Choosing the Sperm Donation Facility Near Me

Choosing the Sperm Donation Facility Near Me

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There's a lot to weigh when deciding which nearby sperm donation facility will work best for you. The overall cost is likely high on your list, but you should also consider whether the facility offers the types of testing that you need, whether the facility limits the amount of specimens a sperm donor can provide, and if the facility has faced any recent legal challenges.

Ideally, semen collecting facilities conduct testing on the donors and their specimens to ensure the recipient has the best chance at having a healthy baby. You should look at the type of genetic problems, infectious diseases, and other ailments that the clinic routinely screens for. When a parent-to-be wishes to find a sperm donor of the same religious or ethnic background, further testing might be recommended. Because some genetic diseases occur more often in certain groups, those donors undergo additional testing specific to that disease. For instance, those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have a higher chance of passing on a rare genetic disorder called Tay-Sachs disease, so those donors might have their enzymes and DNA tested as a precaution. You'll need to make sure that the establishment can meet your needs.

Most sperm banks and fertility clinics have a policy that they won't inform the sperm donor when his donation resulted in a pregnancy - healthy or not. However, the sperm bank should keep a record of this information so they can limit his future donations if necessary. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but most sperm banks follow the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines which recommend that a sperm donor be limited to 25 offspring per population of 80,000. These general guidelines are meant to keep the gene pool from growing stagnant and to limit the chances of accidental inbreeding. However, it's impossible for a facility to follow the recommendations to the letter as the sperm bank might not know whether the pregnancies resulted in a live birth and the sperm donor could have impregnated additional women outside of the sperm bank as well. Still, most facilities make an effort to track this information and it's worth inquiring about it. 

Check to see if the sperm bank or fertility clinic has faced any lawsuits or legal inquiries in the past year or so. Some red flags are accusations that the facility dropped the ball with genetic testing, misplaced or mislabeled vials of semen, destroyed vials of semen illegally, or lied about donor profiles. The bad news is that you'll likely find lots of information condemning many of these establishments as they were allowed to run wild with little to no regulation for years. Unfortunately, finding your own private sperm donor isn't necessarily the best solution as it brings its own set of pitfalls. For example, you might still need someone to conduct the genetic and infectious disease testing and if you want to preserve any vials for later use, well, you're right back at needing a sperm bank. The good news is that most of the facilities and the laws surrounding artificial insemination have somewhat improved since facing public scrutiny. For instance, sperm collection facilities are now regulated by the FDA. Although most states have failed to create licensing and inspection laws that apply to sperm collection facilities, other states are progressively leading the way. New York is a great example as sperm banks who provide specimens in the state's jurisdiction must get licensed and submit to on-site inspections. You should check with your state's laws to see if the establishment you're interested in is compliant. If you'd like additional reassurance, check for establishments that have voluntarily submitted themselves for inspection and have become accredited by the American Association of Tissue Bank (AATB). Unfortunately, some sperm banks use double-speak and claim they "meet" or "exceed" AATB standards in order to fool you into believing it was awarded by the AATB after an inspection. Accreditation by the AATB is voluntary and few clinics meet the requirements. Any clinic that didn't undergo an inspection is not accredited by the AATB - it's as simple as that. Keep in mind that these are just things to consider and aren't meant to declare that one facility should be shunned while another one gets selected.   

The process of artificial insemination might seem easy, but the choices are overwhelming and it's hard to know what really matters when it comes to having a healthy baby. Although the prices at each facility will likely play a large part in deciding who to choose, you should also consider their testing standards, donor limitations, and potential legal troubles before signing a contract.

  • Darius Q

    May 23, 2017

    As a potential sperm donor, I hadn't thought about meeting the intended parents face to face. I think that would seem kind of odd and put a personal twist on it that would make me feel uncomfortable. I'll have to make sure the sperm bank I go to doesn't expect that of me.

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