Should I Include My Sperm Donor In Parenting?

Choosing to start a family by a sperm donor is increasing in popularity and enhancing family dynamics. In fact, some 30,000 to 60,000 babies born in the United States were conceived through sperm donation, out of approximately four million American babies born that year in 2017.

There are many benefits to choosing a sperm donor. However, choosing a donor may or may not allow legal rights to a child’s life. It is crucial to set boundaries and written agreements before the child’s birth if you choose to set parental rights to your sperm donor. You should also thoroughly examine your state’s laws or consult a lawyer.

Does A Sperm Donor Have Parental Rights? 

Whether you choose known or unknown sperm donation, this decision is up to you. However, state laws vary regarding legal sperm donors and parental rights. In most states, if the child is conceived through artificial insemination, and the donor is not married to the mother, then he will not have legal obligations with the child. Many state laws assert that the donor gives up his parental rights through artificial insemination. But in certain circumstances, like a co-parenting arrangement, there could be a signed agreement that allows the donor to receive co-parenting rights. In this case, then the donor would be considered the father. It is important to note that if the child is conceived through consensual intercourse, the donor would be considered to be responsible as a parent for the child and paying child support. 

Parenting With A Sperm Donor 

If both parties agree to parenting responsibilities, the sperm donor can have the unique opportunity to play a role in the child’s life as a co-parent. Co-parenting is when two parents who are not married to each other, agree to raise a child. The sperm donor could be a trusted family member, friend, from a sperm bank or through online services like Modamily. Either way, you should take into account what is in the best interest of the child and your lifestyle. How you will manage custody in a written and signed contract? Well, check out our co-parenting agreement guide for some best practices.

What are the Factors in Determining the Child’s Best Interest?

Custody and visitation rights are unique to each state. However, most state courts generally consider the following factors to determine custody decisions:

  • Personal characteristics of the child including sex, age and health. Children with special needs or disabilities may be accustomed to a certain parent due to daily specialized care. 
  • Environmental factors- such as the quality of education, neighborhood safety and the importance of extracurricular activities. 
  • The wellbeing and mental health of each co-parent. 
  • Each parent’s ability to provide financial support for the child and their lifestyle. 
  • Whether the parent has a stable lifestyle and background. If a parent has a job that requires a lot of travel, they may not be able to provide the necessary care for their child. 
  • Existing siblings or important family members in their home. 

Pros to Parenting with your Sperm Donor 

If you find a sperm donor who agrees to co-parenting responsibilities this can be a great way to raise a family. Other positive outcomes of an arrangement like this include: 

  • Less financial burden 
  • Sharing time with the co-parent to work on personal goals 
  • Teaching the child life lessons such as patience and responsibility 
  • Balance in the family with two parents 
  • Comfortability knowing the identity of the father

Cons to Parenting with your Sperm Donor 

  • Legal implications throughout the child’s life 
  • A co-parent could move far away, splitting the family apart 
  • Stress from extended family 
  • Stress from the family internally on how to raise the family 

Factors to Consider in a Sperm Donor

Finding the right sperm donor can seem overwhelming, frustrating and confusing- whether or not you choose to parent with them. With services like Modamily, you have the opportunity to meet your sperm donor and see if they are the right fit for you. 

Factors to consider when choosing a donor could include: 

  • Psychological health
  • Physical health implications 
  • Similar physical traits 
  • Job stability 
  • Religious views 
  • Location

Where To Find Sperm Donors

There are a few different ways sperm donations are accepted such as a sperm bank, a trusted friend or family member, or Modamily. There are two types of donation: known and unknown, meaning whether or not the identity of the donor is known. Modamily has thousands of men that are open to being a known sperm donor.

(for more information on sperm donation visit here). 

Co-Parenting Alternatives during COVID-19 

With more time at home, you may need to adjust your co-parenting schedule as well. If you choose to parent with your sperm donor, be sure to note the following: 

  • Parents may agree that the child should stay in one household until the state emergency passes.
  • Due to the state of emergency, your parenting relationships are more important than ever to bring stability to the child’s life. 
  • Virtual parenting time: If the parties agree the child should not be in the home of one of the parents, the other parent can spend time interacting with a child virtually (using apps such as FaceTime, Duo, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.) or talking over the telephone. 
  • Shorter, frequent virtual visits encouraged by both parents may help reassure the child during these unusual events. 

Meeting Your Donor Online with Modamily 

Modamily provides a network where members can meet other like-minded people who dream of starting a family. Instead of finding anonymous sperm donor through an at a sperm bank, you can meet the donor and get to know them before you make the big decision. You can also work with Modamily Concierge that does the searching for you. Once you decide to move forward with a known donor, we can supervise the vetting process for you and make sure they get their health and background checks. 

There are many ways to become a parent, and what Modamily does is help our members find someone that wants to raise a child in a similar fashion as they do. Now is your chance to create the life you want. 


The Atlantic- The Overlooked Emotions of Sperm Donation

Legalmatch- Child's Best Interest

FAQs about Custody and Parenting Time during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Gay Parent Voices- Ask The Expert: Choosing between an Anonymous v. Known Sperm Donor