How to become a sperm donor depends on many factors. Different sperm banks, fertility clinics and even private recipients will have their specifications and list of criteria that you will have to meet before you can even consider being a donor. Research is very necessary before you decide to donate and whom you choose to donate to. Often you have to be of a certain age, usually between 18 and about 45 years of age. You have to also be medically fit and well/healthy and possess a clear family history with no hereditary disorders or diseases. You have to also be able to commit to a certain period of time to make the donations, as they will need several deposits of semen to carry out the tests and then the collection. Of course a private donor does not face tests and regulations that are as stringent as a fertility clinic or sperm bank, but you may have to meet some needs that a private recipient may set out.
You have to consider that clinics and sperm banks have to cover themselves and get good sperm samples so they will not consider the following:
• Age – (as mentioned above), if you are adopted they will not accept you, as you won’t know a full family medical history.
• Promiscuity – being active sexually puts you at higher risk of STD’s so therefore you are unlikely to have ‘clean’ semen. You will be screened at the start and end of your donation though.
• Drugs – recreational and prescription drugs both have an impact on sperm count and quality, so this will be discovered when you are screened.
• Finally if you’ve made previous donations, you will not be considered as there are laws that limit you to the number of children you can father through sperm donation, a centre will not and cannot accept you if you have made previous sperm donations.
Current legislation for sperm donation
When considering becoming a sperm donor there are many questions and rules and regulations you need to consider and be aware of. This article covers the current laws about what you need to know before you embark on this route and if you are taken on and pass the various medical tests and screening that sperm donors need to partake in before they are considered. Apart from the medical tests and genetic screening which may vary slightly at each sperm bank or fertility clinic, these aren’t always necessary if you are a private donor and make a private arrangement with the recipient, that you need to consider, you need to know the current laws and legislations involved as well. These are outlined as follows:
• General – The HEFA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology) Act was changed in 2008 and some new rules are now applicable. The main one being since April 2009 same sex couples being able to become parents. This new law applies in the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This has really opened up egg and sperm donation as you can imagine. The HEFA then made compensation fees that were fixed in October 2001 of £750 per menstrual cycle for egg donors and £35 for each clinic visit for sperm donors.
• Sperm/egg donors’ identity information – Since 2005 sperm and egg donations cannot be anonymous. Donors are required to give their identifying details and information respecting the right of children they are the biological parents so they are able to find out about their genetic origins. Presently in the United Kingdom, sperm and egg donors are allowed partial basic/un-identifying information about the child/children born from their donations, i.e. sex of the child and their year of birth. Artificial Insemination (AI) can also be performed with the sperm of a known donor then the identity rules of course are different and agreed by the private donor and private recipient.
• IVF, AI (assisted reproduction) – Artificial Insemination and other assisted reproduction techniques are available and available to all people, in spite of their sexual orientation or marital status.
• Self Insemination (SI) – Currently, there are no laws of regulation for SI in the United Kingdom When donated sperm is used for conception outside of an HFEA licensed clinic, then general family laws apply, which means that if the woman who is inseminated isn’t in a relationship/married at the time of the insemination, the sperm donor should be considered as the donor conceived child’s legal father.
• Free or paid sperm/egg donors – Apart from the change in law in October 2001 that there is a fixed price paid for each cycle/egg and sperm donation mentioned above. Also, since 2006, gamete donors may be remunerated any expenses involved during the donation process as well as being reimbursed for any possible loss of earnings. It’s your choice whether you choose to be paid. If you are donating for medical research it is sometimes expected that you make the donation voluntarily (without being paid).
Private donor or donor sperm bank?
If you are thinking of conceiving, you want to make the very best and the most informed decision you can possibly achieve. Therefore, for which ever reason you are considering sperm donation pay, and it’s quite a common practice now for a variety of different reasons; i.e. unable to conceive naturally or same sex couples (lesbians), how you choose your particular conception is a very delicate matter. Whether you choose a private donor or a donor sperm bank is one of the considerations you will have to make when you are choosing sperm donation.
