Comprehensive Selection Process for Sperm Donors

Choosing A Donor

We respect the privacy of our clients and donors and have a policy of strict donor & client anonymity. Donors sign a statement disclaiming any parental rights and any rights to knowledge of donor offspring. We do not require contracts with our clients but rather with their health care providers. In this way, the recipient’s identity is usually not known to us.

We provide only non-identifying donor information to the recipient to aid in the selection of a donor. Documentation identifying the donor and documentation identifying the recipient of donor sperm will never be placed in the same location or file.

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Donors Are Chosen With Care

Located in the greater New Orleans area, we are near several universities and law and medical schools. We recruit donors by placing discrete ads in campus publications and sending out carefully worded flyers to selected campus locations. All of our active donors are students.

We select our donors with care. Donors routinely have three appointments a week for two years, so we get to know them well. They are paid a nominal fee for travel and the time they spend at our facility. Our donors must be between the ages of 18 and 40 to lower the chance of new mutations.

Prospective donors undergo a rigorous screening process that begins at their initial appointment and continues for as long as they are in the program. Because of the demands placed on donors, less than 10 percent of our candidates become donors.

A typical donor scenario:

  • 1. A young man reads a flyer at the university and calls our information line.
  • 2. A staff member conducts a phone interview and explains our program. If the prospective donor is interested, he makes an appointment to be seen at our laboratory.
  • 3. The prospective donor shows two forms of identification; one must show proof of current university enrollment. The candidate collects a semen specimen in one of our private collection rooms.
  • 4. A three-hour semen analysis and cryopreservation are performed to determine count, motility, morphology, and post-thaw survival. In other words, the semen must be of high quality and able to withstand freezing and thawing.
  • 5. Men who pass this initial screen are given a health and personal history form to complete. The health form requires a three-generation medical history, including parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The personal history includes questions concerning the candidate’s social and sexual history, motivations, ideals, and lifestyle.
  • 6. The semen bank director and medical director review and evaluate the health and personal history forms. Men who pass criteria requirements continue with the screening process.
  • 7. Blood is drawn, cultures are taken, and urine is collected to screen for infectious diseases. The appropriate genetic screening is performed. Click Donor Screening to learn more about these tests.
  • 8. Two additional three-hour semen analyses are done over the next two-week period to confirm that the semen sample is adequate for our program.
  • 9. The candidate is given a physical by an internist or urologist. Our medical director recommends or rejects the man for participation in the program.
  • 10. Young men who meet all criteria are invited to donate samples at our facility three times a week. A contract is signed between the candidate and Reproductive Resources outlining responsibility of the donor and relinquishment of parental rights.

The screening process is continuous, and the donor may be rejected at any time. Periodically, the donor has blood drawn or collects urine samples to test for
infectious diseases.

Specimens are held in quarantine for six months, at which time the serology battery is repeated. If the results pass criteria requirements, we feel confident that the candidate is acceptable as a donor and his specimens are ready to be released.

Donor Screening

Donor applicants undergo a comprehensive screening process for the protection of recipients. Donors from certain ethnic groups are tested for specific conditions. The following genetic screens are conducted as appropriate to applicant’s ancestry and ethnic group:

  • Canavan’s Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Tay Sachs
  • Thalassemia

A copy of the donor’s most recent serology results will be sent to your doctor along with the shipment.

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Current Screening & Tests

  • Three-generation family health history
  • Medical, social, and sexual history of donor
  • Physical exam by internist
  • Chromosome analysis
  • Hgb electrophoresis
  • CBC
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (SGOT)
  • Semen analysis
  • Alanine aminotransferase (SGPT activity)
  • Chlamydia
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV), IgG and IgM antibody + culture
  • Hepatitis B, surface antigen and core antibody
  • Hepatitis C, antibody
  • HIV-1/2 (AIDS), antibody
  • HIV-1, antigen (performed on donors donating prior to NAT test availability)
  • HTLV-1/2, antibody
  • Neisseria Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis, antibody
  • NAT MultiPlex (HCV RNA, HIV RNA and HBV DNA)
  • Chagas
  • West Nile

The Selection Process

When selecting a donor, decide which characteristics are most important to you. In our experience, most people choose intelligence, good health, and family longevity. Couples also often try to match hair color, eye color, ethnicity, and educational background to the recipient’s partner. Review our Donor Profiles and choose two or three donors that meet your basic criteria.

If you prefer our help in the selection process, we would be happy to do so. You may choose to send us a photo of the person you want the baby to resemble, if you are comfortable doing this.

Or you may want to provide us with height, weight, eye color, blood type, or any other characteristic you want us to match. In either case, we will then assist you in deciding which of our donors would be most appropriate for you. Baby pictures of some donors are available. These photos, while not identifying, give prospective parents a general idea of what the donor looks like.

If you want to have another child at a later date, consideration must be given to the number of semen vials that are still available from that donor. Click Family Building Program for more information. Choosing a donor can be an overwhelming decision. We are here to help and support you.

We will give out as much information about a donor that we can while protecting his anonymity.