Trying To Decide Which Sperm Bank/Clinic To Use?

You can read my sperm bank recommendations here in this August 2017 Huffington Post contribution:  Choosing a Sperm Bank...What To Know.  If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me at wendy@donorsiblingregistry.com.

 

 

Below are comprehensive listings of Donor Sibling Registry member's personal sperm bank experiences gathered from our Facebook page, old Yahoo message group, and from personal email messages. It's easier to research specific sperm banks, when you can actually seeing comments from people who have had positive or negative experiences with them. Sperm bank web sites are marketing materials, and they may not reflect actual practice. Please note: Per the User Agreement, this is copyrighted material and may not be reproduced elsewhere.

Before you choose your sperm bank, I do hope that you've considered using an "open" or "willing-to-be-known" donor. What many of us parents have learned over the years is that many of these kids do become very curious and want to know about the missing one-half of their genetic and medical background. We have conducted and published quite a bit of research on this issue, which you can read on our " Research " page. Most of us with older children would have chosen open donors if given a choice. Many parents wish that they'd looked more into the future, beyond pregnancy and motherhood, at what her older children might need and ask for someday. Additionally, with DNA testing a truly "anonymous" donor is a thing of the past. 

Some of the larger sperm banks are attentive in the pre-pregnancy stage but offer no post-pregnancy and donor-child support. Many do not update important medical information on donors. Some simply do not return phone calls.

The problem is that sperm banks don't have accurate records of the children born from any given donor. None update and share medical information amongst families and none adequately educate and counsel their donors. Quiz the bank you decide to use on these things. Ask them how you can know that the donor you choose doesn't already have 33 kids out there and that 12 of them haven't been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Autism or Tourettes. Because medical issues like these are not life threatening, the medical information is not shared.

And given that an estimated 20-40% of women never report back their live births to the sperm banks, and that donors are never again asked to update their medical info (their medical form is a snapshot of one day in the life of a healthy college kid who doesn't always report accurately about family history), if there are medical situations, most families don't have the opportunity to learn about this type of information.

Some people are now narrowing down the donors they choose by contacting the families posted on the DSR. That way they can connect with the families that already have children from their donor, see pictures, and learn about any health issues.

Parents should be aware of the lawsuits brought against California Cryobank and their partners, NW Cryobank and Manhattan Cryobank.

Here is the 2002 lawsuit against California Cryobank: Petitioners Diane L. Johnson (Diane) and Ronald G. Johnson (Ronald) (the Johnsons), along with their minor daughter Brittany L. Johnson (Brittany), filed an action against real party in interest, California Cryobank, Inc. (Cryobank), and its employees, officers and directors, real parties in interest Charles A. Sims, M.D. and Cappy M. Rothman, M.D., alleging real parties failed to disclose that the sperm they sold to the Johnsons came from a donor with a history of kidney disease called Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD). That sperm was used to conceive Brittany who has been diagnosed to have this serious kidney disease. 

I hope this helps a little. I don't mean to scare anyone, I just want to tell you what so many of us wish we would have known when making the decisions that would affect our children for decades to come.

 

From a former sperm bank employee:

Hi Wendy,

First I would like to say that I commend you for having the courage to do what you think is right. I've been debating if I should send this email or not but I've decided that this is the right thing to do and someone, especially customers, need to know what really goes on in that place.

You were the topic of many team meetings and they hate what you're doing.  They feel as if you are purposely sabotaging their company, but if we need more people like you in the world.

I can't tell you how many complaints I've taken on behalf of a patient for below standard sperm counts or sperm that contained E. Coli or an unidentifiable mass.  Of course, the media will never hear any of this because they try to cover their asses with that crap on the website.  And once a patient filed a complaint we were instructed to give them the run around because the Director never does her job adequately. I bet half the customers don't even know that the Director of the bank, C**, works from home and has access to thousands of patients credit card and health information, talk about violating HIPPA.  

Do you know how they screen donor medical information, they just ask the donor the same question over a period of time hoping to get the same answer.  They never verify ANY family medical history, it's all based on word of mouth.  Now that's RIDICULOUS!!!!! A donor could not have known his grandmonther had lung cancer and the cryobank never EVER does any research.

The facility is kept filthy and I mean FILTHY.  And this is a place where sperm is kept??? Thank goodness for microscopes.  This institution is nothing but lazy people looking to make a quick buck off of these emotionally drained women.  They are so unorganized it's a shame.  An audit by the FDA is long overdue,  some customers would call to place orders out of inventory and we couldn't find their charts so we had to lie or leave them on hold for 20 minutes and say we will call them back and NEVER do.

Another incident, a rep there overcharged a patient by $210 and when another rep brought it to the attention of the supervisor, she instructed her not to worry about it unless the patient calls back because she didn't feel like processing a refund. That's STEALING!!!! And in this economy, people can't afford to just give away money.  

This is the WORST place that I have ever worked for.  I would NEVER refer anyone to purchase SPERM from this place because your child may be born with a cleft pallet, autism, deafness or other medical issues that go unreported but of course that will never be in the news.

 

What you should know about your sperm bank/clinic/facility

Your relationship with your sperm bank/clinic/facility is likely to continue for many years, or even decades, especially if medical issues arise. Because of the many sperm bank complaints that we have received over the past 19 years, we have compiled a list of questions that you should pose to your current or potential sperm bank.

Although there are some sperm banks that have accumulated a disproportionate number of complaints, you should inquire to all sperm banks about the following policies, and request that they respond in writing. If they refuse, that might be an indication that you should consider using another sperm bank. 30 Questions for Sperm Banks

 

Sperm Bank/Clinic Experiences