Using donor sperm to conceive is a viable and proven option for single women, lesbian couples, and other couples experiencing either male or female infertility issues. Once you decide this is the right method for you, the next step is choosing a sperm bank to partner with. Below are five things to know before you do.
Select the Right Sperm Bank for Your Family
There are significant differences between the major sperm banks and fertility clinics in the U.S., so it’s wise to research and compare. These differences include pricing, minimum sperm cell counts per vial, donor profile information, client service and support, and much more. It’s in your best interest to look at all the available options to find the best fit for you.
Along with doing your own research, ask your physician or fertility specialist about sperm banks in your area. They can offer insights into the process that will help you make your decision as well as provide recommendations.
Access to Open Identity Donors
At Seattle Sperm Bank, we specialize in open identity (or open ID) donors, and nearly all our donors fall into this category. We’ve found this arrangement works best for all parties involved. As children conceived using donor sperm grow up, many are curious to know more about their donor’s story, including family traits and history, medical background, and other personal details. For most of us, the ability to know one’s lineage is taken for granted, but for these kids it can be sorely missed. Open ID sperm donation addresses this basic human desire.
Sperm Donor Screening Process
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a sperm bank is how it vets and selects donors. This helps ensure the safety of you and your child. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does have existing regulations for sperm donation, this does not mean all sperm banks are equally rigorous. At SSB, only about 1% of all donor applicants pass our screening requirements.
Our donor screening process includes a detailed questionnaire, a complete physical exam, blood and semen tests, comprehensive genetic testing, a full criminal background check, interviews with our staff, and more. For your protection and peace of mind, be sure to ask about screening when researching various fertility clinics and sperm banks.
Donor Search Process
How a sperm bank allows clients to search their donor list is another key factor in your decision. Consider the type of information you’d want before selecting a donor. You will likely be interested in physical characteristics, but there are many other things to consider. At SSB, our online donor search tool lets you search by education, race or ethnicity, medical history, and even which genetic tests a donor has taken.
We also give you access to comprehensive donor profiles so you can learn more about them. Our donors write an essay and answer questions about their personality, temperament, family history, and life experiences. You can also listen to audio interviews with them, see baby photos, and access their Keirsey personality tests. Not all sperm banks offer this level of search detail, so it’s best to inquire about it when shopping around.
Personalized Support and Consultations
The most direct way to research a sperm bank is to call and talk with them. This lets you discover for yourself how knowledgeable and helpful they are. When you call, be sure to ask about consultations. These one-on-one conversations make the donor selection process more comfortable, and our client service coordinators can provide as much guidance as you need either in person or on the phone. Also, while SSB does not charge for consultations, other sperm banks may, so be sure to inquire about all charges and fees when doing your research.
Choosing who you work with to conceive is a big decision, and we encourage you to get as much information as you need before moving forward. If you have questions about choosing the right sperm bank for your situation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-588-1484 and we’ll help you get the answers you need.