single-woman-thinkingQ: What is the difference between an anonymous sperm donor, an identified sperm donor, and a known donor?
A: Michelle Ottey, Medical Director of Fairfax Cryobank gave the following answer: “Anonymous donors are just what they sound like. These men agree to participate in the donor program to provide semen but remain anonymous (unknown) to you, the recipients and your resulting child(ren). The sperm bank will not release any of their identifying information for any reason. ID

Option donors agree to provide semen and to be identified to your child(ren) when they are of age. Though all births should be reported to the Cryobank, if a recipient wants their child to have the option to contact the donor, the ID Option birth Registration must be completed. This allows an 18 year old ID Option donor conceived person to contact the Cryobank and request the donor’s information. You, the recipient, cannot request this, only your child(ren).

Some people will consider a known donor/directed donor, someone they personally know who they would be comfortable asking to donate sperm; a relative of a male partner, a close friend, etc. If choosing this option it is crucial to work with a legal professional to draw up the necessary paper work to clarify the relationship of the donor to your future child. It is also important to know the laws in your state and how they affect parentage. Know donors are required by the FDA, to be screened in the same way that a sperm bank sperm donor is screened because they are non-sexually intimate with you, the recipient. Some sperm banks and clinics have Directed Donor Programs that will assist you in making this option work for you.”

We discussed this at length in a Creating a Family show Considering Becoming a Single Mom.


Image credit: Ozgur POYRAZOGLU