Now there are a number of different web pages on the Internet today that are sperm banks, even ones that will ship the sperm across to you from another country. This is another option and you would be very wise to research this thoroughly before making that choice. As the sperm bank isn’t within your country there probably wouldn’t be any back up or guarantees if you have any problems or find any faults with the product when it arrives. It’s probably wise to choose a sperm bank in your own country and then once you have researched it, decide whether it meets your criteria in its rules and regulations and how they check and medical test their sperm donors. This choice is usually more popular if you don’t want to know the identity of your sperm donor as they are usually anonymous, and you remain anonymous to the sperm donor.
If you choose a private sperm donor pay you will most likely meet the donor and then you can choose how actual insemination takes place. This is a choice made by people who would like to see their donor and know them somewhat and they will in turn know who you are. Not only that, the actual insemination takes place at your home. You can pick from a number of donors on various website and there are a variety of them on the Internet, again you will have to decide which one meets your specifications. The other thing with a private sperm donor is that you cannot always be sure they have had all the medical testing that sperm banks insist upon for their sperm donors, but there are some private sperm donor sites that guarantee they have had all the necessary medical testing.
Is it better to know your sperm donor?
In modern times it is becoming quite popular to choose a sperm donor when making the delicate and very private decision of how you are going to conceive your baby and for a number of different reasons.
When considering a private sperm donor over a sperm bank or fertility clinic there are quite a few considerations to be made. Not only that, there are big differences in choosing a private donor. The main one of course being that you will get to meet and know your sperm donor if you choose to make a private arrangement instead of a sperm bank or a fertility clinic, as these typically keep the identity of their donors completely confidential and they also keep your identity anonymous as well.
Some people who chose a private sperm donor and want to know their identity and meet them because they feel they know the father of their baby and the father isn’t just a number or file. Also, people feel they have more of a choice in knowing their sperm donor as they can meet them all themselves and pick them by what they look like, how tall they are, what colour eyes and hair they have and how the sperm donor is personality wise. If you want your sperm donor medically tested this can also be achieved reasonably cheaply, or even for free, and it isn’t really a difficult process. Some private donor web sites offer donors who are already medically tested.
The other delicate issue of knowing your sperm donor cost is the actual act of conception. With a private sperm donor and knowing the donor the matter of conception is private and therefore is carried out in your own home environment. Not only that, the actual act of conception with a private sperm donor is even more personal too as you can choose to have your conception by having intercourse with the private sperm donor; or by AI with the donation from the private donor. Each private donor may also have their own specifications as well, so this is why it’s a very important decision when choosing and you will need to take everything into consideration when you choose between knowing your sperm donor and deciding to go for an anonymous sperm donor through a sperm bank or a fertility clinic.
Whether to keep in touch with the gift family or not? Do you or don’t you?
Becoming a sperm donor is such a personal decision as it is without the question of whether it’s wise to keep in touch with the recipient family or not. This is a decision you have to make yourself and if you want to you must make this very clear at the beginning of your negotiations with the recipient of your sperm donation. They will have their own very clear ideas about whether they want to stay in touch or not and also whether they want to keep seeing you or not in order for you to get to know your child.
This article covers the considerations you must take into account about keeping in touch with the recipient before you decide to become a sperm donor. First of all, if you do want to keep in touch you must agree it with the recipient, if they don’t agree you simply don’t go ahead with the transaction. If you don’t want to keep in touch and the recipient does, then again this transaction will not take place. It’s wise just to back out of a private arrangement if there is any question or disagreement of whether you are going to keep in touch or not. You have to be absolutely clear on this subject because it can be very upsetting if there is a misunderstanding about this after the event, because once it’s done, it’s too late and there’s no turning back.
Staying in touch can have its advantages, of course if you already have a family you might not want to keep in touch, but if you don’t have your own family this is when you may want to, as you will not have a child in essence. If the recipient is agreeable it can be a very pleasant experience with arranged meeting times each week or month, whatever arrangement you decide to come to between yourselves. It can allow you to keep in touch with your child and see him or her grow up. This also is better for the child themselves as they will know their Daddy and not ever be ‘in the dark’ about who he is and their heritage and so on.
Before embarking on becoming a sperm donor it is advised to seek professional counselling so you are prepared mentally for the psychological side of perhaps not ever knowing your child if your recipient stresses they don’t want any contact with you whatsoever after you have donated your sperm to help them to conceive. Be prepared as there are quite a few recipients who do choose to and this is also understandable from their point of view in some situations and circumstances.