventually she decided to contact her donor through the IVF register, and Andersen and Hart decided to meet a few days after Leila’s first birthday. Andersen, who has four children from previous marriages, told The Telegraph, “It was surreal. I was looking at this little girl — she looks like my other kids and like me. Blonde hair, blue eyes. It was overwhelming at the start. It wasn't really my daughter, but it was.” He and Hart decided to get together regularly so that Andersen could be a part of Leila’s life, and eventually the pair fell in love. “Neither of us expected it to happen,” Andersen said. “I fell in love with Leila before I fell in love with Aminah! It was all odd at the start.”
The couple got engaged while on vacation in Thailand and were married near Melbourne a year later. “It really felt like the beginning of something incredibly beautiful. You could see the happiness and pure elation in the room,” Hart told The Daily Mail of her wedding.
Hart has written about her children and her unexpected romance in a memoir titled, How I Met Your Father.