The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Sperm Donor - 7 Tips
This is an exciting moment. You have chosen to use a sperm donor to have your dream of a baby come true, and now you must find the perfect donor. With more than 1.000 donors to choose from on Cryos website, this may, however, seem a little overwhelming. That is why we have created a guide for you about choosing a sperm donor.
When choosing the right sperm donor for your journey towards parenthood, there are a lot of things to consider. In this guide, we will cover the 7 most important things to think about when you choose your sperm donor:
- Check the legislation in your country → Anonymous sperm donor and non-anonymous
- The Cryos sperm donor selection process → How are sperm donors selected?
- Decide the main criteria for your sperm donor
- Decide the level of information you want about the donor
- Consider if your child should have the possibility to contact the donor
- Why choosing the right sperm bank is important
- Make sure that the donor has enough straws available for your treatment → How much donor sperm do you need and what does it cost?
What are alias donors?
When looking through our Sperm Donor Search, you will meet a lot of different names like Zeke, Mikey, or Eston. The fictitious name was used for marketing purposes in the USA, while the original number was used in Denmark. However, since the 1st of March 2009, all the alias donors have been presented together under their fictitious name, and the documentation now clearly indicates (Donor Characteristic & Quarantine Release) when the sperm donor is an alias. Since the 1st of March 2009, Cryos International Sperm Bank has not sold alias donors under numbers, only under fictitious names.
If you want more inspiration about the process of choosing a sperm donor, then follow the Youtube link below and see one of our Customer Care Consultants explain the journey.
1. Check the legislation in your country
The first thing you should think about is probably not the most fun part, but necessary. Even after 70 years of sperm donation, the question of sperm donation is still widely debated. Therefore, we recommend researching the legal requirements in your country before deciding on a sperm or egg donor.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a sperm donor is whether your child can contact the sperm donor once they turn 18. However, some countries only allow you to use both ID Release and Non-ID Release Donors, while other countries only allow you to use one or the other. As a result, we recommend you research the regulations in your treatment country before choosing a sperm donor. Usually, your fertility clinic can tell you which donor type is allowed for your treatment. Otherwise, Cryos’ Customer Care Team will be happy to help you.
As an example, people getting pregnant with donor sperm in the UK are only allowed to use ID Release Donors, meaning they cannot access all the donors in our Donor Search. It is possible to receive treatment with donor sperm from a Non-ID Release Donor, but then you must have the treatment performed in another country, also called fertility tourism.
2. The Cryos sperm donor selection process → How are sperm donors selected?
One of the most important parts of sperm donation is the screening process. At Cryos, we do everything possible to ensure the safety of the women receiving donor sperm and the children born as a result of the donations. Here below, you can read why our screening process is safe and how we minimize the potential risks of sperm donation:
- Sperm donor requirements: Our sperm donor requirements are meant to ensure that our customers receive high-quality donor sperm from healthy men. These requirements concern the age, health, sperm quality, and risk behaviour of the sperm donor.
- The screening process: All donors at Cryos have undergone a thorough screening process to evaluate their physical and mental health. Our Sperm DOnor Search only contains donors who are healthy and comply with country-specific regulations.
- Continuous testing of donors: After completing 10 donations (batch), the donor must have their blood tested, to ensure the safety of our customers and their future children. Only if the blood test is approved, is the batch released.
3. Decide the main criteria for your sperm donor
What are the basic criteria that your donor must fulfil? This could be regarding ethnicity, eye colour, hair colour, etc. However, try not to establish too many criteria, to begin with. You will have the option to narrow it down at a later stage. If you start with too many criteria concerning education, hobbies, height, weight, etc., you may find yourself in a situation with a limited field to choose from. Try to figure out what is really important to you and move on from there.
The main criteria for picking a sperm donor
The main criteria for picking a sperm donor are individual and personal preference. But, it can be hard to figure out which criteria to prioritize. 53% of our customers choose their donor based on his family health history. The second most popular criterion was the donor's childhood picture, as many of our customers prefer to find a donor with a similar physical appearance as them or their partner.
The donor's health history is the most important criterion for many of our clients, as they prioritize the safety of their future children above anything else.
Physical characteristics are a vital part of choosing a sperm donor, especially for couples using donor sperm. Whether they are lesbians or heterosexuals, they hope to find a donor with a similar physical appearance as the partner not carrying the child.
Many of our customers also need to feel connected to the donor, as they prefer to share personality traits, interests, or hobbies with the donor. We often see future Single Mothers by Choice choosing donors based on their personalities.
