Assisted reproductive technology with donors

If you’re choosing to pursue assisted reproductive technology, it might be because there’s an issue with your or your partner’s eggs or sperm that is hindering your conception efforts. Finding eggs or sperm from a donor can be an intimidating process, but it can also be an exciting first step in your ART journey.

How do I find a donor?

One route would be to find someone you know who would be willing to donate sperm or eggs. This is appealing to some people because they like to know exactly what their donor looks like, or they’re interested in their child potentially having a relationship with their donor.

If you don’t know someone willing to be a donor or you’d prefer not to ask, your other option would be to purchase sperm or eggs from a bank. The bank will likely let you look through many different options for donors, who are screened for disease and sperm motility in advance.

How much would it cost?

The cost of sperm varies from bank to bank, and a sperm sample could cost anywhere from $200-$2,000. If you’re receiving sperm from a friend, you’ll just be paying for the insemination unless you choose to inseminate at home. Costs also vary for eggs, but you can expect to pay more than $25,000 for donor eggs. The costs aren’t much different if you have a friend willing to donate her eggs because much of the cost comes from paying for the extraction and other costs associated with it.

Could a child I conceive with a donor egg/sperm find their donor?

Some donors will volunteer to have their identities known to any potential biological children, and these purchases usually cost more than anonymous donors. If you know the person who donated sperm or eggs, you’ll likely have the ability to get in touch with them. You will, however, want to clarify what relationship that person would have with the child beforehand.

What’s the legal situation?

If you received a sample from a bank, the person who donated the sample waived all of their parental rights when they made the donation. For people who know their donors personally, it can be a little more complicated. Before you use a donation from a friend, you should consider consulting a lawyer to draft papers terminating the parental rights of the donor. Your donor can also make their donation through a bank, allowing their sperm or eggs to be tested for disease and for them to sign papers terminating their parental rights.

The bottom line

Remember that the best way to make a family is the way that works best for you, and let everything else fall into place. If you have specific questions or concerns about conceiving through ART with a donor, be sure to consult your healthcare provider.

  • Vega, Maria. “High price of sperm banks.” FitPregnancy. Meredith Corporation. 2016. Web.
  • “Becoming a Sperm Donor – Frequently Asked Questions.” California Cryobank., a California Cryobank Division. 2016. Web.
  • “Genetics 101 for Egg and Sperm Donation.” Creating a Family. The National Infertility & Adoption Education Nonprofit. June 23, 2014. Web.
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