Q. As A Lesbian Couple, Where Do We Start When Looking For A Sperm Donor?

A. You have 2 options, either an anonymous donor through a sperm bank or a known donor. Some things to consider:

If you decide to use a sperm bank make sure they are certified and accredited. According to the American Fertility Association, considerations when working with a sperm bank include:

  • Cryopreserved donor sperm can be released for insemination only after quarantine of at least 180 days, and repeat negative testing of the donor for all STIs (sexually transmitted infections) including HIV.
  • The sperm bank must be licensed by the Board of Health.
  • The sperm bank must obtain and present a detailed personal and sexual history of the donor.
  • The sperm bank must obtain and present a thorough physical examination of the donor and screen out potential donors who are at increased risk for STIs.
  • The sperm bank must screen for heritable diseases, such as cystic fibrosis.
  • In order to limit the number of half siblings that are generated from any one donor, strongly consider working with a sperm bank that controls the number of live births obtained from each donor.

For a known donor chances are the cost will be much cheaper. You can obtain fresh samples. You actually know the person instead of reading details about him in a file. Some things to consider when using a known donor:

  • Legal fees for drawing up a contract.
  • Cost of screening for STD’s and sperm analysis.
  • How much or how little he may want to be involved in your child’s life.

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