A known sperm donor is a friend, a family member or someone who voluntarily donates their sperm to be used in assisted reproduction. Known donors can choose to be anonymous or opt to play a role in the child’s life. The sperm donor is not involved with the recipient of the sperm in a sexual way and simply donates the sperm for the conception of a child.

Choosing a known sperm donor is a popular option but many clinics will suggest you consider counselling as well as getting legal advice before making any final decisions. It differs from anonymous donation as there are many more issues to consider including legal, medical, social and familial ones.

All known sperm donors have to be tested as per regular protocol and full screening is still carried out. Semen samples will be frozen and quarantined for approximately six months in most clinics. This is to guarantee any infectious diseases can be tested for before insemination. Once the quarantine period is over both the semen and the donor will be retested for infectious diseases. The quality of the semen has a key role in how successful the process is.

Choosing a known donor

Below and the key considerations when you choose a known donor and the outcomes of each:

  • The child will have the right to form a relationship with the donor, if agreed legally. This can help the child understand their birth process better which can be difficult if they have no contact with their biological father.
  • The child will be legally entitled to know their genetic background and origin and if involved the donor can share this information with them themselves. This can help the child come to terms with their alternative birth more easily.
  • Utilising a known donor means you can involve another key person in the child’s life in addition to yourself and your partner. Having a third role model in the child’s life and choosing the person due to their personal traits means you can inject further positivity into your child’s upbringing.
  • Knowing their donor can help a child avoid any psychological difficulties relating to their genetic background in later life.

Choosing a known donor is an option many people choose as they like to have a clear understanding of the exact person who is fathering their child. It can work if you’ve got close family members who want to help and it can also work if you use one of the online forums developed to help you find a known donor. It’s a very different experience to using an anonymous donation and you should always consider all options.