You have made the decision to have a baby together, and now you need to decide what type of donor sperm you will use to help start your family. There are two options: donor sperm from an anonymous donor or a sperm donation from someone you know. Here are some things to think about as you make your decision.
Donor Sperm from an Anonymous Donor
This type of donor sperm is obtained from a sperm bank. Some of the pros and cons of this type of sperm donor include:
- Donors provide an extensive medical history.
- Donor sperm is tested rigorously for disease and genetic problems.
- Donor sperm is analyzed to ensure viability.
- Donors sign legal papers, ensuring that they have no responsibility for the child or any future rights to interact with the child.
- There may be several children conceived with one sperm donor, although the American Society of Reproductive Medicine does recommend that any one sperm donor should be limited to 25 live births per 850,000 people (but there is no way to enforce these guidelines).
- The child may want to know who their father is in the future, but sperm donors have the option to keep their personal information confidential, making it difficult or impossible to obtain this information in the future.
Donor Sperm from a Known Donor
You may have a family member or friend that you would like to use as a sperm donor. Here are some things to consider when you are contemplating this option:
The couple will have a biological relationship to the child if a family member is the donor (one partner provides the egg, and the other partner’s family member provides the sperm, making both mothers related biologically to the child).
- This method reduces costs because the known donor sperm is usually provided free of charge to the couple.
- The donor’s personality, medical history, etc. may be already known to the couple.
- The donor could potentially be a part of the child’s life, if the couple and the donor agree on this arrangement.
- Legal issues could become a problem—including parental rights and obligations.
- Known donors may not want to undergo the important and recommended screening process, which ideally would include semen analysis, as well as blood work to screen for disease and genetic defects.
The Bottom Line on Donor Sperm Options
Deciding on the type of donor sperm you want to use to start your family is a big decision. You may want to consult with an attorney about your options before you make your decision. The experienced doctors at Texas Fertility Center are always here to discuss these options with you as well. Using donor sperm, whether it’s from an anonymous donor or a known donor, allows you to have the family you want and bring a beautiful new life into the world.