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Hi all

I need a bit of advice if possible please.  :)

One of our options maybe to use donor sperm but we were told that the list of donors that CARE in Manchester use, has dropped dramatically from 100 to 4 due to the change in laws re children being able to trace their donors.  :(

Has anyone used the online donor system? I googled ‘donor sperm’ and quite a few sites appeared. Basically, you register, pay around £14.00 and then you can search for a suitable donor. Not sure if these are legit sites, and the donors have been through the correct screening etc.

Are they just making money out of you or do they actually work?

Also has anyone used private sperm donors? What is the procedure for approaching them? Do clinics accept private self found donors?

Sorry for the 1001 questions but this is all new to us.

Thanks in advance

Susie
 

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Hi Susie

I only commercial one I know about is Mannotincluded as a donee told me about them. Very poor service and quite expensive - £300 per insem (the donor gets £50) - and very reluctant to refund unused credit.

http://www.free-sperm-donations.com/ is probably the site that you found and that I would recommend. They charge a small fee to cover costs and they do list profiles. This is legit but it would be up to you to get proof of adequate screening from the donor - the site doesn't screen donors other than to remove them if they're unresponsive or respond inappropriately. I have donated more through this site than any other.

The other places that you might find a donor would be on various lesbian forums. See http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,47395.20.html for a piece I did regarding screening donors.

Clinics do accept privately found donors.

Best wishes

David

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Hi Susie,
Sadly, it is true that availability of donor sperm has become very restricted in the last few months.
As David said, there are essentially 2 forms of donor (outside the clinic route) - the first being via commercial organisations like ManNotIncluded (which has had some very bad press) and SpermDirect (which I haven't seen any press reports about), and then sites where private donors advertise or are sought.

With the commercial sites, they cannot be regulated by the HFEA because it is fresh sperm, being used at the recipient's home. These companies are essentially acting as an "introduction agency", albeit with anonymnity preserved - and that's why there are more donors available. Male donors are given initial health checks - including tests for sexually transmitted diseases - then later provide sperm donations which are couriered directly to your home - but are only re-tested at roughly 3 month intervals. You can only rely on the donor's word and signature that he has not engaged in any activity that could have led to him contracting a disease since his last medical. Infections such as HIV may take a few months to show up, which is why frozen sperm has to be quarantined for 6 months between sets of tests on the donor, to ensure that it is disease free. So, yes, the donors are screened to some extent, but a lot of it is down to trust in the company and in the individual donor (who you will never meet, so there doesn't seem to be much basis for trust!).

As for true private donors, many donate via sites such as freespermdonations simply because this way they can remain anonymous (or at least untraceable by the child), unlike frozen sperm donations which can no longer be made anonymously. So I would imagine that although clinics might accept a donor whom you brought along (but many clinics won't), you may find it quite hard to get a donor who is willing to do this. There are exceptions to the rule of course!
If you do want to try and find a private donor, the list of questions which David suggests asking a potential donor (on the lesbian thread that he linked to) is very helpful indeed. And just so you know, quite a lot of straight couples advertise on gay forums looking for sperm donors - you wouldn't be the only ones! Generally you would make contact via e-mail initially (best to use a separate e-mail address to normal), and if all seemed appropriate then to converse via phone/arrange to meet up. Also, be aware that there will be a share of weirdos/pervs who use such forums and will only agree to "donate naturally" as they're looking for free s*x ^bigbad^

And there is another option - importing frozen sperm from a US sperm bank with ID release donors, to your clinic. It clearly will be more expensive, but you do get all the screening/safety guarantees, and you can also get a much greater degree of choice and info on donors than you would ever have got in the UK, even before the problems over donor numbers.

Good luck with it all, it's pretty overwhelming in the early stages.
Tamsin
 
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