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Anonymous vs. Known Donor Sperm: What Should I Choose?

Posted on March 1, 2021

From men with male factor infertility to single women to lesbian couples, sperm donation provides many people with the means to create a family in which sperm is not otherwise available. Although anonymous sperm donation (e.g. choosing an anonymous sperm donor from a database) is the most common arrangement, some people choose to work with a known sperm donor. Known sperm donors are typically friends, family members, or acquaintances that have agreed to donate their sperm.

Working With a Known Sperm Donor

The idea of having a child using the sperm of someone whose personality and/or genetics are already familiar is very appealing for many people. While working with a known donor can be an incredibly fulfilling path to parenthood, the process comes with several legal, medical, and familial issues. Plus, even if you choose to work with your best friend who you have known for your whole life, they still need to go through the sperm donor screening process before they can be accepted as a donor. This is a federal mandate that is in place to ensure the health and safety of the intended parents and babies.

Like their anonymous counterparts, known sperm donors must undergo a physical exam, semen analysis, genetic screening, mental health evaluation, and infectious disease screening. Before the known donor’s semen can be evaluated and deemed acceptable from a medical standpoint, it must remain frozen in quarantine for at least six months. There is also no guarantee that, after all these evaluations and tests have been completed, a known sperm donor will have satisfactory semen.

Working With an Anonymous Sperm Donor

When working with an anonymous sperm donor, all evaluations have already been completed and all samples are considered satisfactory and ready to be used. If you choose to work with an anonymous sperm donor, all you have to do is review sperm donor profiles in a database and choose one.

For some people, the idea of using sperm from someone they don’t know seems impersonal or even risky. However, anonymous sperm donors are anonymous in name only. Sperm donor profiles conceal the real identity of each sperm donor while still providing extensive details on their physical traits, interests, talents, and personality characteristics. Even though you won’t really know your sperm donor personally, you’ll still have a pretty good idea of who they are. Furthermore, because sperm donors are thoroughly screened for diseases, genetic conditions, and mental health, you don’t have to worry about hidden risks.

Learn More

As with all aspects of family-building, the decision to use an anonymous or known sperm donor is deeply personal and comes down to what’s right for you and your family. While it may seem like a simple decision, there’s actually quite a bit of nuance and complex factors that need to be considered. To learn more about using a known or anonymous sperm donor in the San Diego area, contact the Fertility Center of California today.

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