Finding the right sperm donor can be a long process. After all, the traits and characteristics of your children’s father will be reflected in them--so you want to pick a donor that will give your children the best chance at success. This can mean sifting through hundreds of possible donors until you find the right one.
Luckily, there has been a recent surge of sperm donors, at least in the US. Many of these sperm donors are willing to help you start your family at no cost other than any travel expenses. This means that finding a sperm donor, even a free one, is easier than it’s ever been.
Known vs Anonymous Sperm Donors
One of the toughest decisions you’ll need to make when deciding on a sperm donor is whether you’d like them to be known or anonymous. This decision can have serious effects later on down the line when it comes to parenting or your child’s desire to meet their biological father. For more information on known vs anonymous donors, check out our article comparing the two.
Anonymous Sperm Donors
Up until recently, choosing an anonymous sperm donor was pretty much your only choice. Unless you had someone you knew who was willing to donate sperm, it was unlikely that you’d find someone willing to be a known donor.
Although many people are now choosing known donors, anonymous donors are still a popular option. They are also typically the only option available when using a sperm bank.
Pros of Anonymous Donors
- Peace of Mind: Since you know the donor may never be able to contact you, there is some security in knowing there won’t be unforeseen changes.
- Avoiding Conflict: Since there is no way for the donor to contact you or the child, you can know there will never be any conflict (although unsolicited contact is extremely rare, especially if you meet the donor first).
- Less Shame: Although this is somewhat of an outdated concept, some parents don’t want others to know that they used a donor. Keeping them anonymous will ensure that.
Cons of Anonymous Donors
- The Costs: The most common source of an anonymous donor is a sperm bank. Sperm banks can charge thousands of dollars for a sperm donation, whereas most known donor registries are free.
- Waitlists: Most sperm banks have large waitlists for sperm donors, so you may end up waiting a long time before being able to select donor sperm, and you’ll also likely get less choices.
- Future Communication is Impossible: Having a known donor doesn’t mean you need to be in contact, but it at least leaves that door open. With an anonymous sperm donor, this is impossible.
- Genetic Testing: With new technology, even if you want to keep the donor anonymous, it’s possible that your child will inadvertently find them via genetic testing. This would mean that your child may find their father anyway without you knowing.
Known Sperm Donors
Choosing a known sperm donor doesn’t mean that they need to play an active role (or any role at all) in your child’s life. At the most basic level, it simply means that you know who they are and are able to contact them if you ever want to.
Using a known sperm donor is the best way to keep your options open. It also gives you the opportunity to better know the donor. Rather than choosing a donor based on a few given characteristics, you’ll have the opportunity to meet them in person and decide if they are the right one for you.
Pros of Known Donors
- More Information: An anonymous sperm or egg donor’s information is pretty limited by the fertility clinic, and they may offer additional information for a fee. With a known donor you get all this info for free, as well as the opportunity to meet the donor and ask them any questions.
- The donor and family can have a healthy relationship: Many people are looking for sperm donors to play a semi-active role in the kids life. Having another adult figure can help a lot with parenting and is a great option for same-sex couples looking for a fatherly or motherly influence as well as co-parents looking for some extra help.
- Far Less Expensive: Sperm banks may charge thousands of dollars for donor sperm, while most known donors are free.
- The child can meet or know their father: If your child knows they were conceived using a donor, it is inevitable that they will want to meet them. Having a known donor ensures that this option stays open and that you have control over if/when they get this opportunity.
- More Children: If you want to have a 2nd or 3rd child, you’ll probably want them to be from the same genetics as the first. If you use a known donor you can ask for more donations whereas with an anonymous donor you’d need to use a different donor.
Cons of Known Donors
- Potential for Conflict: Although this is unlikely, if you allow the known donor into your life there is the possibility that they will disagree with some parenting decisions. This shouldn’t be an issue though as it is up to you how much they are active in parenting--if at all.
- The donor may change their mind: If you expect to at least keep in contact with the donor, they may change their mind and not want to meet you or the kid. If you had certain expectations for them, there is no way to hold them to those.
Where Can I Find A Free Sperm Donor?
