I want to use a sperm donor
There are several reasons why you may need to use donated sperm (ie, sperm that is not from your partner).
It can be used in different types of fertility treatment including IUI, where sperm is used to fertilise a woman’s egg inside her body and IVF, where sperm is used to fertilise a woman’s egg or donor eggs in a laboratory.
You may need donor sperm if:
How can donor sperm be used in treatment?
Donor sperm may come from someone you know or from a sperm bank. Our dedicated embryology team are on hand to help with any questions you may have and, if required, can help you select sperm from our donor bank of choice. They will try, as far as possible, to help you (and your partner) to match the donor’s physical characteristics with your own.
You will also be offered counselling throughout your parenting journey from specially trained therapists as well as access to legal advice if required.
Who donates sperm?
Sperm donors are usually aged 18-45 years and with good quality sperm. All sperm donors must be registered with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). They need to have a series of stringent screening tests to check they aren’t carrying inherited diseases or infections. The number of families that each donor can create is also limited by the HFEA.
We use a nucleic acid test, often called a ‘NAT’ test, It’s a type of blood screening test that detects viruses earlier. Even using this test, sperm will need to be quarantined for three months after it has been donated and frozen before it can be used in treatment.
Although sperm donors are usually anonymous, any child born using donor sperm will be able to access identifying information about that donor at the age of 18. You can find out more about this on the HFEA website.
What are the legal aspects of using donated sperm?
If you use donated sperm through the Agora, any child born as a result is legally the child of you and your partner (if you have one). This means that the person who donates the sperm has no legal rights over your child or responsibility for them. However, the HFEA Register does hold identifying information about each donor and the child has a legal right to this when they are 18. Our specialist team will be able to help you access legal advice, and you can also find out more about legal parenthood from the HFEA website.
Please see our latest success rates for treatments with donor sperm.
How can I become a sperm donor?
We welcome enquiries from altruistic sperm donors. Donating sperm enables people who would otherwise be unable to have a family to have children of their own. If you are aged between 18 and 41 and are healthy, there is probably no reason why you can’t help other people in this way.
Legal implications of sperm donation
Before you go ahead, it’s essential to understand the legal aspects and the implications of sperm donation. At the Agora, we can advise you about what’s involved and help you access legal advice.
By donating at a clinic that is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), you will not be legally responsible for any children that are born as a result of your sperm donation and your name will not appear on the birth certificate. You will have no rights over the children and are not liable for any financial support.
- All donors are asked to fill out a questionnaire about their health and to have blood tests and screening to check for various diseases
- We usually ask donors to produce sperm on-site at the Agora and we provide facilities for this
- We then offer a consultation with one of our doctors who will assess your health and your medical and family history
- You need to be healthy and not be on any regular medication for chronic illness
- You should not have any family history of inherited diseases or mental illness
- You need to have a normal sperm assessment
- We offer counselling to all our sperm donors to make sure they understand – and are happy – about the implications of donating
Do I get paid?
HFEA regulations allow us to reimburse sperm donors a single fee of £35 per donation to cover their expenses.
What will children born as a result of my sperm donation know about me?
When you donate sperm, you will be asked to fill in a form with information about yourself, including:
- Marital status
- Children (how many you have, if any)
- Physical characteristics
- Ethnic group
- Medical history
You will also be asked to write a message to any children born using your sperm, along with a general description of what you are like. This information is held by the HFEA and can be given to any child aged over 18 born as a result of your donation.
If you are interested in becoming a sperm donor, please contact us to discuss the next steps.
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