Working with Sperm Banks

For intended parents seeking donor sperm from either an anonymous or an identity options donor, most find themselves working with a sperm bank. There are many sperm banks in the United States, and like any business, they vary in size and service. Below are 20 important questions that you should ask each sperm bank.

  1. What qualifications are your donors required to meet?
  2. What do you do if a donor reports a medical or genetic issue, or if a child born using one of your donors has a medical or genetic issue? If a child is born with a medical or genetic issue, do you tell the other recipients of that same donor?
  3. How do you verify the donors’ medical information to make sure it’s accurate?
  4. What happens if a donor lies on his application?
  5. How often are your donors tested, and how often are their medical histories updated?
  6. What type of records do you maintain, and how long do you keep them?
  7. Do you tell each recipient how many vials of sperm have already been sold for any given donor?
  8. How does shipping work and how much does it cost?
  9. What compensation do you offer if your donor sperm is contaminated or has low motility?
  10. What is the maximum number of live births that you permit a donor to have? How do you track this?
  11. Am I able to schedule a tour of your facility? (Even if you have no intention of traveling to the facility, the fact that the sperm bank welcomes or discourages visits to the facility can be telling).
  12. Are you in compliance with all HIPPA and FDA regulations?
  13. Have any lawsuits been brought against you?
  14. Do you inform a recipient if a donor is cytomegalovirus (CMV) positive?
  15. What proportion of your donors are “open” or “ID options” vs. anonymous? How are ID options or open ID donors notified if, upon turning 18, the child desires contact?
  16. Are your employees required to sell a certain amount of sperm each month, or do they have quotas to meet?
  17. What is the difference between “washed” and “unwashed” vials of sperm?
  18. With regard to each donor, do you provide photos of him as a child and an adult? What about “lifespan” photos (where you might get one from his infancy, one from childhood, one from adolescence, and one from adulthood)?
  19. Other than photos, what other information about the donor is provided? (This can be samples of his handwriting, his voice, personal essays, etc).
  20. What makes you different than some of the other sperm banks in the market?

If you have questions, please contact us.  Because, sometimes it takes a village.  

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