Treatment with donor sperm

The sperm banks are different and there may be a difference in what they define as identity and whether there will be an opportunity for contact with the donor later in the child’s life.

In connection with fertility treatment, it may be necessary to use donor sperm. For many, it may be the only option to achieve pregnancy. It is e.g. the case if there:

  • In men, sperm cells are not found in either the ejaculate or the testicles.
  • The man has a hereditary disease.
  • You are a single woman or a lesbian couple who wants fertility treatment.

Who does the donor sperm come from?

The sperm banks offer a choice of different donor types / donor sperm and the corresponding different options for information about the donor. It is the sperm bank that receives, checks and distributes the sperm portions to the treating clinics.

The donors are typically Caucasian/European looking men with an average age of approx. 25 years.

To be approved as a sperm donor, the donors must go through several medical examinations, be healthy and have no illness in their family.

Options for fertility treatment with donor sperm

You can buy IUI (purified) and ICI sperm (unpurified). However, you should know that if you buy ICI sperm there is a fee for purification of sperm here at the clinic.

You can buy your donor sperm yourself and choose based on several characteristics. Here is a link to a sperm bank we collaborate with:

Options for fertility treatment with donor sperm

To be able to choose a donor, you must go to the European Sperm Bank’s website. We have worked closely with the European Sperm Bank for many years, and they ensure a smooth process for you when you need to be treated with donor sperm.

You start your search for a donor by clicking on the link below, create a profile by clicking on the “Create free user” button. Please note that you must either choose Stork. Once you have created your user, you have full access to the European Sperm Bank’s selection of sperm donors.

Do you have a known sperm donor?

If you wish to use your own or a dedicated donor (who is not a partner), known as a known donor, for treatment, the known donor must be screened through a questionnaire, interview, physical examination and blood and urine samples for selected infectious diseases.

It is also important to note that here at the clinic we require that the known donor’s permanent partner, if any, signs that she/he knows that the known donor’s sperm is used for fertility treatment.

Which donor should I/we choose?

The sperm banks have significantly changed their names of donor types in recent years. We have chosen to divide the donor types into ID release and No ID release. For both, they may have limited information available at this time or extended profiles. You can read more about this on the sperm banks’ websites.

ID-release donor – covers open donor, contactable donor depending on the sperm bank.

No ID-release donor – covers anonymous, uncontactable donor dependent on sperm bank.

Know the options and make the right choices for you/you – and not least for the future child. See these 4 crucial questions in connection with donor selection and having a donor child.

4 important questions about donor selection and having a donor child

1. Do you want ID-release or No ID-release donor?

It is entirely up to you. Nothing is more true than anything else – not even if there is something to suggest that an increasing number – especially in Denmark – want an ID-release donor. Our advice is that what feels right for you and your partner will, in the vast majority of cases, also be the best for the child. The important thing is therefore to familiarize yourself with the options and make a decision.

When we ask single women and lesbian couples their choice, we can see that most choose an ID-release donor – especially in Denmark, where there is great openness about different family forms. It is often about the women not wanting to restrict the child. Some single women might come up with the argument: “Now that I can’t give my child a father, I can give it an ID-release donor.” We are also seeing more heterosexual couples choose open donor than we have seen in the past due to a greater openness in society in general.

Others choose a No ID-release donor because they want to take responsibility for the child (on the child’s behalf) and thus not ‘simply’ hand over/leave it up to the child to make the choice to gain more knowledge later in life.

In these years, there is also another essential issue which has an impact on the choice of donor. Because what does it mean to choose an ID-release donor?

An ID release/open donor is a broad term. The law does not state that the child has the right to meet his donor when he turns 18, but that he has the right to know the identity. This raises a new question: What does identity cover? Is it a name, an address or just information about him? We don’t know, as the sperm banks offer something different.

In Denmark, we have had ID-release/open sperm donors since 2007 – this means that the oldest donor children are not yet 18 years old. Therefore, we do not know how the sperm banks will handle the issue. For some, it is therefore more attractive to choose a donor without ID release – for the sole reason that the story is much simpler to give to your child. The answer is not: “We will have to see what you can find out when you turn 18”. If a donor has been chosen without an ID release, we now know exactly what information the child can receive.

In some cultures (especially abroad) having a donor child is not well regarded. That is why we see women and couples who choose No ID-release donor, because their starting point is that they do not want to tell either the child or the outside world how the child came to be.

2. How should you relate to any hereditary disease in a donor?

We all have genetic defects. This also applies to a donor. Although he has been screened and tested for many diseases, we cannot make guarantees. But in general the child is better off than most of the children who are born naturally. In many cases, the donor has typically delivered donor sperm to other children in the past, and we are informed if the donor e.g. is in quarantine while it is investigated whether a reported malformation or illness in a child can be attributed to the donor.

3. Do you dream of more than one child?

We often get the question: “How much donor sperm should I buy?” It’s really hard to give advice on, because we can’t know. However, an important question you should consider early in the process is the question of full siblings: “If all goes well, will you/you have more than one child?” If so, is it important to you that it is the same donor?” This will of course be decisive for how much you should buy/reserve from at this time.

4. How will you tell your child that it is a donor child?

What are you really going to say to the child? When will you tell? How would you say it? We recommend that you already think about the child’s history when you choose to have a donor child.

We see that some take it as it comes, some plan something they want to say, while others choose to write a diary from the first thought until they are standing with a child in their arms. It then later becomes a gift for the child.

The advantage for lesbians and single women is clearly that the child himself will tell them when he is ready to get the answer. A two-year-old might say, “Where’s my daddy?” When the child is 5 years old, he may ask again. We also meet some who tell it from the time the children are infants.

And don’t forget… a donor child is to that extent a desired child. It has been desired long before it came into being. It is an option. It is the wish of the mother, it is the wish of a fellow mother or father, and it is the wish of the donor. It is a great gift – also to be told later in life!

3 good tips for those who want to use donor sperm

1. Listen to your gut

It must feel good when you decide on a choice about a donor. There is no right or wrong. If it feels right to you, then it is probably the right thing.

2. Openness and honesty are the most important

The most important thing is that you are honest with your child and that you tell the truth. Tell the truth from a very young age and not at the age of 15. All research shows that it is far easier for the child to deal with the truth than to have the experience that it is a taboo to be a donor child. For single and lesbian women it goes without saying, but for heterosexual couples it is something you have to actively deal with.

It is one thing to be honest with your child, another is what you say to those around you. What does a single woman say when she e.g. live in a small settlement in northern Norway with your little boy of 2 years? Does she change her story depending on how she thinks she will be met best: “It was a man I met, and it didn’t come to anything?” Or does she say: “I have been to Denmark to get donor sperm?”

If she tells the truth to her child and the outside world and shows that she is at peace with her decision, the child will also have the experience of being okay. and want to know that there is nothing wrong with being a donor child.

3. Think about the child

Always put the child before your own needs. Think about how you think the child will react when he grows up.

Risks of donor sperm

In an individual consultation, the doctor explains the risks of donor sperm. For the woman, the risks both with insemination and with IVF and ICSI are basically the same as with fertilizing her egg with her partner’s sperm. Any risks of infection are largely prevented with the above measures.

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