IVF with your own donor?

Since January the 1st, 2013 a new law, concerning the donation of sperm, comes into effect in the U.S. state of California. From now on, a woman, who requires the services of a sperm donor, won’t have to resort to special cryobanks – she will just have to come to a selected clinic with a man who agrees to help her to become a mother.

Earlier, sperm donation in California, as in all other states, was anonymous. It is believed that the new law will greatly simplify and speed up the process of conception of the awaited child.


Typically, donor sperm spends for at least 6 months in quarantine to identify possible diseases, while a non-anonymous sperm donor will be tested only for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, a woman will have to sign a waiver of any claims against the clinic.

I usually have extremely negative attitude towards non-anonymous donation. Firstly, it generates a lot of questions of ethical and legal character. Still life is a difficult thing, and no one can guarantee that, in spite of all previous agreements, some time later, the woman won’t go to court with a claim for recognition of paternity, with all its consequences. Secondly, the practice of the countries, where anonymous donation is prohibited by the law, shows that the number of men, willing to surrender their biological material, is sharply reducing, and women are forced to go abroad to buy donor sperm, and this fact greatly increases the cost of the procedure. Finally, the selection of a donor sperm is a complex process, and not every candidate is able to overcome it successfully. A man has to pass a full medical examination, and his semen, as I’ve already said, spends a rather long period of time in quarantine. I don’t think that all the "volunteers", willing to render assistance to single ladies, are as pedantic in checking their bio-material.

I’m less skeptical as for Californian law is concerned. At any rate, it doesn’t cancel anonymous donation, and still gives some guarantees to "benefactors" - the expectant mother is obliged to sign a document that waives any claims against the male donor, including property.

And yet, I remain of the same opinion - if there is such a need, the best decision is to contact a verified sperm bank. And the most important criterion for this choice is the health of a future child.