Once you’ve narrowed your choices down, you can order a longer profile of each sperm donor, for which you’ll pay a fee. These detailed profiles, 20-plus pages long, include a medical history of the donor and his immediate family, grandparents, aunts and uncles. “I highly recommend the long profile,” says Evans. “It gives you more of an idea of what’s in this person’s background.” Other for-fee options include audio interviews, temperament analysis, and baby photos (of the donors, not their offspring). Xytex was the first to offer adult photos of its sperm donors, though a picture is not available for all of them. “People want to see photographs,” says Rivers. “People want healthy babies and smart babies, but they want pretty babies too.”
And not surprisingly, another reason couples want to see photos is that they’d like their donor—and their child—to look like the husband. Avail yourself of the sperm bank’s photo matching service, advises Frost. “You send a picture of [your husband] and they will look for someone with a similar facial structure.” Family resemblance may be particularly important, says Frost, if you don’t plan to tell your child that you used a sperm donor to get pregnant.
Consider This When Choosing Sperm
Good looks and good health aren’t the only considerations, of course. When choosing a donor you’ll notice that vials are available as ICI (intracervical insemination, meaning the sperm is to be inserted into the cervix) and/or IUI (intrauterine insemination, meaning the sperm will be placed in the uterus). The type of insemination you have—and the type of sperm vials you order—may depend on whether you’re using a gynecologist or a reproductive endocrinologist for the procedure. Intrauterine insemination is a slightly more difficult procedure, and requires the ejaculate to be “washed” free of its seminal fluid, so that only motile sperm suspended in sterile saline solution remains. Says Robert Stillman, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and medical director of Shady Grove Fertility Center in Rockville, Maryland, “We use IUI because there’s some degree of benefit from doing it, and for reproductive endocrinologists it’s a simple enough procedure to do.”
Lastly, you’ll want to consider the future: Some sperm banks offer a sibling registry, which allows parents who have had a child by the same donor to contact one another once the children have turned 18. The donor is not necessarily part of the registry—though he may be if you opted for a bank that has both a sibling registry and an “open donor” program, as California Cryobank does. That program stipulates that once your child turns 18, if his or her sperm donor/biological father agreed to be an open donor, your child may contact him.
Getting Pregnant with Donor Sperm|
Feb 24, 2009
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