What to consider before becoming a donor

There are various forms of donation: anonymous, identified and known donors. This article describes the differences between the various forms.

With anonymous egg or sperm donation, the only information available to the woman/couple relates to the skin colour, hair colour, eye colour, height, weight and ethnicity of the donor, known as the basic profile. Information about the donor’s identity will never be revealed.

If it is possible to find out more about the donor at the time of donation, the donor is referred to as having an extended donor profile. By way of example, sperm bank donor catalogues may contain information about the donor’s profession, leisure interests, education, a voice sample, baby photos and similar. Although this form of donation is ‘non-anonymous’, it is important to point out that the donor and the recipient have no way of meeting at any point in time.

With an identified donor, the donor’s identity is not known by the recipient at the time of donation, but the donor accepts that further information may be provided at a later date in addition to the basic information. Unlike with the extended donor profile, such information may include the donor’s identity, for example. The donor may agree to allow the information to be given to the child and/or the recipient of the donation upon submission of a request to the sperm bank. Similarly, information about egg donors can be obtained from the fertility clinic if so agreed. One potential form of identified donation involves donation where it is agreed that the child is the only party that may be given information about the donor’s identity, when the child reaches the age of 18.

Finally, it is possible to use a known donor. This type of sperm or egg donor is known by the recipient(s) at the time of the donation.

As a donor, it is important to consider very carefully whether you want to be anonymous, identified or known.

More information about donor types can be viewed by clicking on the links.

Sperm donor

Egg donor

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