10 Psychological Questions to Ask when Considering Sperm Donation

For thousands of people every year, sperm donation opens the door to becoming a parent, but deciding whether or not sperm donation is right for you can be a very emotional process.

Ten questions to ask (yourself) when using a sperm donor

If you're considering using donor sperm, it's a good idea to ask yourself these 10 questions to help yourself mentally prepare.

1. How does the idea make you feel?

How are you going to work through those emotional issues and get past them? Having the support of family, friends, and professional counselors can help you work through these feelings. It can also be very helpful to talk with other parents who have conceived children with donor sperm, for example through a support group.

2. What emotional impact is using donor sperm going to have on you and your family?

Think about the personal, financial, and sexual concerns that the treatment brings to mind.

3. For fathers or partners: How will you feel?

How will you feel about the fact that a child you are raising is not genetically related to you? It's normal for a parent to want a child who bears their own genes. Are you prepared to deal with this emotional challenge and accept your child no matter how he or she was conceived?

4. What fears do you have?

What fears do you have with regard to using a sperm donor? Some people worry about relating closely enough to their child. Some wonder whether the donor will want to claim the child in the future or whether the child will want to track down the biological father.

5. Do you think your child should be told?

Do you think your child should be told that he or she was born from a sperm donor, or should that be kept a secret? And if you're in favor of disclosure, what will you tell your child about the donor?

The decision about whether or not inform children of the way they were conceived is an important one for parents. Sometimes the sense of trust in close relationships can be compromised when something this important is kept from them. Keep in mind that it is a part of the child’s medical record, and it could be discovered at some point.

6. What could help?

Is there anything that would make you or your partner more comfortable with the idea of using a sperm donor to achieve pregnancy? Again, this is where counseling can play an important role.

7. Working with the clinic: psychological evaluations

What types of psychological evaluations does the clinic require before the process of using donor sperm can go ahead?

8. Will we be good parents?

Will there be any sort of test given to determine whether you will be good parents? That kind of test is usually administered by a mental health professional.

9. Will psychological counseling help?

What would you hope to get out of psychological counseling?

10. What do I need to know?

What questions and key concerns would you like to get addressed before you make a final decision?

Remember, it's up to you to think over the questions that can help you come to terms with the idea of using donor sperm.

Updated August 2014

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