No Silly Questions: Donor Identifying Information
Check out this week’s No Silly Questions blog to find out more about donor-identifying information.
I believe my donor-conceived child has a right to know who their donor was. Do you make donor-identifying information available to donor-conceived people?
Fairfax Cryobank understands the strong desire among donor-conceived people to know the identity of their sperm donor. In 2005, we started our ID Donor program, through which donors commit to allowing children conceived using their samples to access the donors’ identifying information when the children reach the age of 18. Since 2020, we have required all donors joining our donor program to be ID Donors. This allows all donor-conceived people whose parents used ID Donors to communicate with their donors once they have reached the age of adulthood.
A donor’s commitment to share his identifying information with donor-conceived offspring is not reversible. Once a donor joins the ID Donor program, he is not permitted to later change his status to Non-ID. Since 2019, we have permitted Non-ID donors to request that their identifying information be released when people conceived using their samples request it. Those donors simply need to contact us and fill out the paperwork required to permit that release of information. We will update a Non-ID donor’s profile accordingly when he requests that his identifying information be made available to offspring.
When confirmed donor-conceived offspring request information about their donor, our staff will reach out to the donor to inform them that there has been a request for their information, confirm the contact information, and ask if the donor has a preferred method of contact. We then provide all identifying information (full name, date of birth, address, phone number, etc.) to the requesting donor-conceived person.
An important distinction of Fairfax Cryobank’s ID Donor program is that we release a donor’s identifying information directly to the requesting person. We do not require mediation between the donor and the offspring or give donors the opportunity to decline to share their identifying information. We believe donor-conceived people should have an opportunity to reach out to their donors when they are ready, in the manner in which they are comfortable. Of course, if donor-conceived people need assistance navigating the process, we are here to provide support.
Fairfax Cryobank also recognizes the desire of some of our recipients and donor-conceived offspring to make half-sibling connections during the donor-conceived children’s childhood and beyond. We started our Family Forums to provide a free, secure arena in which recipients with a registered birth can connect in a donor-specific thread. By requiring our recipients to register their births, we can ensure that the specific Family Forums are open only to people who have used that donor to conceive their children. Our forums are a wonderful resource for information and updates about our donors. Working with the source – the sperm bank itself – is the only way to ensure you are getting verified and accurate information about your donor.
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