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What to know about sperm donations

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 Both donor and recipient will go through extensive screening processes (Photo: Psychology Today)

Sperm donations have existed for many decades in the medical world. It's a process where a sperm donor provides his sperm at a fertility clinic, for artificial insemination of a recipient.

It's a process that has given many recipients hope by allowing them to get kids of their own.

This is a process that has different sides to it as far as donor and recipient are concerned. At the same time, there are certain procedures that they both undergo before the process begins.

Below are some of the important things to know about sperm donations if you're thinking of going down that road:

Recipients can choose a known or unknown donor

At fertility clinics, recipients are able to choose between known donors and anonymous sperm donors for insemination. Depending on what you are looking for, both have some advantages and disadvantages to them.

For a known donor, the recipient is familiar with the donor and the child can easily identify the father. In any case, it makes it easier for the children to have some sense of belonging. If this isn't something the recipient wants, they are free to select an anonymous donor.

It can be costly

The cost of donating and buying sperm varies from clinic to clinic. Also, more fees are incurred when it comes to consultation charges, insemination treatments and implantation procedures. Since it's not a straightforward process of donating and implanting, it can be quite costly, especially for the recipient.

 Your kids might someday want to track you down (Photo: iStock)
There are extensive screening processes

As we mentioned, the entire process is not so direct. It requires many steps and procedures before anything is approved. Part of that process is screening. This is where the sperms are checked for any diseases such as HIV, STDs and genetic irregularities that might be present.

The donor is also assessed medically for things like sexual history, and family genetic history among other things that could potentially affect the sperm quality.

After a while, these donations are screened again to make sure everything is perfect.

Therefore the safest way is to use legal sperm donations rather than backdoor donations which are not well examined.

There are ideal donations

One thing that the clinics won't tell you is that there are certain ideals and qualifications that they are looking for. Most women who opt for insemination often pick donations that are ideal in height, colour and other factors. For that reason, clinics don't just pick any donations thrown their way. In the real sense, they are a business so they have to pick donations according to demand in order to minimize losses.

Your kids might track you down

These days, nothing is truly anonymous even when it comes to sperm donations. When you sign an anonymity form at the clinics, it doesn't prevent your kids from being curious about who their donor is. Technology is so advanced that donors are often surprised when some of their offspring come knocking at their doors on a random day. Things can go either way when this happens. It can be a very awkward experience seeing each other for the first time or a good experience when you don't mind reuniting with your biological children.

So if you are considering being a sperm donor, this is a possibility.

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