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Known Sperm Donor

Even once you’ve decided that you want to use someone you know as your sperm donor, you probably still have a lot of questions about how to make sure everything goes smoothly.

You may have a sperm donor in mind already, or you may just be thinking about it now. Either way, when you approach someone about becoming a sperm donor for you, there are important questions that you must ask. The most important thing for you to discuss is what role the donor will play in the child’s life.

If the donor will be involved, then legal and emotional boundaries must be established:

  • Who will be the legal parent of the child?
  • What, if any, inheritance rights or support obligations might the donor might have?
  • What happens if one party changes their mind about the kind of relationship wanted with the child?

Other things to consider:

  • Would the donor be available if you are interested in having another child?
  • You should clarify logistical issues, including who will pay for testing and treatment expenses and expected time commitments.

Semen Analysis and Blood Tests

After an initial conversation and tentative agreement with a donor, you should request that the donor be screened for STDs, blood type, and genetic abnormalities as well as family medical history and exposure to disease. You may also want to get a semen analysis to ensure that the donor has good quality sperm. This costs about $100 and can save you money (and emotional stress) on several cycles of insemination if the donor has poor quality sperm. If want to be extremely thorough, you can use the stringent donor screening standards that major sperm banks use as your guide. These can be found through sperm banks or the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Contracts and Agreements

Once you have found a donor and feel that your and his expectations are clear and similar and that there are no medical concerns, you should engage legal counsel to draw up a collaborative agreement that will specify your parental rights and other aspects of your relationship with the donor. You will probably want to choose a lawyer with experience with this type of collaborative reproduction. You and the donor may each have a lawyer or you may use joint representation. Both you and the donor should be actively involved in the creation of this document. A component of this is becoming very familiar with your state’s laws on donor parental rights, which the lawyer should be able to assist you with.

Especially if the donor is a friend, it can feel strange or unnecessary spelling out these expectations. However, it is important to remember that relationships and situations can always change in unforeseen ways. Open and honest discussion now builds the foundation of positive relationships that will carry across the child’s life and can help avoid tricky situations later on.


Once everything above is complete, you’re ready for sperm collection and insemination. You can order sterile kits for collection and insemination if you want to do it yourself, or you can work with a physician who will manage the collection and insemination.


Comments (2)

If you are looking for information on a semen analysis to test for male fertility, it is best to contact a urologist or fertility doctor. Good luck!

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