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Types of Sperm Donors
If you’ve decided on the donor sperm path to parenthood, your next step is choosing a donor. This can be an arduous, yet exciting step. Do I want a donor who’s tall, dark, and handsome, one who is interested in books and baseball?
Perhaps a more important question is whether the donor is willing to reveal his identity to your child. Many potential parents want their children to have the option of meeting their biological father. Others don’t believe this is important. Most sperm banks recruit donors who agree to become “known” to their potential children when they turn 18. Currently, sperm donors can remain anonymous but regulations often change, as more ‘adult children of donor sperm’ are demanding their right to know.
Another question to consider is whether a friend or relative might be a good donor. If, for instance, your partner’s brother or cousin agrees to be your sperm donor, you’ll both then have a biological connection to Baby. With known donors, your child can know his/her biological dad — and they can have a lifelong connection. Of course, you and the donor must explore this at length, including the degree of involvement you both envision. And remember, people’s expectations differ and their motivations can change over time. Your donor may be interested in remaining in contact now but if he has a family later on, this may change.
If you tap a known donor, realize that he must undergo the same testing that sperm banks require, including tests for HIV, AIDS, and other communicable diseases. In the U.S., the FDA regulates sperm banks, and the EU has its own regulations, but each bank operates slightly differently.
Tied to these questions is whether you will tell your potential child about his/her biological origins. You may want to meet with a counselor experienced in third-party reproduction or join a support group to explore all of these issues.