At Seattle Sperm Bank, we specialize in open identity donors. We’ve found this arrangement works best for all parties involved. As children conceived using donor sperm grow into adulthood, many are curious to know more about their genetic inheritance. Since anonymous donations don’t allow this type of contact, most women choose to use open identity donors so that their children have the option for contact should they want it once they reach adulthood.
As they grow up, children may desire to know more about their donor’s story, including family traits, life histories, and other personal details. This sense of knowing one’s lineage is taken for granted by most of us, but for these kids it can be sorely missed. Open identity sperm donation is intended to address this basic human desire.
What is an open identity donor?
An open identity (or open ID) donor is one who has agreed to at least one form of contact with any donation-born offspring once the child turns 18. This is the most popular and fastest growing trend among sperm banks across the United States due to the transparency and comfort it provides.
What does this mean for the child?
It means that once a donor child reaches 18 years of age, he or she may request contact with you as the donor. This contact must be initiated by the child. Customer identities are confidential and never released to sperm donors. If the child wishes to make contact or communicate with you, the Seattle Sperm Bank will make the connection and arrange a mutually agreed upon method of contact. This could be a face-to-face meeting, a phone call, or simply an exchange of contact information. Think of it as communication between two consenting adults who will be able to decide how to best move forward. It should be made clear that the contact is initiated by the child to the sperm bank, and then the sperm bank liaises the first contact with the donor and donor child.
What does this mean for you as the donor?
When you become an open identity sperm donor, the Seattle Sperm Bank requires you to be available to have at least one contact after you retire from the program. For this reason, donors are required to go through a detailed orientation and evaluation by members of our staff. This is to ensure all donors understand the parameters and responsibilities associated with their decision to become an open identity donor.
However, it’s important to understand two key points about being this type of donor. First, you are only voluntarily agreeing to at least one contact with the child. You are not required to have further contact beyond that. The rest is up to you and the child conceived by your donation. Second, once you choose to become an open identity donor, you cannot switch to become an anonymous donor.
What are my legal commitments and requirements as a sperm donor?
Sperm donors have no legal rights, responsibilities, or obligations to any children born through the use of their semen. Again, although the donor and child may choose to have further communication, there is no requirement that the donor commit to a long-term relationship with the child.
If you have further questions or want more information about becoming an open identity donor, please contact the Seattle Sperm Bank. We look forward to speaking with you about this highly fulfilling opportunity.