If you’ve decided to seek a free sperm donor to avoid the high costs and waiting times of a sperm bank, there are a couple of options.
Friends and Family
One of the best ways to find a free sperm donor is simply by asking friends and family if they would be willing to donate. As long as you are both comfortable with this, this can be one of the fastest ways. Also, you will already know their characteristics and personality. However, some people may find this uncomfortable and the donor may feel pressured to accept.
This can be a good choice for same-sex couples since they could use genetics that are similar to both parents. For example, a lesbian couple could use the sperm from one of the partner’s brothers to have a kid that is very close to the genetics of both parents.
Known Donor Registry
There are also a number of free sperm donor registries available that have plenty of known donors willing to donate sperm at little/no charge. Modamily has over 3,000 known donors ready to help you start your family. We provide a wide variety of information on the donor as well as the opportunity to meet them in person. Simply sign up for our search service or a free consultation today!
A free sperm donor registry is the best way to choose from an assortment of characteristics. Having thousands of options available means that there is someone that will match exactly what you’re looking for. If there isn’t, there are new donors joining all the time so chances are they’ll be there soon.
Sperm Donors for Co-Parents
If you are part of a new wave of young adults seeking to start a family through co-parenting, you will need to use donor sperm unless you plan on conceiving naturally with your co-parent. Choosing a known donor can allow you to bring in a third parent to help, or you may even be able to find a donor willing to be your co-parent. This can help take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Sperm Donors for Same-Sex Couples
If you are a lesbian couple seeking to start your family, choosing a known donor will give you a better opportunity to find the exact type of donor that you want. It can also allow you to have a third parent to help you raise your child. Some lesbian couples want their child to have some sort of fatherly influence. Bringing the sperm donor into the fold can be a great way to do this.
Why Use a Free Sperm Donor?
It may seem like going through the traditional route of a sperm bank is the safer bet, but this is not the case. Sperm banks will place you on a waitlist where you may be waiting for months and you may only get to select from a few donors. Also, popular donors at sperm banks often have a 50+ person waiting list, meaning that you’ll have to wait even longer to the top donors.
A free sperm donor registry will provide you with thousands of options at no charge. Having a free known donor will also give you the chance to get any information that you may want as well as the opportunity to meet the donor in person.
Sperm banks often offer a limited amount of information. If you’re making a decision that will impact your child’s future, why limit your information? Furthermore, why add thousands of dollars in additional costs to a process that can already be expensive?
If you’ve found a sperm donor, the next step is getting pregnant. There are essentially two options, artificial insemination and natural insemination. Before you do either, make sure your donor has a health check and that you both sign a donor agreement. Modamily Concierge can provide referrals to legal professionals for you if needed.
Artificial insemination is the process of inseminating oneself without intercourse. This can be done via In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment or by intracervical (ICI) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). IVF is typically done for infertile couples or couples that have trouble conceiving. IVF can be very expensive so we recommend first trying ICI or IUI. Both IUI and ICI involve placing the sperm in the vagina using a syringe or other tool. For more information on these, click here.
Apart from IVF, artificial insemination is great because it can be done in the comfort of your own home. Home insemination is a very cheap and safe way to conceive a child. It also has about the same success rate as natural insemination.
Although this may seem very uncomfortable for many, utilizing natural insemination (AKA intercourse) to conceive a child with a donor is not totally unheard of. If both you and your partner are ok with it, it can be an easy way to conceive. However, it may present some serious relationship problems.
It is likely more of a realistic option for single women who want a kid. In this case, there would be no partner to upset. However, you should first make sure the donor is properly tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
Choose Modamily, The Leading Known Donor Registry
Modamily has connections with over 3,000 known donors willing to help you start your family at no charge other than travel and medical expenses. We provide a plethora of information on our donors such as age, height, body type, education, medical history, religion, ethnicity, race, eye color, hair color, smoking habits, occupation, and more. You will also have the opportunity to meet the donor in person!
We have a team of experts who can help you through your whole process to make it as smooth as possible. Avoid the high costs and long waits of a traditional sperm bank and create a free account for our search service, or sign up for a free consultation!