Sperm Donation Compensation

Sperm Donation Compensation

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If you'd like to help someone have a healthy baby while earning some extra money each month then donating your semen to a sperm bank or fertility clinic might be for you. Of course, before you can get paid, you have to qualify. The application process is incredibly stringent and the terms will vary between each sperm bank and fertility clinic. However, these businesses do have a few basics in common, such as seeking men who:

• Are at least 18 years old and not older than 39 years old.

• Are legally allowed to work in the United States. Sperm donors are treated as independent contractors and should receive a 1099 designating them as such.

• Are in excellent mental and physical health. This includes having a healthy BMI, being a non-smoker, and not abusing drugs and alcohol.

• Have a personal history and family history free of mental illness, genetic disorders, and infectious diseases. Unfortunately, this requirement sometimes rules out men who are adopted since they can't look for any known medical problems in their lineage.  

• Have a verifiable higher education degree or are at least actively pursuing a degree.

• Are willing to commit to being a sperm donor for at least six months at that facility.

• Live fairly close to the facility since weekly semen donations and regular checkups are required

• Have a healthy, working reproductive system

Note that those are just the basic requirements and each sperm bank, fertility clinic, and even the intended parents and state laws can add additional qualifiers. For instance, some sperm banks will ask where you've traveled because they don't want sperm from someone who's had the possibility of being exposed to the Zika virus. Other places might request that the donors provide three photographs of themselves - one as a baby, a teen, and as an adult - while others require their donors to pass a criminal background check. Checking out the facility's website is the easiest way to determine if you meet their parameters. Becoming a sperm donor through a commercial facility is usually a three-step process and applicants are weeded out at each step. Before moving forward, you should know that you likely won't get paid for the time you spend qualifying. 

Step One

Get ready to fill out paperwork. These forms are usually found on the clinic's website or you might be able to drop in and collect the paperwork. These forms will typically ask about your physical and mental health history and will gather information about your education and social life. Collecting the appropriate information and filling out the paperwork can be time intensive, so make sure to save copies. In the event that you donate to another facility, you won't have to hunt the information down again. Don't be alarmed if the paperwork seems extensive or maybe even invasive; it's designed to make sure you're a good candidate for their program and this is where most of the applicants get weeded out. This is a good thing, too, because it keeps you from wasting additional time and allows you to try another facility if you're still interested in donating.

Step Two

If the clinic is interested in you, the clinic will want to test your sperm. It differs from facility to facility, but on average this includes giving an interview and providing three to four on-site samples over a three week time frame. The staff will test your sperm count, make sure your sperm are normal, and make sure they have the ability to swim through a woman's reproductive track (called motility). Many places will also determine whether your sperm can survive processing and preservation. More candidates are weeded out at the end of this step.

Step Three

Congratulations if you've made it this far! Now the real medical testing begins as you'll undergo genetic testing, a complete physical including lab work, and testing for STDs and other infectious diseases. Again, it varies from facility to facility, but if everything checks out okay, you should be accepted into the semen donation program.

If the process is so arduous, why does anyone do it?  Well, some donors are simply driven to help a woman have a healthy baby. For others, money plays into it and semen donation can be financially rewarding once you're approved. Most sperm banks and fertility clinics offer bonuses for consistent, viable donations and for signing longer contracts.  Just know that it's competitive and you'll need lots of patience during the qualification phase. 

  • Shawna D

    June 3, 2017

    I find it interesting that semen donors are paid so little for their donations when egg donors are paid thousands. I get that the egg retrieval process is a lot more complicated, but $30-$50 doesn't exactly seem fair to me.

  • L Harding

    June 7, 2017

    I agree with Shawna D. The payment for sperm donation is very little compared to egg donation. Of course, the procedure is much more invasive for the egg donor hence the price goes up. I like the fact that they test them 2 times to check for disease!