Know Your Man: The Difference Between Anonymous and Known Sperm Donors
Artificial insemination, natural insemination, in vitro fertilization, or a combination of methods – whichever you choose, one of the first decisions you’re going to have to make whether you’d prefer a Known or Anonymous Sperm Donor.
A Known Sperm Donor is a donor with whom you have direct contact. Many couples – gay and straight – choose this path because they’d like the donor to have a relationship with the family, or because they are comfortable with the donor’s physical traits and personality. There is also the advantage of having easy access to information on the donor’s genetics and medical history.
However, there are some disadvantages in choosing a Known Sperm Donor. The legalities of the relationship between donor and child are more complicated, and MDC recommends that you work out a contract spelling out the parameters of the relationship in advance. There is also the risk that the Known Sperm Donor will change his mind about the kind of relationship he’d like to have with the child, and may press for more or less involvement as time goes by. You are, after all, creating a relationship with another person, and such relationships always come with some risks.
[Unlike other services, MDC maintains a database of potential Known Sperm Donors, and can also help organize the necessary tests for sperm quality, genetic disorders, and infectious diseases that you should conduct if a friend or acquaintance has volunteered to be the donor.]
MDC can help also help guide you in asking the appropriate questions of a potential Known Sperm Donor, and can also connect you to legal resources to help you draw up appropriate contracts.
An Anonymous Donor is a donor who does not have direct contact with you. All contact will be organized through the service or agency, which means that you will not have any access to personal information about the donor, other than medical and genetic history. Some services also allow you to choose an Open, Non-Anonymous Donor, which allows any children who result from the donation to access the identity of the donor at the age of 18.
The advantages of choosing an Anonymous Donor include access to thoroughly-tested, viable sperm; complete information on medical, psychological and family history; more complete protection of your rights as a parent; and avoiding future legal entanglements. Please keep in mind that a Closed Anonymous Donation will prevent your child from seeking information regarding their biological father in the future, which could be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your perspective.
Regardless of which option you choose, MDC can guide you through the entire process. “Get Started” button