The DSR and Choosing a Sperm Bank.

Inquiry is defined in the dictionary as a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge or an investigation. Also as the seeking of information by questioning.

The DSR has not only been a place for connecting families, but also an organization committed to inquiry. I have always thought it was important to create a safe place where all people involved with DI could inquire, share and learn about the different experiences of everyone in the “donor family”, donors and their families, donor conceived, and parents and their families. We have all had great opportunities for learning on the DSR, as over the past seven years we have heard from so many, with so many different experiences and viewpoints. As a parent, I know that I have always had a commitment to educating myself on these issues that directly affect my son.

More and more, people are coming to DSR as they are beginning the process of choosing a sperm bank or donor and are looking for advise or guidance. I have‚ had the opportunity to hear many stories (the good, the bad and the ugly) from families who have used all of the major sperm banks listed on the DSR. I have also had the opportunity to speak with many of the representatives from these sperm banks and clinics, and have come to some very interesting conclusions myself about which banks I would recommend. One trend that I see is that many of the banks seem to be focused on the front end- getting the clients in and pregnant. Also, getting sperm donors in with the promise of quick cash, with no mention in their advertising that these young men will be helping to create a human life that someday may be curious about one half their genetic identity and heritage.

Personally, I would only recommend sperm banks that also focus responsibly on the “back end”, or post pregnancy. Too often I hear of donor families (especially the donor conceived) who are ignored, dismissed and forgotten and whose needs are certainly not served later on down the road. This is inexcusable when it relates to important medical information as well as dealing with the curiosities of the donor conceived. It is also for this reason that I strongly recommend whenever I can, for people to use open donors.

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