What is an anonymous sperm donor?
An anonymous sperm donor is a man who chooses, for any number of possible reasons, to donate his sperm anonymously to help a woman or a couple become pregnant. An anonymous sperm donor will generally not meet the couple that uses the sperm, nor will he have information about any resultant child’s whereabouts. Different sperm banks differ on the amount of information they will provide the donor about resulting pregnancies. You will need to speak to the sperm bank with which you choose to work about their specific policies and conditions.
Each sperm bank has its own requirements and procedures for sperm donors; however, many requirements are required by all sperm banks. You should look at the question below “Am I eligible to become a sperm donor” and make sure that you generally meet the criteria before approaching a donor bank.
The following is an outline of the typical procedure at a sperm bank. The process you will go through at any individual sperm bank may be more or less extensive in terms of the evaluation but there will be many similarities.
You may approach a sperm bank directly to see if they are accepting new donors. You will be asked a number of questions over the phone. At that time, you will be asked to come in to the bank (or laboratory) for a meeting. During this first meeting, the laboratory will spend significant time with you, have you fill out a very thorough questionnaire about your own medical history and your family history. At that time they will go through their rules and procedures. Often labs will ask you, during this first visit, to produce an initial semen sample in the collection room. This initial sample is tested by the lab to see how much sperm is in the ejaculate, its quality, and how well it freezes. Most labs have private collection rooms with videos or magazine to help with production.
Assuming the sample looks good and you meet the bank’s basic criteria, you will be invited back for a full physical and to have blood drawn. At that time, you will probably be asked to produce another sample of semen and urine. These will be thoroughly tested for infectious disease, sexually transmitted diseases or genetic problems. Assuming all of these tests are completed and come back negative you will be able to start regular donations. Most often banks ask you to sign a contract agreeing to produce specimens 1-2/ week for at least 6 months. Again, each laboratory has its own requirements.
Most banks look for the following qualifications:
- Ages 18-44.
- Individual who were not adopted.
- Healthy: No significant illness or conditions.
- No family history of genetic diseases.
- Ability and willingness to produce a specimen 4-8 times per month in the laboratory.
- Ability and willingness to make a minimum 6-month commitment.
Each bank varies in what they pay per specimen. Usually, the range is $35-$50 per specimen. Banks often require a six-month gap between production and complete payment. That is, they will not release payments to a sperm donor until he has completed the second set of blood tests; six months after the first set were done. The reason for this is fairly straightforward. Any specimens in a laboratory’s bank cannot be released until a second blood test, (done after a 6 month quarantine period) returns negative and proves that no infections were in the blood at the time the specimens were produced. The banks, as an assurance that the donor will return for the 6 months blood test, will hold payment for that time.
You can contact the banks closest to you about your interest in becoming a sperm donor. Please be aware that most sperm banks require that you live within an hour’s commute.
If you are seeking a sperm donation, or are a prospective donor, here is a list of sperm banks by location.
Read more frequently asked questions about Sperm Banking.