How Seattle Sperm Bank Manages Donor Family Limits

At Seattle Sperm Bank, we understand that donor family limits are one of your primary concerns when considering using a sperm donor. Understandably, it may be overwhelming to consider how many possible half-siblings your child or children may have as a result of being conceived using donor sperm. SSB wants to be as transparent as possible regarding how we set and manage family limits.

Seattle Sperm Bank’s Family Limit Policy

When we opened in 2008, SSB set a nationwide family limit of 25 families for all our donors. This is different from the guidelines prescribed by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which suggests a 25-family limit in a geographical area of 800,000 individuals, “to prevent accidental incest.” Many major sperm banks have been following these guidelines for decades, which creates the potential to create up to 100 children from one sperm donor, assuming the donor is distributed to different regions throughout the country.

Recent media attention on sperm donors who have created more than 100 families nationwide has a lot of sperm bank clients questioning how family numbers are reported and managed. Like most major sperm banks, SSB relies on self-reporting by our clients or their health care providers to track how many children have been conceived and born using the same donor. Consenting to reporting a live birth is mandated in the Purchaser Semen and Storage Agreement Form, which is required for all purchasers to sign prior to their first shipment. Birth reporting is also mandatory to access our own donor sibling registry, SSB Connects, which is used by about 70% of our clients.

While SSB cannot guarantee that every client who gives birth using one of our donors will report this information to us, regardless of the policies we set in place, we strive to be as proactive as possible with what we can control. This includes removing donors from our online catalog prior to receiving 25 unique Birth Reports. This practice helps us account for pregnancies that may occur months, or even years after a donor is done being distributed, and for clients who wait until well after their child is born to report a birth to us.

Choosing A Sperm Donor

If you have used a donor to have a child or children, we are happy to tell you if he is close to reaching his family limit, and/or has been transitioned to a Siblings Only donor (available only to those who have used him previously). And if you are considering using one of the active donors in our catalog, we can tell you if he is close to reaching his family limit so you can make a more informed decision.

If you have any other questions about SSB’s family limit policy, please contact our Client Services team at or (206) 588-1484.




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