All you need to know about potential sperm donors
Whether you’re in a same-sex relationship and looking to start a family or are one of thousands who are struggling with infertility issues, sperm donation is one option used by couples to enable them to enjoy the gift of life.
But before you choose to select some sperm from a donor, it’s important to become acquainted with the process and get familiar with all the facts. Let’s take a look at some prospective mothers’ key questions:
How old will my sperm donor be?
Sperm donors must be aged between 18 and 44 years old in order to store their sperm away. This is because genetic abnormalities are more likely to occur in older fathers.
Will my sperm donor be healthy?
Yes. Each donor will pass on his genes to the unborn baby through the sperm, so if he had any genetic problems or disabilities he would be barred from donating. At the time of donation, each donor must be fit and well with no birth defects like cleft palate or inherited diseases like diabetes, epilepsy and asthma.
Sperm donors will also be tested for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV or hepatitis as well as other conditions, such as thalassemia, Tay-Sachs and sickle cell anaemia, depending on their ethnic background.
Will my sperm donor have a good strong count?
Yes. Before being used as part of fertility treatment, a donor will undergo a semen test in order to check his suitability. Once they’ve passed the test, sperm will be analysed and frozen in order to determine whether it contains an appropriate amount of healthy sperm.
Will my sperm donor be a trusted person?
Donating sperm is a thorough process that ensures that only responsible people can become donors. The donation process lasts for a month or two and donors must stay in contact with the donation centre for around a year – so you can be sure your sperm comes from a trusted, healthy person.
Will my sperm donor be anonymous?
No. Since 2005, donors are no longer allowed to deposit sperm and remain anonymous. As a result, every child will now have the right to research their background and find out details about their genetic parent and be able to contact them.
Will my sperm donor find out about a child?
If he wishes, the donor can apply to the clinic he donated with to find out about his genetic children. He will be permitted to establish how many children were born from the donation, their gender and the year of their birth.
Will my sperm donor be responsible for my child?
No. The donor will not be on the birth certificate and will have no legal obligations or rights over the child.
Will I share the sperm with someone else?
Sperm from a donor can be used by a maximum of ten different families, with no limit on the amount of children each family can have. However, if a donor wishes, he can set his own personal maximum on the amount of families who have access to his sperm.