Intended Parent(s) essentially have two options when choosing a sperm donor. Sperm can be purchased anonymously at a sperm bank, or someone you know may offer to donate their sperm.
The following is a brief description of both sperm sourcing methods and some of the benefits and cautions to consider.
You may know someone willing to donate their sperm. Getting sperm from a familiar face may provide a sense of comfort for some Intended Parent(s).
When you know the sperm donor personally, you can see firsthand some of the characteristic traits the child may have. If the sperm donor is a musician or has a high IQ, Intended Parent(s) may desire that individual’s genes for their baby. Your sperm donor may have a number of admirable qualities, but there is no guarantee the child will inherit the preferred traits.
The most important thing to consider before choosing a known sperm donor is what kind of relationship you want the donor to have with the child.
Some known donors will play a significant role in the life of the child. They may co-parent and remain actively involved in the child’s life. However, if you intend to maintain a less involved relationship between the sperm donor and the child, you will need to fully understand the laws in your state and establish the parental rights with the donor.
Parenting laws vary from state to state. The best way to learn how to protect yourself is to consult an experienced attorney who is well versed in surrogacy law. The attorney can help guide you to ensure your parentage with the sperm donor of your choosing.
The argument exists to choose a known sperm donor solely to avoid the cost of purchasing sperm at a donor bank. While this may be one way to cut costs, it is not in itself a substantial reason for choosing a known donor.
Experienced, reputable sperm banks offer pre-screened, safe sperm for Intended Parent(s) to purchase.
Donors must undergo a screening process before they get approved to donate. Once candidates have been approved, their donated sperm goes through a series of federally mandated screenings. They test for any sexually transmittable diseases, including HIV, and screen for genetically inherited diseases or conditions. The screenings provide information on the sperm to help ensure a successful match with the Intended Parent(s).
It is important to mention how the child can contact their sperm donor later in life. In our modern era, it is possible for a child to learn who their sperm donor/biological father is and contact that person. Donors are aware of this reality, but it will be important for Intended Parent(s) to think about how they will educate their child on the topic.
Determining which kind of sperm donor is best is a personal decision. Only you can decide which option best fits your needs, but as soon as you decide, you’ll be one step closer to growing your family.