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Different Strokes

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a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Director of Operations, Fairfax Cryobank and Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc., September 15, 2010

When someone with medical or social infertility makes the conscious decision to have a child, they are faced with options, choices and emotional situations that others cannot understand. For a couple, using donor sperm, donor egg or a surrogate they are faced with bringing a third party into an incredibly intimate process.

Intended Parents Have Different Needs

An individual using donor sperm is faced with emotional issues that involve intimacy, societal pressures, and challenging expectations from family and friends. Having a baby is joyful and life altering, but the journey to the birth can be complicated.

If I have learned anything from my time at the Cryobank, it is that everyone has different needs and desires when choosing donor sperm or donor egg. There is no formula that fits everyone. There is no perfect donor that appeals to everyone. However, there are options available.

Sperm Banks Offer Many Choices

Most sperm banks offer many options for you. We offer Anonymous donors, ID Option donors and donor profiles that provide the donor’s medical and personal histories for him and his family. We conduct client surveys each year and have seen that the client’s needs and preferences vary greatly.

  • There are a percentage of people who clearly state they want an anonymous donor because he is anonymous, and they rank anonymity high among the reasons for choosing a particular donor.
  • There are some who express their desire for their offspring to have the option to contact the donor and rank the donor’s ID Option category as highly important in their choice.
  • We have seen a large number of women who value a donor’s education and career, and select a donor based on those criteria.
  • We have also seen women choosing a donor because they most closely resemble their partner in ethnicity and appearance.

One message that is consistent is that people want quality, options and a good match for them.

Evolving to Meet Your Needs

It is, by no means, an easy process, but most sperm banks are evolving to meet your needs. Donor searches offer more ways to sort through hundreds of options, and some even make it fun. With Personal Profiles you can know a lot about the donor and about his family. Interested in what’s the donor’s favorite food or pet? It could be in there.

Some people do not want that much detail, but it's available should your child ever want to know that information. It’s important to note that the information is available for ALL donors and not just the ID donors.

Choice. Options. Diversity. These are things that exist in the process of choosing your donor.

You can research the sperm banks and all that they offer and make the choice that makes sense for you and your family. The sperm bank is the best resource for information about the donors and donor selection process.

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