Did you know that almost 1,300 babies are successfully born from donated sperm each year in the UK alone?
There are many reasons why families and even individuals are quite keen on the idea of using donated sperm, but while there’s a high demand for it, there are still so many factors to think about before making a decision.
Seeking a fertility specialist can be beneficial for some reasons. For one, he/she can assist women and provide recommended courses of action to resolve fertility and reproductive health issues. This is applicable for women over 35 who can’t get pregnant even after six months of trying; those under 35 who can’t get pregnant after a year of trying; or women who’ve had cases of miscarriage more than once.
Where to look for sperm donors
In looking for sperm donors, here are the two common ways to go about it:
1. Going to a fertility clinic. Fertility clinics usually have their very own bank of frozen sperm donated by anonymous donors. The downside to this is that there’s a waiting list. Since the donor sperm waiting lists can differ in each fertility clinic, you may want to check with several of them first before proceeding with the treatment.
2. Use sperm from someone you know. You can ask a friend who’s willing to donate healthy sperm for you. If you don’t know anyone who’s available, you can always go to legitimate sperm donor introduction websites. You may get the sperm directly from the donor or have it taken in a fertility clinic, where you should also be present.
How to get pregnant from donor sperm
Donor sperm is inserted into any of the female’s reproductive organs (cervix, uterus, vagina) during her fertility period, in a process called artificial insemination. Doctors will use a syringe or a fine tube in this procedure.
Fertility clinics are required to conform to a rigorous set of regulations to make sure that the donor sperm is safe to use. It should be free from any infection, such as HIV and chlamydia.
Fertility clinics ensure that the sperm donor’s identity remains anonymous. However, you will get certain key information such as his personal characteristics and ethnic group. When your child reaches 18 years old, s/he will be able to acquire identifying information about the sperm donor–that is if the artificial insemination happened after April 1, 2005.
If you have obtained donated sperm from a licensed fertility clinic, bear in mind that you have legal rights to it and your future child. The sperm donor, on the other hand, does not. Therefore, he can not be sought to take responsibility for the child, both financially and physically. I also don’t have any say on how you will raise the child and get his name written on the child’s birth certificate. Lastly, he can’t be a legal parent to the child.
Parental rights will also be given to your spouse (if you are married), or to your partner, as signed in the relevant consent form.
Needless to say, donor sperm can be very helpful, especially to those disheartened by infertility. It’s a comfort to know that people of any gender, background, and relationship status can take these measures.