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Can My Friend Be My Sperm Donor?

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, July 17, 2013

Many women and couples consider asking a friend or relative to be their sperm donor. This is a possibility when there are fertility issues for the male partner or when there is no male partner involved in your family building experience.

Your friend or family member is what we call a Known or Directed Donor (DD). A DD is subject to the same screening and testing process that Sperm donors (anonymous and ID) are as regulated by the FDA. The goal of the FDA regulations is to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Because your DD is not your sexually intimate partner, they must go through an eligibility determination process. The DD will be required to submit a medical history, have a physical exam, and will have to have infectious disease testing completed. If you are a resident of NY State and will be having your procedure in a NY State Clinic, your DD will also be required to have relevant genetic testing done based on his ethnic background. You may choose to have genetic testing for your DD even if it is not required in your state.

Some states also require a 180 day quarantine period and re-screening before the sperm can be used for insemination. You should consult with your fertility specialist about this. Some states allow this quarantine to be waived and the samples can be used as soon as acceptable test results are received.

When entering this journey with a DD, it is very important to consult a lawyer to ensure that the plan is perfectly clear and the responsibilities of all parties involved are outlined. This is especially important in situations where the recipient parents plan to have the DD involved in the child’s life.

This is a wonderful option for some families. If using a DD does not work out, you always have the option of using Donor Sperm from a Sperm Bank.


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