Finding Sperm Donors
If you are affected by reduced fertility, you may be considering sperm donation as method of becoming pregnant. Sperm donation has been practiced in one form or another for many years. Thanks to modern technological advances, and depending on the method you use, it's now safer than ever and more likely to be successful. Your reasons for seeking a sperm donor and your level of concern regarding safety and health risks will influence the way in which you decide to look for one. There are basically two ways to find a donor. You can either become a customer at a sperm bank, and have the staff there help you select a donor, or you can go about trying to find a donor privately.
Sperm Bank Donors
Sperm bank donation has many advantages. A reliable sperm bank which has received accreditation from the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) will carry out certain tests to make sure your sperm donor has no diseases or genetic conditions that could be passed on to your baby. Depending on the laws governing sperm donation in your state, your bank will also give you certain information about a sperm donor. This information may include:
- His skin color and race
- His eye and hair color
- His weight and height
- His educational level
This helps you to choose the most suitable donor for you. Be sure to research carefully the laws regarding sperm donation in your state. In some states, children born through sperm donation at sperm banks have the right at the age of 18 to receive contact information for their biological fathers. You need to consider whether or not this is a problem for you.
Finding A Sperm Bank
You can obtain contact information for sperm banks in your area from your telephone listings, from fertility clinics, or from support groups for couples affected by infertility. Some sperm banks have websites, but these can be easily confused with the sites of commercial companies who offer sperm donation services. This is not the same thing as a licensed sperm bank - so it's important to ask the right questions when you contact them.
You need to know the following, for example:
- Which licensing authority, if any, has approved the sperm bank?
- How long has the sperm bank been in business?
- Does the sperm bank employ genetic counselors?
- Is the bank able to provide testimonials from previous clients?
- What tests are routinely carried out on donated sperm to make sure it is safe?
Private Sperm Donors
Private sperm donation has also been around for many years. This basically involves asking a friend, family member, colleague or even someone you don't know personally to provide a sperm donation. Insemination with privately donated sperm is often, but not exclusively, carried out in a "do-it-yourself" manner in the privacy the home.
Although it is possible to coordinate a private donation with a fertility clinic or doctor, and have the sperm tested for disease or genetic abnormalities, not all recipients of privately donated sperm insist on this. In foregoing this process, they are taking some risks with their health and the health of any potential baby that may result from the sperm donation.
Private sperm donors can be found online, in newspaper advertisements, etc. Some online companies will even deliver sperm to your doorstep without you ever meeting the donor. This is considered a particularly risky method of sperm donation, because you have absolutely no guarantees about the health or physical attributes of your donor.