Donor sperm from uk or abroad?

(12 Posts)
HopingForALittleOne Sat 15-Oct-16 23:40:41

Hello I'm relatively new on here so apologies if I don't use all the right acronyms!

I've just had consultation and tests to show I should be OK to start iui naturally. Three things left to do before I start : 1) get screening tests 2) get used to opks 3) choose donor sperm.

Would be interested in hearing people's thoughts. Originally I thought I would try and use uk donor as if child /donor want relationship when child is 18+ then both in uk answer easier.

However I've had a look at the European sperm bank and I really like knowing the family medical history and bit more information about donor that I can share with my child.

How have others made your decision? Xx

witchmountain Sun 16-Oct-16 21:46:39

Hi Hoping. Exciting that you are getting started! I had similar thoughts when I was choosing a few months ago. In the end I decided the priority for me was a donor who was likely to be in the U.K. when the child reached 18 in case they wanted to try and contact them, so I used a clinic based here (London Sperm Bank) and narrowed it down to donors who were either British or who sounded completely settled here. Obviously there are no guarantees that they will still be here in 18 years time, or that they will welcome contact at that point, but I thought it increased the chances!

Once I started looking I found I wasn't too bothered about appearance - I look nothing like my sibling so I was fairly relaxed about the resemblance thing. It also struck me that if I was having a baby the 'normal' way with a partner, I wouldn't screen him out as a potential father based on his family's medical history, so I decided not to worry about that - at least they are screened for the serious genetic stuff. The only thing I did try and avoid was allergies, because I don't have any and I find it hard to imagine a life without pets. But if the clinic hadn't listed that as an attribute it would never have occurred to me!

So in the end I just picked someone who, based on the clinic's description, sounded nice. In a way I would have liked to see something the donor themselves had written (you don't get that until later), but even that's not really a substitute for meeting someone. And it's not like me or the future child/children have to have a close relationship with him if we don't want to.

Good luck with your IUI!

HopingForALittleOne Sun 16-Oct-16 22:25:00

Hello witchmountain thanks for replying with your thoughts, half of me thinks the same as you I just wonder whether having a bit more information may help my child? It feels so hard as it isn't necessarily about being that looks are important but when you have choice of more information I worry about not using it - it feels silly writing that though but it seems quite a big decision . If use a uk donor I will be using London sperm bank too but also been looking at European sperm bank.

I am so excited though about starting this journey - just need to figure out these opks!

AndNowItsSeven Sun 16-Oct-16 22:28:22

As some who has been adopted( my birth father died age 15 before I was unable to meet him) I think it's unfair to use a European donor.
Identity is very important and any child should have the opportunity to trace their biological parent.

HopingForALittleOne Sun 16-Oct-16 22:36:23

Thank you seven for sharing your thoughts. If I used sperm from European sperm bank they would be contactable in same way as uk donor

AndNowItsSeven Sun 16-Oct-16 23:05:10

Sorry I misunderstood , I thought you meant you would get a lot more background info but then be unable to contact the donor.

HopingForALittleOne Sun 16-Oct-16 23:23:18

No problem xx

witchmountain Mon 17-Oct-16 09:46:18

I know what you mean about the information, it's there so you feel responsible for using it!

Talking about this is reminding me of my thought process - one of the other things I considered was that a donor conceived child might want to try and contact half siblings (the HFEA has a register to facilitate contact if both parties want it). I'd like to have more than one child so they will hopefully have a sibling anyway but if they did want to meet others then again it might be easier if they were in the UK.

Another thing that impacted my choice was how I personally felt about using the information - I was quite uncomfortable about picking based on lots of information. Partly because I didn't like the idea of trying to select certain physical/health attributes to create the 'ideal' baby. And partly because I felt like if I picked based on personality traits I'd be creating this fantasy that the baby would turn out be a particular type of person and I thought if I had less preconceptions then I'd be more likely to just wait and see what they are like and give them a bit more space to become themselves. Those are both quite personal things though and I imagine other people would think completely differently about it!

Re the OPKs I saw your post on the other thread (I lurk there!). Their advice was good - it will just take a few cycles to spot the pattern. I didn't bother with taking a temperature for long because it was more confusing than helpful and anyway when they scan you they will be able to see if you're ovulating.

Oh, one other thing. I also wondered whether knowing they had a donor from another country/culture would feel like a gap that was harder to fill. Although I also think that maybe finding your own identity always involves feeling like there is something to fill in. I have one parent from another European country and we didn't have much of a connection there because of the cost of travelling and the dynamics of the family relationships. So that's probably a personal thing too. Though I have to say it doesn't matter now - that 'gap' is just part of who I am.

HopingForALittleOne Mon 17-Oct-16 20:29:38

witch thank you for your reply to all my various answers it's really helpful and you mention some things I hadn't thought about. Xx

hopeful31yrs Fri 28-Oct-16 22:30:17

We deliberated over different sperm banks all around the world and settled on xytek (USA). Although this meant a closed donation to us there was a lot more information regarding the donor and family history. DH has azoospermia and a very mixed family heritage with polish/Jewish/Irish/Eastern European ancestry and so getting the right mix for us was so important. We managed to get an amazing match for him and our friends who know all tell me they can't believe the similarities to my DH. As for aspects such as health and levels of education / personality - we accepted traits in the family that were similar to his or mine (allergies and diabetes) anyway and the donor had gone to university but wasn't using his degree.

My issue is one of traceability. Between obtaining our first samples and realising we would like 100% biological siblings the donor stopped donating and left the USA. There was a single vial left which we acquired and have since conceived number. 2 from. Xytek have a section of their website to link half siblings if they so wish and the donor sibling registry is another avenue to explore but I agree doesn't give someone closure if the donor doesn't want to be found. I have pictures of the donor and a letter written at the time of donation for my children. We have registered their births with all relevant organisations also so when the time comes they can explore every avenue. However, I don't think you can control the donor issue at all and as demonstrated once they move country you can loose that contact easily.

slowandfrumpy Fri 04-Nov-16 00:26:46

It's worth also bearing in mind that a donor from the European Sperm Bank (or Xytex or any Scandinavian bank) does not have the same family limits as a donor from the UK. A Uk donor can produce up to ten families (so probably a maximum of twenty children). A European Sperm bank or Xytex donor imported into the UK can produce up to ten families WITHIN THE UK, but then many more families elsewhere around the world. The European Sperm Bank/Xytex export world wide, including to the US, and do not keep a tab on the numbers of offspring that result. US sperm banks are notorious for having very large sibling groups, and I believe the Eureopean Sperm bank is the same (eighty offspring, 100, 150). This means that it might be hard to have any kind of a relationship with a donor even if they are traceable. On the other hand this could also hold true in the UK (twenty kids is a lot).

The plus side of US donors is that it is more easy at the moment to make half-slbing connections at a time of your choosing - and well before the HFEA deems it possible (16) on voluntary registries like the DSR. Also: many UK parents use UK compliant US donors and so it is also possible to match up with half-siblings within the UK who have used the same US donor.

An ID release donor has not committed to a meeting or a relationship, only to having their identity released to the offspring when they are 18. This could mean a name and last known address, which might not even be enough to trace someone.

Nicky2468 Sun 20-Nov-16 13:28:25

I used the European Sperm Bank because of the amount of information that was available - pictures, family history, audio interview, personality test etc. The London Sperm bank had very little Donors to chose from and very little information. Yes, your child may well end up with more half brothers and sisters worldwide, but I felt that finding the right donor and one with plenty of information for, not only me but also for my child, out weighed that point! The ESB were also extremely professional and caring throughout the whole process and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Good luck x

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