Sperm Bank Law 101- Legal Things You Should Know Before Becoming A Sperm Donor

by Lilly on April 24, 2013

The theme of donating sperm has become quite popular over the years. Thanks to movies, television shows, music, and other pop culture contributions, the idea of a donor offering up his “stuff” has been publicized and talked about rather heavily. However, after taking a look at the facts that run parallel to donating sperm, it’s obvious that this subject matter is far from a joke. There are rules, regulations, and sometimes, even consequences that come into play when a man makes the decision to become a sperm donor. Let’s take a look at the facts.

The Process

Sperm donation has become common amongst heterosexual couples unable to get pregnant on their own, lesbian couples, and single women who wish to have a baby on their own. And yes, there is a rather strict process that goes along with the task of donating sperm. For instances, there are state regulations and restrictions that coincide with the ability to provide a specimen. Anonymity and the number of offspring allowed per donor are two important issues that seem to be rather popular subjects within the industry. It’s also important to know that a certain amount of testing must be done prior to a male being allowed to donate semen. Different tests that are required include, but are not limited to: the testing of HIV, the testing of hepatitis, the testing of syphilis and Chlamydia, and more.

The Next Chapter, After The Donating Process Is Complete

There are different laws that must be followed once the process of donation is completed. The different laws that are connected to donating sperm differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. More specifically, these laws also differ from country to country. For an instance, a general law is the process of payment: how a donor gets paid and if he gets paid. Other laws include, but are not limited to: if a donor has any rights or responsibilities towards the offspring, the right to keep his identity a secret, child support, and more. Again, these laws and what is deemed “appropriate” differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, in most cases, the law doesn’t give the sperm donor a biological link to the offspring, resulting in the donor having no rights or commitments toward the child that is conceived.

Another important predicament that seems to arise with the task of sperm donation is where the process of conceiving takes place. For example, whether a woman conceives her child at her home or in a clinic could potentially affect whether or not the sperm donor has rights to the offspring. Generally speaking, if conceived at home, then yes, the father does have rights. However, if the child is conceived at a medical clinic, then the donor usually doesn’t have rights i.e. he isn’t the “father” of the child, so to say. Again this rule or regulation differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Though typically referenced in a comical manner throughout pop culture, the task of donating sperm is rather serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is important to know and understand the facts and law, given your specific area, before participating in the process of donating sperm.

Lilly currently represents California Cryobank, full-service sperm bank providing a comprehensive resource for Sperm Bank Donors.



I'm Lilly Sheperd, an occasional guest-blogger and a full time freelance communication consultant. When not blogging, I like to travel and read a lot, especially about education and law.

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