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Pros and Cons of Sperm Donation for the Recipients

When considering whether or not sperm donation should be a part of your fertility treatment, you should weigh the pros and cons before you make your decision. The process has both medical and intangible advantages and disadvantages.

Pro: Can Resolve Male Infertility Issues

If you are part of a couple in which the infertility issues lie primarily or solely with the male, sperm donation may be the fastest and most effective method of conception. You can either choose a donor from among your friends or the family members of your partner, or you can opt for anonymous donation through a certified agency.

Con: May Lead to Emotional Issues in the Future

It's natural for a child to want to understand her biological roots. If you choose to disclose the donation to your child as she grows older, you may find that your child wants to explore a connection with her biological father. If the donor was a friend or family member, this may be possible, but it may also be the donor's wishes not to have that kind of relationship with your child. If the donor was anonymous and asked not to be contacted, this will be impossible.

However, if you prepare yourself for this talk and approach your child with your partner (if applicable) with an open and accepting discussion, you can emphasize the importance of how family is more than just blood ties. This may not be enough to stop your child from pursuing the connection, though.

Pro: Donation May Be Your Only Option for Conception

If you wish to be a single mother or are part of a lesbian couple, sperm donation is your only option for conception. While you can and should explore the possibility of adoption, if it's your wish to become a biological mother and/or give birth yourself (or you find adoption impossible), donation is a necessary part of your fertility treatment. You can choose the donor from among your friends and the family members of your partner (if applicable) or apply for an anonymous donor.

Con: If Anonymous, You May Not Know Everything about the Medical History

While the donation agency will do its best to perform a through medical history check, it may be possible that either the donor didn't know about or chose to withhold information about a high disposition for a medical condition or disease in his family history. If the donor wishes to remain anonymous, it can be difficult, if not impossible, for you to track him down even through the agency for more information or testing should your child exhibit the symptoms of a disease or condition.

There is no single answer as to whether sperm donation should be a part of your fertility treatment. You should weigh the pros against the cons and then discuss the option with your fertility specialist before you decide.

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