This article goes through some recommendations on how to screen donors from free sperm donor sites to find someone who is a safe, healthy match for your needs.
- Join KDR and some other donor/recipient groups
- Decide what you are looking for in a donor & write down a list of questions
- Contact donors with a brief email describing what you are looking for
- Screen replies & interview prospective candidates
- Get confirmation of STD tests, etc. before committing
- Make your choice, and Happy Insemination!
Join KDR and some donor/recipient groups
Create an KDR recipient profile and gain access to the member forums. There are quite a few other active groups out there, mostly on Facebook or Yahoo! groups.
A great way to start getting familiar with screening donors is to look at profiles of other recipients and watch the kind of messages are posted. See what information donors typically offer up front, and start getting a feel for how donors and recipients go about talking to each other.
- Post an add with what you are looking for in a Regional Group for your area
- Not sure what to ask or do? Post questions in the Discussions - there are many experienced donors and recipients alike that will gladly answer your questions!
Decide what you are looking for in a donor
Take some time to think about what you (and your partner, if you have one) are looking for.
- Physical traits - what traits are must haves, and what are preferred?
- What kind of method are you open to? (We recommend AI for many reasons, but many donors are open to either AI or NI)
- How far are you willing to travel if your donor is not close and prefers not to travel?
- Are you willing to cover travel expenses if they are?
- What contractual requirements will you be asking the donor to agree to?
- What STD tests and/or background questions are important to you? (Minimum recommendation is baseline STD tests including HIV)
Write down a list of questions
Take the time to write down some interview questions for donors to answer that will help tell you what you want to know about them. Having the questions written down will help you remember to ask the same questions to each donor you screen, which will help you compare them. You may even want to use a formatted questionnaire and email it to each of them.
Contact donors with a brief email
Once you are sure of what you want, write a brief email with a little information about yourself (and your partner if you have one) and what you are lookign for. Donors are often contacted by recipients who give very little information, and they really appreciate it when you state up front a little more about yourself. You can also post this on the donor lists and ask for donors who meet these qualifications to contact you.
Here's an example:
"Hi, my name is Jane and my partner and I are looking for a private sperm donor. We are looking for an AI donor only, and preferably someone within 50 miles of Anytown, USA. We would prefer a Latino or mixed race donor with olive skin and dark hair, but are open to alternatives. We would love to find someone who is willing to be contacted by the child after they turn 18, and will ask that the donor sign a contract and provide current STD test. We will cover the cost of tests if the donor does not have current ones.
A little bit about us: we have been together for 2 years and are both employed. I work in education and my partner is a manager at a local restaurant. We don't have any other children and can't wait to start a family. We look forward to hearing from you!"
Screen replies & interview prospective candidates
Once you start getting replies (and be prepared, you may get a lot of them), follow up with each donor via email until you have enough information to determine if they make your list of finalists or not. It might help to keep a list of donors and note what your conclusions are. You might realize when you get upwards of 25 emails, that it's hard to keep them separate and not email the same donor more than once.
Once you have determined that a donor meets your baseline, you can move to the next stage. You might want to talk on the phone and ask more questions, send a questionnaire, or even meet in person.
**If you meet a donor in person, it is highly recommended for the safety of both parties that you meet in a public place and bring someone with you.
Get confirmation of STD tests and contracts before commiting
It might be very tempting, especially after all this work searching and interviewing, to jump right in as soon as you find "the one." However, it is extremely important to verify and double verify all of the STD tests and contract requirements you have PRIOR to committing to an insemination attempt. Even if you feel you can trust the donor completely, make sure you follow through and get the information that you have asked for and he has agreed to. If he changes his mind and is not willing, it's ok (and necessary) to back out of the conversation and move on to another donor.
Make your choice, and Happy Insemination!
Now that you've found your perfect donor, you can get down to business.
Important: Tie up loose ends! Donors are generally very patient, but it's rude to keep people hanging. Once you've made your choice, let the other donors who you were still considering know that you have found someone, and thank them for their participation in your journey. It might be a good idea to ask one or two other donors who meet your criteria if you can contact them should anything not work with the donor you have selected, most donors are happy to be in reserve.