Selecting a sperm bank

Selecting a sperm bank when the aspiring parent has never had any prior experience can also be stressful. Depending on the future parents’ country of residence, the information available from donors will be determined by the country’s own legislations. In Spain, for example, donated gametes are completely anonymous. US donations however can be anonymous or open depending on the state where the aspirational parents will undergo their fertility treatment.

However, regardless of local laws, you can look for information such as:

• The sperm bank’s active years.
• If the owners are doctors.
• If the sperm bank has genetic counselors.
• The number of available donors.
• Information on how to select donors and the approximate percentage of potential donors who finally pass all tests and are included in the database.
• Information on whether the sperm samples can be stored for future treatments if the intended parents want to increase the family.
• If the sperm bank can store sperm for the future.

If the sperm bank is in a country where laws are flexible and more information on donors can be provided to intended parents, you should bear in mind that sperm banks have different philosophies about donors. Some feel that all sperm donors are equal, regardless of their characteristics. Other sperm banks charge clients more depending on the types of donors, either based on education or information available.

Can you send frozen sperm (own or donor)?

Each country and each clinic has different rules when it comes to accepting the importation of frozen sperm. Some countries require a certified or approved email, and a  clinic may require a special certificate stating that intented parents have given permission to receive frozen eggs or sperm. In Spain, for example, you can’t use imported sperm because it's the clinic who will select the donor.