What you need to know about Open Identity Donors

Open Identity Donors

A new trend is gaining popularity throughout the U.S. and abroad when it comes to choosing a sperm donor for artificial insemination. Whereas most sperm donation used to be completely anonymous, many sperm banks now require some or all of their sperm donors to consent to the release of their identity to children who have reached the age of 18. In fact, in some countries, anonymous donation is no longer permitted. The use of an open identity (or ID release) donor is an option that appeals to many prospective parents.

What is an open identity donor?

At Seattle Sperm Bank, open identity donors have committed to at least one contact with the child, when the child reaches the age of 18. The contact must be initiated by the child; customer identities are confidential and are never released to sperm donors. There is no requirement that the donor commit to any sort of long-lasting relationship with the child, although the donor and the child may arrange to have further communication. All donors are required to go through a maturity evaluation by the sperm bank’s managing director and donor coordinator to ensure they understand the consequences of their decision to become an open identity donor.

Although prospective parents don’t get to meet a sperm donor before choosing to use his donated sperm, there is a lot to learn about donors through profile information. Often donors will list their reasons for donating along with detailed information about themselves. At Seattle Sperm Bank, we have found that open identity donors are usually willing to provide more detailed information such as baby photos and extended profile information to the sperm bank.

Choosing a donor

Many potential parents find security in knowing their child will be able to have some contact with the donor who contributed to their genetic makeup. However, even if an open identity donor is selected, there is no guarantee that the donor will have the same exact wishes as the parent and child. To help select the right donor, Seattle Sperm Bank offers extensive information on each donor, ranging from the results of each donor’s personality test to staff’s impressions of the donors.

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