With donated sperm many couples and single females are given the opportunity to have children that would otherwise not be possible.
Before making the decision on whether or not using a sperm donor is the right choice for you, have a look at our list of common questions and answers.
What’s in it for the donor?
Sperm donors often find it rewarding to help others have their dream of a baby come true. There is £35 payable for each sperm sample which may provide a financial incentive also.
Will the donor have parental rights?
Sperm donors who are registered at the clinic will be aware they have no legal parental rights or responsibilities.
How do I find a sperm donor?
Most clinics have a sperm bank and there are also online organisations specially set up to offer support and assistance in finding the ideal donor.
Is it safe to use imported or unregulated sperm donations?
When using imported or unregulated sperm you should be aware that there may be a higher number of half siblings as opposed to the UK maximum limit of ten families. There is also a risk that the screening process may not be as secure as the UK, with a possible higher risk of medical complications arising. With unregulated sperm donors, be sure you feel safe and comfortable and be cautious about the donor’s motive. Always ensure both parties agree on the legal parental rights before committing. Finally, due to the possibility of inadequate screening you are less likely to know the sample quality.
Can I use the offer of donated sperm from a friend/relative?
If you have the kind offer of using sperm donating by a friend or relative then it is recommended that you seek consultation together at the clinic. You should ensure the ‘known’ donor passes the screening process and that the parental rights are agreed in advance.
Will the identity of the sperm donor be shared with me?
There are three types of sperm donors – ‘known’, ‘semi-known’ and ‘anonymous’. Many countries have legal restrictions regarding the different types, with some illegal in one country yet legal in another. With ‘known’ donors you will be aware of their identity, although ‘semi-known’ involves disclosing details which don’t reveal identity. ‘Anonymous’ donations withhold all information about the donor, which is illegal in the UK.
Will the donor be able to trace my child?
The donor will not be issued with any personal information that would enable them to identify your child. The donor can however request to know how many babies were produced using their sperm, the child genders and the years of each birth.
Should I tell my child about the use of a sperm donor?
There is no UK law demanding that you reveal the use of a donor to your child, although it is highly recommended that you are open and honest about it from a young age.
Will my child be able to locate their biological father if they want to?
Anonymous sperm donation is legal in many countries. The UK however requires all sperm donors to provide personal information so those conceived in this way can discover their genetic father once they become aged eighteen.
Who is the ‘typical’ sperm donor?
There really is no stereotypical sperm donor. Apart from meeting the specific criteria such as being aged 18-41, attending the necessary appointments and having no serious genetic disability, men who donate their sperm vary greatly. Some may have their own family, while others don’t.
What about my future children? Do I use the same donor or not?
If you want to use the same donor to have a second child then you can ask the clinic to make contact with them to request this. It is not guaranteed they will agree. If you want to conceive your child using a different donor then that is absolutely fine too.