Candidate sperm donors are requested to fill out a questionnaire, which includes information on their personal and family, social, medical, reproductive, sexual and psychological records. Moreover, potential sperm donors should undergo a physical examination by an urologist, who will decide if they are capable of participating in the sperm donation program.
According to their medical record and specific psychometric tests, that a candidate sperm donor must undergo, a specialized psychologist will provide a forensic psychological evaluation and will report the possible presence of hereditary psychiatric disorders.
Screening of potential sperm donors involves multiple semen and blood testing, according to the sperm bank donation program. A list of these tests is provided below:
1. Conventional parameters (semen volume, concentration, motility, morphology, vitality)
2. Functional parameters (acrosome reaction test, sperm DNA fragmentation test)
3. Post-thaw sperm recovery and viability
4. Complete microbiological analysis
1. Blood type and rhesus (Rh) factor
2. Chromosomal karyotype
3. Cystic fibrosis testing
4. α- and β- thallasemia screening
5. Sexually transmitted diseases (HIV I/II, HbsAg, anti-HCV, anti-HTLV, CMV, HSV I/II, RPR)
Sperm donors enter the donation program and schedule visits to collect a specific number of samples, in order to cryopreserve adequate stock.
Sperm and blood tests for infectious diseases are repeated several times and the sperm is released to recipients only after a 6 – month quarantine provided that all tests are negative. Most countries have laws on sperm donation and place limits on how many children a sperm donor may give rise to.
After completing the intended program of sperm donations, the donor is obliged to return to the sperm bank for repeated laboratory testing. Any change of personal contact details or any other unexpected incidence must be reported to the sperm bank.
Medical information regarding the sperm donor is kept with absolute confidentiality and in a codified form in the sperm bank. Access to the donor’s file is allowed or forbidden, according to each country’s law, only to the child born by ART using donor sperm and solely for reasons relevant to his/her health. If according to the legal status of a country (.pdf file), sperm donation must be anonymous then it is not allowed to disclose any information regarding the identity of the donor, to the future parents. Moreover, the identity of the child or its family is never disclosed to the donor of the genetic material.
Sperm donors may be anonymous or non-anonymous. The identity of anonymous sperm donors remains confidential. In non-anonymous sperm donation, sperm banks are permitted to disclose the identity of the donor to any children brought to the world by this donor, once they turn 18 (in some countries, the age limit is lower – e.g. 16 years old in Holland).
All information regarding a sperm donor is kept under a codified form and includes his race, ethnic origin, eye color, hair color, height, weight, blood type and studies/occupation.
In some cases, an extended profile of the donor is also available to couples including many more personal details such as education, family history, interests, habits and other personal data as: baby photos of the donor, a written or recorded personal message of the donor and emotional intelligence (EQ) profile.
Choosing between anonymous and non-anonymous sperm donors
If you want to make sure that the child can learn the identity of the sperm donor in the future, you must choose a non-anonymous sperm donor.
Statistic data show that single women and same sex couples prefer to choose non-anonymous donors, while heterosexual couples seem to prefer anonymous donors, in order to protect the role of their husband or partner as a father and the identity of their future family.
However, this is not always the case. Some heterosexual couples choose a non-anonymous sperm donor, exactly because they intend to inform their child of its origins and want to reassure the possibility of future contact with the donor.
On the other hand, many single women choose an anonymous sperm donor, as they plan to find a partner, who will be able to take on the role of the father and finally adopt the child when there is no reference to the existence of a sperm donor.
Choosing a sperm donor is a very personal and complicated issue. If your treatment is to take place at a clinic, you should always confirm that the clinic is allowed to treat you with the type of sperm donor you have chosen.