Posted: Mar 30, 2012 3:14 PM
 
If you need a sperm donor, but don't know where to start, these tips will help you navigate the process. Whether you need a sperm donor because you or your partner has infertility, you’re one of two moms wanting to have a biological child or a single mom by choice, finding a donor is one of the first steps on the journey to creating your family.

Using a known donor

A known donor may be a friend or family member willing to provide sperm. Using a known donor may involve certain issues that need to be figured out before the donation -- like whether the known donor will be part of the child's life, co-parent or have any rights to the child. It’s important to understand the legal, financial and emotional issues involved with each type of sperm donation.

Using an
anonymous donor

You can find anonymous donors by registering with a sperm bank. Some donors are "open donors" meaning they agree to have contact with the child once he or she turns 18, while others choose to remain anonymous.

Get the best screening

In my childbirth education practice, I’ve worked with many women who have used donors and shared their stories with me. Sherry O. and Ellen B. are one couple who conceived their baby with donor sperm. The most important things they looked for when choosing a donor were his family health history, personal interests and hobbies.

The most important things they looked for when choosing a donor were his family health history, personal interests and hobbies.

Whether you choose a known or anonymous donor, be sure the sperm is screened for diseases and get as much medical history from your donor as possible. There are many questions to ask and information you'll want to find out about your potential donor. A good place to start is with this questionnaire from RESOLVE-The National Infertility Association.

Take your time

Finding a sperm donor can be a lengthy, emotional and financial process. In the end, once you conceive your beautiful baby, it will be worth it.

As mom Ellen says, “Be patient -- it’s a journey worth taking.” 

More about trying to conceive

Natural ways to combat infertility
Secondary infertility struggles
Trying to conceive: Foods for fertility

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