4. Decide the level of information you want about the donor
Next up: how much information you want about your donor. You have the option of either choosing a Basic or Extended sperm donor profile.
A Basic Profile contains information such as the donor’s ethnicity, eye colour, hair colour, height, weight, employment and blood type. If you don’t consider much information a plus, but only need the basics or/and if you want to keep the costs down, a Basic Profile may be the right choice for you.
If you want inspiration regarding your choice of Donor Profile, then follow the link to our blog post 3 things to consider when choosing a Sperm Donor Profile.
If you need more information to make the right decision, you can go for an Extended Profile. In addition to the information in the basic profile, you also get a sound recording of the donor’s voice, child photos of the donor, a personality test, a handwritten letter from the donor and his answers to a range of personal questions about hobbies, interests etc.
If you can’t get enough information, and you really want the full picture of your donor it is now also possible for you to get access to pictures of our sperm donors were some have photos of themselves as an adult. The opportunity to see both childhood and adult photos of your sperm donor equips you with a more comprehensive idea of who your sperm donor is. It can also give you an idea of the possible features of your future child.
“The photos of the donors as children are a plus, but the photos of the donors as adults give you a more concrete and real impression. It brought me a personal feeling, which I think is also important in this particular choice. In addition, I personally want to be able to provide as much information as possible to my future child, if it comes to be important for her later.
And then in life, it is normal to choose your partner, so why should it be different for this important choice?”
- Marie, France
5. Consider whether your child should have the possibility to contact the donor
One of the most important choices you have to make is whether your child should have the option to contact the sperm donor when he or she turns 18. In some countries, this is given because only one or the other option is allowed.
At Cryos, a donor with no possibility for contact is called a Non-ID Release sperm donor, and a donor with the possibility for future contact is called an ID Release sperm donor. With an ID Release donor, your child will have the opportunity to have the donor's name, date of birth and last known address provided at Cryos when he or she turns 18. That is if he or she wants to. We know that to some, knowing more about their genetic heritage becomes very important. To others, there is no need to know about the donor. If you do not want your child to have the option to seek contact, you can choose a Non-ID Release donor. Then, no one will ever be able to obtain more information about him than provided in the donor profile.
6. Why choosing the right sperm bank is important
When choosing the right sperm bank to help you on your way towards parenthood, there are a few things you might want to consider:
- Variety of sperm donors: At Cryos, we have a lot of different sperm donors available to help you on your way. Whether you prefer to choose a sperm donor based on their physical trait or personality, there should be an option for you in our Donor Search.
- A thorough screening process: Besides the variety of sperm donors, we make sure that only high-quality donors are available in our Donor Search. Because of our thorough screening process, we can make sure that our donors are healthy men with high-quality sperm.
7. Make sure that the donor has enough straws available for your treatment → How much donor sperm do you need and what does it cost?
Make sure that the donor you have decided upon has enough straws for your entire treatment. Most people need a few treatments to get pregnant. Therefore, it can be a good idea to reserve some extra straws for your entire fertility treatment. Reserving sperm straws costs a little extra, but it is definitely worth it if you are set on a specific donor. Contact our Customer Care Team or talk to your clinic, if you have any questions regarding the amount of donor sperm you must order. Read more about the cost of reservation by following the link to our page: Sperm Donor cost and payment options.
If you have not found the right fertility clinic to receive your treatment at, you may want to read our blog post 10 things to consider before choosing a fertility clinic.
Frequently asked questions about choosing a sperm donor
How many sperm donors are available at Cryos?
At Cryos, we have the largest selection of sperm donors available in the world. The specific amount of donors available varies from one country to another, depending on the legislation. Some countries only allow one type of donor profile, while others only allow ID or Non-ID Release donors, which will affect the number of donors available.
Can I get a sperm donor that looks like me?
Yes, most people are able to find a sperm donor with a similar physical appearance as themselves. When choosing a sperm donor, it is possible to see pictures of the donors as children, some sperm donors even have pictures of themselves as adults. Many lesbian couples using donor sperm as a pregnancy option tend to choose a donor with a similar physical appearance as the woman not carrying the child.
Can a sperm donor know their child?
Yes, it is possible for the sperm donor to get to know their child, but only if the child contacts the donor. Children born with the help of ID Release donors, can contact us and receive their sperm donor's contact information when they turn 18, thus giving them the option of getting in contact with their donor.