There are  many  decisions to be made here, we think there will be some primaries, namely:

  • Will you get sperm from someone you know or from a sperm bank?

  • If you use a bank, will you choose an "open" or "anonymous" donor?

Use of a known donor (instead of a sperm bank)

A  sperm donor  known  it is usually someone who is part of the life of future moms.  This may be a friend, an acquaintance, or often a mother's brother or relative who  no  will use their eggs.

There are many positives to using a known donor.  First, if the donor is a relative, give to  both  mothers the opportunity to have a genetic connection with the child.

Second, you will have a good idea of who this person is - they have been personally vetted by you.  This is important because, as you will see with sperm bank donors, many women feel that they are given limited information and cannot formulate an idea of what kind of person the donor is.

Third, you can also take additional steps that make you more comfortable with this donor, such as doing any specific genetic tests you want to do.  Alternatively, many patients wonder if sperm banks do a painstaking job of medically screening donors (more on this to come).

Fifth, you can create a unique family structure, whereby a known donor can also be part of a child's life from the beginning, if that is what mothers want.

Seventh, presumably sperm from a known donor can be acquired more economically than through a sperm bank, however this will likely be offset by additional costs.

Eighth, unlike sperm from a sperm bank, known donors can provide fresh samples (compared to sperm banks that only offer frozen samples).  In treatments like IUI, this offers better results.

Of course, there are also drawbacks to using a known donor.

Most importantly, there may be legal risks, especially if the donor is involved with the child.  Some of these risks can be mitigated by legal agreements and by making sure to do the insemination in a clinic so that it is well documented that they are  donors  , no  parents  .

Second, there can be complications if, in the future, you and the donor cannot agree on what the relationship between the child and the donor should be.

Lastly, you will likely have to cover the costs for the donor's sperm to be tested and their physical and mental health evaluated, and possibly any costs you accrue for the attorneys to review the documents that waive any claims of paternity of the child.  These costs can replace the cost of simply purchasing sperm from a sperm bank.

Using a sperm bank

The alternative to using sperm from someone in your life is to obtain sperm from a sperm bank.  

The costs of using a sperm bank vary and the prices among the major banks vary between 10 and 15%.  There really is  two  costs: the cost of the information and the cost of the sperm itself.

Information:  you should assume that you will pay for different levels of donor information on the sperm bank portal, with higher level access.

Sperm:  the costs to acquire a bottle of sperm vary and increase if:

  • The donor is willing to let their offspring know their identity when they turn 18 (this is known as an "open" donor)

  • The sample has been washed and treated before being sent.

First, compared to trying to select a known donor, sperm banks provide a wide selection (although many clients complain that they have a hard time finding what they are looking for).  Also, you can get access to sperm almost immediately.

Second, sperm banks handle much of the logistical hassle that falls on those who use a known donor: they have handled physical, psychological and medical examinations.  The donor has waived all rights and claims on the child.

Third, most sperm banks are very friendly to gay parents.