If artificial insemination is your chosen way of getting pregnant then you need to think about your options. You need to decide whether you’re going to use an anonymous sperm donation via a clinic or accept a donation from a known directed donor from someone you know. There are benefits to both choices and below we’re looking at the reasons for choosing each.

Why Choose Known Donor Sperm?

Research suggests that there are four key reasons that people may choose known donor sperm:

  1. The child will have the right to form a relationship with the donor and therefore be able to understand their birth process more clearly and handle the situation more comfortably.
  2. The child will have the right to know their genetic origins and the donor will be able to share this with the child if you agree this is the right pathway for your child.
  3. The child will have the right to know the identity of the donor which can help avoid the psychological problems which sometimes develop in children born from donation.
  4. Using donor sperm gives you the opportunity to include a third, key person in the child’s life who you believe will influence them in a positive way.

Why Choose Anonymous Donor Sperm?

The reasons for choosing anonymous sperm donation varies from person to person and below are four key reasons research has shown people may choose anonymous donation:

  1. The child doesn’t have any involvement with the donor and the parents can raise them without any external influences.
  2. The family unit is clear and complete with the child and the parents – the inclusion of a donor in the child’s life can challenge the authority and completeness of the family unit and confuse the child.
  3. Complications including legal proceedings are a side effect of choosing a known donor, anonymous sperm donors have no legal right or knowledge of the child so can’t cause this stress.
  4. Involving a donor can challenge the role of the non-biological parent, whether they’re a mother or father. This can make family life strained and not positive for the child.

The choice between known and anonymous donation is highly personal and something each couple should discuss privately before making any rash decisions. Most clinics will provide counselling and advice to support your decision.