Directed Donor (Known Donor)

Learn more about directed donor sperm

“I want to become pregnant using the sperm of someone I know, but not by having intercourse. I want to use artificial insemination with his sperm with his knowledge and consent.”

What is a directed donor (DD)?

A designated, known, or Directed Donor, is a sperm donor, known to the recipient, used to inseminate a non-sexually intimate partner. If the Directed Donor is the intended parent they will use a gestational carrier, where embryos are created by in vitro fertilization using the sperm and eggs of intimate partners, or direct donor sperm and donor eggs, but are implanted into a gestational carrier who has no biological link to the embryos. If the recipient is the intended parent, they will use their DD samples for insemination or IVF.

Experience has demonstrated that the use of a DD is more complex medically, legally, and socially, and has more familial complexities than using donor semen from a sperm bank. Accordingly, Fairfax Cryobank highly recommends that the intended parents and the DD work with mental health professionals with expertise in this area as well as appropriate legal assistance to ensure that parentage is clearly outlined prior to any fertility treatment.

Government agencies and professional organizations, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which uses the term “anonymous” for sperm donors from Cryobanks, have guidelines for the screening and testing of semen donors.  as Additionally, some states require a 6-month quarantine of semen specimens before they can be cleared for use. Therefore, Fairfax Cryobank requires extensive screening of the DD applicant similar to the screening of anonymous donors. Directed Donor semen sample quality can be somewhat lower than that expected with an “anonymous” semen donor, where selection criteria are exceptionally high, and this may result in less than desirable semen samples that may contribute to lower pregnancy rates, therefore we recommend that the DD have a semen evaluation prior to beginning the DD process, we can facilitate this.

Directed Donor Process

To get started, the intended parent will contact Fairfax Cryobank staff at the location where the DD will bank. Our team will send an email with a document detailing the DD procedure and a registration form. Once returned to Fairfax Cryobank, we begin the process.

If a recipient, DD, or physician recommends that the process be terminated at any point the recipient is only responsible for fees assessed up to that point in the process to have all parties complete the required paperwork and schedule the initial visit. The DD will have an initial appointment, including a consultation, semen evaluation and processing, infectious disease testing, and a physical examination.

It is recommended that the intended parent discuss the process with their physician to obtain a recommendation as to the number of desired samples. It is recommended (but not required) that the DD produces at least 2-4 specimens for processing. Fairfax Cryobank processes all DD samples ICI-ready (not washed) so that they can be used for a variety of procedures. Further processing might be needed following thawing at the physician’s office. This may involve additional fees. However, for an additional fee, IUI ready (washed prior to freezing) samples can be produced. Please note that additional processing prior to freezing does result in the loss of sperm cells from the initial sample.

Risk Assessment and Notification will occur if the DD is deemed “ineligible” by FDA regulations. This does not prohibit the use of the DD samples. If the intended parent, recipient, and physician consent, samples may be used.

Samples produced within seven days of the physical and infectious disease testing may be released without quarantine if quarantine is not required by state regulations or the treating physician. Samples that require quarantine will be held for 6 months and require an additional quarantine release blood draw from the DD. If a provider is not known at the time of banking, Fairfax Cryobank requires a 6-month quarantine period.

Let’s Get Started

To get started with the directed donor sperm donor process, or to go over any further questions, please email the Fairfax Cryobank lab closest to you.

We will be most happy to assist you with all aspects of this process!