Fairfax Cryobank Welcomes Donor Conceived Individuals
Resources for Fairfax Cryobank Donor Conceived Individuals
As a person conceived with the use of Fairfax Cryobank donor sperm, you likely have many questions. Our team is here to help. View this Donor Concieved Individuals page for more infromation and resources.
About Fairfax Cryobank’s Sperm Donor Program
Fairfax Cryobank is the trusted source for donor sperm since 1986. Over time we have observed many changes and advancements in the field. In the early days before sperm banks were available, it was not unusual for a doctor to offer fresh semen from a donor he selected on behalf of an infertile couple. Information on the donor was often kept secret and little was known about his medical or personal history.
Today things are very different. Sperm banks make every effort to select healthy, educated donors who share many health-related and personal details about themselves. Our sperm bank will receive some 200 applications for each donor we ultimately select. Donors undergo many blood tests, semen tests and reviews of their family social and health history, a criminal background check, a psychological evaluation, and ongoing screening and testing.
Donor conceived individuals are learning about the circumstances of their conception in ever-increasing numbers, and Fairfax Cryobank advocates for early open disclosure to children to make the sperm donor part of their birth story. We estimate that now about 4,000 to 5,000 children a year are born in the US as the result of donor insemination.
We recognize that the donor’s medical profile is a snapshot in time and that it is important to continue to collect information from our donors over time. In 2012 Fairfax Cryobank built a secure online system to collect annual updates from our retired sperm donors. We reach out to our donors at least once a year to ask them to check-in and update their and their family’s medical information. Donors may also update personal information as well. The updated information is reviewed by our Medical Director and shared on the donor’s Summary Profile, available online for viewing.
In 2005, Fairfax Cryobank started a new donor category called ID. In this new program, donors agree to release identifying information. We created this category because of the increased interest by families to have this option available. Identifying information, such as donor name, date of birth, and address, is shared with donor-conceived children by an ID donor, whose mother already registered their birth, then requests the information themselves after age 18. About 45% of our current donor list is ID. The others are Non-ID donors that chose to keep their contact information private. Before 2005, all our donors were anonymous. The first donor conceived individuals for this ID information will reach the age of 18 in 2023.
Now, Fairfax is only working with donors who consent to the release of their contact information through the ID program. Because of the changing landscape, evolving regulations on both the state and federal level, starting in January 2020 Fairfax Cryobank implemented a system to allow previously Non-ID donors to consent to the release of their identifying information. This is not required, but we recognize that a person’s experience may lead to their changing their mind to be open to contact. The Non-ID donor must contact the Cryobank and complete a notarized form consenting to the release of his contact information. This will not change the donor’s designation on the donor catalog, but it will be noted in the Summary Profile online.
Ready to Connect
If you are ready to connect with your ID donor or with your Non-ID donor who has consented to the release of his contact information, you can complete this form and submit it online. It will be reviewed, and the process begun within 48 hours of being received.
If there is additional information needed, a member of our staff will reach out to you. We need complete information to ensure that we can trace your identifying information back to an order for the specific donor sperm. If we have all of the necessary information, we will reach out to the donor and ask him for his most up to date contact info and ask if there is a preferred method of contact. Once we hear back from the donor, we will send the information to you.
There is a considerable amount of information we do have on our donors, both Non-ID and ID, that is extremely valuable in learning about the donor as a person. Donors today have audio interviews recorded, childhood photos, some have adult photos, and all have detailed medical and personal histories. Their ethnicity, talents, interests, and even their favorite color and song are presented. Donors who are no longer donating also have information saved.
In addition, half-siblings who are interested may connect with each other on the Fairfax Cryobank Family Forums. Although the donor may be unknown, half-siblings often find shared traits that they determine are likely from their donor. This discovery of sibling relationships, along with the extensive information already available on the donor, may help some individuals as they seek to learn more about their genetic heritage.
As a donor conceived individual, you may have questions about your donor’s reasons to be in our program. Typically donors are college students or recent graduates who have an interest in helping others. Some are married and may even have children of their own. They do receive some reimbursement for their time, travel, and lifestyle commitment (usually about $500 a month). They must visit the laboratory once a week for at least 6 months to donate sperm and agree to have multiple blood draws over the course of their commitment. In addition, they must have regular physical examinations and agree to several face-to-face interviews with our staff. Donors are selected because they have shown us that they are dependable, responsible, trustworthy people.
We do not inform donors if pregnancies/births result from the use of their sperm. Donors often move on to other life events and stop donating after about 6 months to a year in the program, although some continue longer.
Donor sperm from one donor usually results in several births over many years. Some families store units from the same donor to have biologically full siblings, so the age range of all the children from the same donor may be considerable. You can read more about our policy of limiting donor pregnancies. Since donor sperm is shipped worldwide, the donor usually sells out before he reaches our distribution limit.
Questions or Comments?
We are gratified and proud that we have been participating in helping families have wanted children for over twenty years. We hope you have been able to address some of your concerns.
Thank you for visiting Fairfax Cryobank!