Choosing Your Sperm Donor as an SMC

This post was sponsored by Fairfax Cryobank

When someone is ready to start their family using donor sperm, they have many choices ahead of them.  It can be a fun, exciting, and empowering process to navigate. Choosing a sperm donor is incredibly personal and there is no one right way to get started.  When selecting a sperm donor, one is choosing fifty percent of the genetic contribution to their child, therefore my first recommendation is to work with a dependable Cryobank. With Fairfax Cryobank, the trusted source for donor sperm since 1986, our recipients can be confident that they will be choosing from the best tested donors and will be receiving the highest quality donor sperm. Knowing that, they can move on to finding the donor that meets their needs. 

When asked how to choose a sperm donor, I recommend asking yourself, “what do I admire and value in the people closest to me? What do I treasure about myself?” Trying to define what makes a perfect sperm donor is impossible because it is subjective and so specific to the individual. Making a list of characteristics and qualities that are important is a great place to start. If celebrate one’s ethnic heritage is important, they may want their child to share in that experience and so they look for a donor with a similar ethnic background. If they play an instrument or are musically inclined, they may want to look for a donor with similar talents. If they are tall and athletic, perhaps they would like a sperm donor who is also tall and shares their talent for and interest in sports. Visiting the donor search and looking through more than 450 excellent sperm donor options could be overwhelming. Starting with a list of items to use as filters will help to start with a more manageable list of donor options.  

There are many tools to use to find one’s donor.  I recommend reviewing medical profiles, looking over staff impressions, listen to audio clips, reading essays written by the donor, and reviewing donor genetic testing results; these are all free products on the donor search. There are many other products that can be purchased to aid in the decision-making process; the easiest way to proceed is by purchasing an Unlimited Access Package that allows one to review and download all available donor products on the profiles, including adult photos, and much more, for as many donors as one would like to review. Some find the audio interviews incredibly helpful in making a final choice because one can hear the donors’ voices and get to know their personalities. Others find the personal profile to be the key to making their final decision. FaceMatch® is a great tool available on the donor search, simply upload a photo of someone with facial features desired in the donor. The system will provide a list of matches ranked as high, medium, and low.  

Choosing the donor is a significant step and can be fun to do with trusted friends or family. Once chosen, ordering donor sperm and arranging for shipment is an easy process.   Purchases can be made online or on a call with a client service specialist.  The information needed to place the order is: The Donor Number, how the donor sperm samples will be used; intrauterine insemination, intracervical insemination, or for in vitro fertilization as the procedure will inform what preparation type and the number of samples needed to purchase. If a recipient is local to one of our locations, they can arrange to pick up the samples or we can ship them directly to the clinic.  Fairfax Cryobank also provides storage for you if needed.  If doing home insemination, just let the client services specialist know and a needleless syringe and instructions will be included in the shipment, note this does require some additional documentation prior to shipment.

Fairfax Cryobank works to provide a diverse donor catalog of high-quality sperm donors to help those who will use donor sperm to build their family. Begin your donor search today!

Michelle Ottey, Ph.D., ALD/HCLD (ABB), Consulting Lab Director, Fairfax Cryobank


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“I've been a member for 14 years. From deciding to start trying through my child’s high school years. I've found SMC to be a trustworthy, valuable online community. I highly recommend tapping into this brain trust of experienced single moms who chose this path.”

– Anonymous