When you’re thinking about using a sperm donor for artificial insemination, there’s a lot to consider. You need to choose whether you’d like to ask a friend or use a sperm bank, if you’d rather have a known or anonymous donor, and how you want to go about the insemination process. After all that, there’s still one more decision to make: do you want to use that same donor for future children?
Considerations to make if you choose sperm donation more than once
When parents go down the path of sperm donation twice or more, there are a few important decisions to make. The most prominent one sometimes being whether to use the same sperm donor, or to choose a different one.
If you use the same donor twice
By using the same donor, you’ll ensure that your children are related to one another whether they’re carried by the same parent or not, which can feel important for some families. However, this is something you might need to know a little bit sooner than you might expect.
If you go to the sperm bank knowing you want one child, it’s possible that you’ll also need to decide at that time if you’d like a potential future sibling to be related to that child through sperm. Sperm banks can run out of sperm from popular donors, so there might not be any samples from your donor left if you decide in a few years later that you’d like another child.
If you already know you’d like to have multiple children using a specific donor, stocking up on sperm could be a good idea. You will be spending more money, but it will guarantee that the same sperm is available should you want to use it later on.
If you use different donors
Your children will always be siblings, no matter whether they’re genetically related or not. Using different donors for your children won’t make you any less of a family. If you’ve already had a child using donor sperm and you aren’t able to obtain a donation from that same person, you can start looking for another donor.
As you’re looking for another donor, you might want to consider the attributes of the original donor. What were their physical characteristics? If your donor had brown hair and you’d like your children to have similar appearances, you might choose another donor with brown hair. But it’s worth keeping in mind that even if you do use the same sperm, there’s no guarantee that your children will look alike, so try not to stress about this too much.
If you’re not sure
You don’t necessarily need to decide right now. Some sperm banks have a sibling inventory where they place donor sperm after a family has reported a birth using sperm from that donor. This can increase the chances that if you were to go back in a couple of years there would still be sperm available from that donor. If you choose to buy this sperm in advance to ensure it will be available for a potential future child, there will likely be a storage cost involved, plus the cost of the sperm itself.
For couples who plan on using sperm donated by a friend, you might want to talk with your donor about the possibility of more children in the future. If you think you might like to use sperm from the same donor again, do check in advance to make sure he’d be open to donating again, and make sure you don’t lose his number.