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Donor sperm

8 misconceptions about using donor sperm

Two persons reading about using donor sperm

“Donors have parental rights”, “anyone can become a donor”, “only older women need to use donor sperm”… There are many misconceptions about using donor sperm. Here we counter some of the common misconceptions that people have.

We often hear misconceptions about sperm donation from our customers and people in general. And it is perfectly okay. We know that sperm donation probably is not something that people think about a lot until they might need help someday. Luckily, we are here to help you understand what sperm donation is about and why the use of a sperm donor could be the solution for you. Read and watch the videos below as we counter eight misconceptions about donor sperm. 

1. The donor has parental rights 

No. A sperm donor will never be considered the legal father of children born with his donations. He has no parental rights and no obligations. This also means that the donor will not pay child support.

2. Anyone can become a donor  

It is correct that men of all races and ethnicities between 18 and 45 years old can apply. However, to become a donor you must go through an extensive screening process. The sperm donation process ensures that all donors are physically and mentally healthy and fit to donate. In the end, only 4% of the applicants meet all sperm donor requirements and become donors at Cryos.

3. You get pregnant immediately  

Maybe you have been ready for a baby for a long time, and finally, it is time to begin the treatment that will make your dreams come true. However, when you try for a baby in the “natural” way, it can take several months before you get pregnant. It is the same situation when you use donor sperm. On average, you should expect 5-6 treatment cycles to become pregnant if you are having fertility treatment with donor sperm at a clinic. Of course, this can vary depending on your specific situation.

4. Only older women need to use donor sperm

People who use a sperm donor from Cryos are heterosexual couples experiencing infertility, single mothers by choice and lesbian parents – typically in their twenties, thirties or early forties. Some single women decide already in their twenties that they are ready to have a child, but the right man (or woman) did not turn up yet. Therefore, it is not correct that only older women need donor sperm.

5. Your donor child will likely end up dating a sibling without knowing 

You do not need to worry about that. The risk of two children born with donations from the same donor meeting coincidentally is very low. The risk of inbreeding may only increase a few per cent compared to normal procreation. Cryos follows national quotas that define the number of families that can use the same donor.

6. You can store donor sperm in your freezer until you need it

Unfortunately, that is not possible. A freezer is only -18 degrees, and therefore, it is far from cold enough for sperm cells to survive. In a sperm bank, donor sperm is stored in nitrogen tanks at -196 degrees.    

7. Donors are only in it for the money 

The sperm donor compensation for each donation is around 50 EUR. While this might sound like a lot, it is important to know that the donors put many unpaid hours into the application and a sperm donor screening process as well as ongoing testing. We also know from surveys and talks with the donors that their motivation often derives from a desire to help others. That is probably why many sperm donors also donate blood which they are not being compensated for. 

Studies show that donor-conceived children are just as well adjusted as other children

8. My child will not be happy (or as adjusted as children in traditional families)  

There have always been concerns about children who grow up in different family forms. Some people worry about whether the children will experience problems due to the different family structures and that this might affect their well-being. Susan Golombok Professor of Family Research and Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge has recently released a book called “We are family”. The book combines her research with stories by parents and children in new family forms.

Susan Golombok states that: “family structure matters less than we might think and the concerns about children’s well-being are unfounded. Children thrive in all different kinds of family. What really matters is the quality of relationships between children and their parents. But also, how much their family is accepted in the wider society in which they live“.

Susan Golombok further explains: "If anything, these mothers and fathers have better relationships with their children, most likely because it has been such a struggle for them to become parents".

You can also read about misconceptions about infertility in this blog post.