How to Find the Right Sperm Donor for Your Family
You have made one of the most important steps in your fertility journey – you’ve decided you will conceive via sperm donor. So what’s next? Using a sperm donor is a great option for those intending to start a family on their own, with a partner who has ovaries, or a partner whose sperm they can’t use due to health or genetic reasons. There is much to consider for your family, but simplifying your path will help you in your search for the perfect candidate.
Select the Type of Donor You Want
In the beginning, an important step is to decide whether your fertility journey will include a known sperm donor or an anonymous donor. A known donor is someone you know personally, usually a friend or family member. An anonymous sperm donor is an unknown donor selected through a sperm bank. Both options have pros and cons, and depending on the needs of your family and your plans for the future, one may feel like a better fit than the other.
Know Your Budget
Starting your family through a sperm donor can add up financially, regardless of which path you take. Vials of approved sperm samples start at around $350 each, and you may need to try more than one sample to conceive. That said, if your budget is limited, anonymous sperm donation is often much more cost-effective than working with a known donor--the initial tests and screenings alone for a known donor can cost thousands of dollars and require a 6-month quarantine, as well as continual monitoring by a doctor.
Using a sperm bank may be a good option for those with a more specific schedule in mind who don’t want to compromise on the quality of candidates. Out of all applicants to the FCC donor program, less than three percent are accepted as donors. Using an anonymous sperm donor means the sperm has already been screened, evaluated, and approved for usage.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
As a parent, you understandably want to get as much information from your donor as possible, which may mean asking some uncomfortable questions. You may potentially ask about their medical history, drug or alcohol usage, mental health and family history, as well as desires to start their own family. Sometimes, it may feel too invasive to pose these questions to someone close to you. It may be better to obtain this information from a sperm bank, which can provide a full donor profile.
Decide What’s Important to You
You are setting the parameters of your family, and it’s up to you and your partner what you hope to achieve on this journey, and whether or not that includes opening your doors to the donor of your future child. Having an emotional connection with your child’s biological heritage can be rewarding, but it may also be in your family’s best interest to partake in an anonymous donation. Whichever path you choose, there will be moments of both joy and uncertainty, but that is a normal part of parenthood. The Fertility Center of California is always available to talk through any questions you may have. Visit www.spermbankcalifornia.com for more information.