Dr Robert McLachlan’s guide to becoming a sperm donor – Part 2

Dr Robert what is the difference between a clinic recruited donor and a known donor?

Clinic-recruited donors are men who come forward for altruistic reasons to donate sperm for use in a defined number of recipients. This number varies between five and ten according to the state (for state specific information speak to one of our fertility nurses). Recipients are given non-identifying information in order to make their selection but identifying information is not provided. This can only be released on the request of the offspring after they reach adulthood. We need more of these clinic-recruited donors in particular as most couples choose this type of donor.

The other type of donor is the known donor, wherein the couple are aware of the identity of the donor and have chosen him for different personal reasons.
However, when it comes to counseling compliance with state laws, screening for genetic and infectious disease and provision of relevant health information about the donor to recipients, there is no difference between a clinic recruited and a known donor.

Why should someone donate their sperm?

1) They want to help others to start a family because they have known the joy of children in their own lives and want to share the experience.

2) They know as someone who has experienced or knows someone who has fertility issues the problems that they face and want to assist and relieve that problem for people in a similar situation.

3) They want to know that, even if they don’t have their own children, that their genes will be carried forward through this contribution to a donor conceived child.

What information is given about a donor to a prospective recipient?

Prospective recipients receive important non-identifying information about their donor, including things like ethnic origin, height, weight, interests and general health information, occupational group and similar information to help them choose the donor. They do not receive identifying information; this can only be provided to the offspring on request when he or she reaches adulthood.

What are the donor’s rights?

Sperm donors do not have legal responsibilities to donor-conceived children in terms of issues relation to raising the child, inheritances or other related expenses, however, they are entitled to know (if they wish) that their donation has led to a pregnancy, a birth and the number and gender of the children and whether those children have encountered any health problems.

Is the donor’s identity released?

At Monash IVF we strongly believe that the mental and physical health of donor-conceived children is of the utmost importance. Therefore it is important that donor-conceived children can find out their biological origins.

Identifying information may include the donor’s name, date of birth, donor code and contact information (including address, telephone number and email address).

How can people find out more?

If you are interested in becoming a sperm donor then you can make an enquiry and speak to one of our fertility nurses today. Our trained fertility nurses can talk you through the process in more depth. Once you are interested, there is a health questionnaire to help screen out obvious issues, followed by clinical evaluation, questionnaires, semen and blood testing. That whole evaluation process takes a few weeks and the number of appointments is kept to a minimum so as not to inconvenience the potential donor.

After that men are required to provide about 10 ejaculates over 1-2 months and then return 3 months later on one occasion for a final blood test to give the ‘all clear’ to put the donor on the available list.

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