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The Lighter Side of Donor Sperm


a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Director of Operations, Fairfax Cryobank and Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc, July 20, 2010

Working in Donor Sperm is a serious business. It is a highly regulated and regimented working environment where days are filled with strict protocols, processes, paper work, screening and quality assurance. It takes a commitment to quality and attention to detail to do it successfully.

On the other side of this is you: the client who is looking for a donor to start or build your family. Choosing the right donor for you is a unique experience and very dependent on your situation. For infertile couples it can be highly emotional and often difficult because you are dealing with medical infertility, your role within your relationship, and grieving. Single women and lesbian couples also have significant emotional issues related to the conception of their children — from making the initial decision to have a child through the issues surrounding the need to bring in a third party to conceive.

Though there is a significant seriousness to this process, having a sense of humor and looking at things with an open mind and lightness can help make choosing a donor, dare I say, FUN.

These donors; wonderful interesting men, are providing half of your prospective child’s genetics. And though we do not know how much of our personalities are hard-wired, it seems smart to choose a donor not just for his ethnicity or height, but also for his interests and academic achievement.

Oftentimes, when starting the donor search, people “know what they are looking for” but come out on the other side with something quite different. You will find, as you navigate through donor search engines that it is easy to identify men who meet height, weight, blood type or even education credentials that you require. You will also find that it is now easier to find men with common interests in academic subjects, artistic or culinary skills, or the same favorite animal! Looking for these types of personality traits and interests is fascinating and allows patients to connect to the whole picture of what could be passed on to your child. You will be able to hear the donor talk about his favorite games from his childhood or listen to him describe his favorite character from his favorite book. This type of information gives you real insight into the kind of person he is rather than just seeing test scores or type of degree, which is less revealing and less personal.

Not everyone is interested in this in-depth information, and for those people there are more basic donor searches. The best Cryobanks allow clients and patients to get as much or as little personal information as they feel comfortable knowing. And the best Cryobanks have diverse pools of highly qualified donors for you to choose from in your quest to start or build your family.

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Comments (2)

Great blog!! I have written on here, and on my personal blog about mine and my husband's searches for a donor. Often times when we are discussing the process with our family or friends who know about our treatment, they seem to want to only talk seriously about what it must be like to find a donor. While I agree that picking a donor is a serious subject for many obvious reasons, my husband and I are the first to admit that we have a great time searching. Both banks we have looked at have amazing donor catalogs, with incredibly in depth profiles and staff impressions. My husband and I have spent hours finding out about the men who decide to become donors. We marvel at their personal lives, and their willingness to help couples like us. We laugh at some of their comments, and some of the staff impressions, i.e. "my children will be gorgeous, no doubt about that". Our favorite part is giving each donor a name. It sounds ridiculous, but really... who wants to refer to their baby's bio dad and number blah blah blah. We loved our previous donor, affectionately named "Dirty Job" after his resemblance to the TV host Mike Rowe, but as he is no longer available we are currently trying to decide between such amazing front runners as The Viking, Piano Man, and Edu-Dude. How could that not be fun?
At some point all you can do about the whole situation is laugh, and know that even though picking a donor is a hard process, it's one you do out of love for your future child. And THAT is definitely something to have fun with :D
Great article... I think I may have a new blog to write about myself :D

So glad that you enjoyed the post. It is great to hear that you and your husband have found humor in the search, what a wonderful way to go through the process. Best of luck!

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