Donor Sperm FAQs

How do I get started?
What information is available on your donors?
Does Fairfax Cryobank offer adult photos of its donors?
What is an ID Option donor?
Are donors who have adult photos or lifetime photos available also ID Option?
How do I order profiles and other donor products?
What services does Fairfax Cryobank offer to help me select a donor?
What medical and infectious disease tests do you run on your donors?
How is your Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing different than the type of testing used by other sperm bank?
How do you test for Herpes in your donors?
Should I be concerned about the donor's blood type?
How often do you get new donors?
Why do donors choose to donate?
What is Fairfax Cryobank's acceptance rate for donors?
What is the age range for your donors?
How many pregnancies is each donor permitted to have?
Can I be contacted when a donor I've used has low inventory?
Does Fairfax Cryobank offer waitlists for the donors?
Can I reserve samples for future offspring?
Do you have a vial exchange program?
How do you verify information provided by the donors?
Is there a quality standard that Fairfax Cryobank sets for all of the donors?
May I speak to a staff member who has worked closely with the donors?
Whom do I notify to report a pregnancy?
What do you do if you receive a report of a medical condition in a donor's offspring?


How do I get started?

Please see the  3 Easy Steps to Finding the Perfect Donor section of our website for more details.

What information is available on your donors?

See details on Donor Information here.

Does Fairfax Cryobank offer adult photos of its donors?

A select group of donors have adult photos available. There are two types of photo sets. Lifetime photos include a series of photos from infancy to adulthood. An Adult Child photo set includes one childhood photo and one adult photo. Donors who have Lifetime photo and/or Adult Child photo sets available will be indicated as such on the donor search with a camera icon. Some of these donors only have the Adult Child photo set. From more information about this exciting service click here: Lifetime Photos.

What is an ID Option donor?

ID Option donors agree to allow Fairfax Cryobank to share identifying information with any registered offspring, 18 or older, conceived with the use of their donor semen specimen. Adult registered offspring will be the ONLY individual(s) with authority to request identifying information. Note that not all ID programs offered by sperm banks are alike. Read more about the Fairfax Cryobank ID Option Donor Program here.

Are donors who have adult photos or lifetime photos available also ID Option?

The programs are entirely separate, but some donors have selected to be both ID Option and offer adult/Lifetime photos.

How do I order profiles and other donor products?

You may order donor products on line by accessing the donor search feature. The donor products ordered online are available at a discount and are available immediately upon purchase for you to print or save to your hard drive. We offer Donor Unlimited Access Packages where for one fee you have instant access to all the donor information. If you prefer you can contact Client Services to order donor products over the phone. Products ordered over the phone will be mailed to you through the U.S. Postal Service, which you should receive within 2-3 business days.

What services does Fairfax Cryobank offer to help me select a donor?

Fairfax Cryobank Client Services can answer any inquiries that you may have, provide donor availability, and also guide you through the selection process. A Patient Information packet  can be ordered online or by phone. The Client Services team provides Donor Selection Services, including photo matching and donor selection consultations. You'll find that the information you receive using these services is a more comprehensive and in-depth look into particular donors.

What is Fairfax Cryobanks privacy policy?

Read our Fairfax Cryobank Privacy Policy here. It defines Anonymous Donors and ID Options donors.

What medical and infectious disease tests do you run on your donors?

See a complete list of all testing performed on our donors as well as view the rigorous screening process all donors must pass.

How is your Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing different than the type of testing used by other sperm bank?

In addition to excluding donors with known risk factors and positive physical examinations we test for HPV using a proven technology, DNA by PCR, a reliable Nucleic acid Amplification Test.  PCR is significantly more sensitive than traditional testing methods and looks for the actual presence of the HPV virus. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted viral disease worldwide. Some types of the virus cause common skin warts. High risk types (eg, HPV-16 and HPV-18) have been associated with anogenital cancer, particularly cervical cancer.  The March 2001 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommended HPV testing of sperm donors. Please click here to read more about our HPV testing.

How do you test for Herpes in your donors?

Instead of just relying on physical evidence of an active outbreak of genital herpes (presence of lesions) we use the molecular genetic (DNA) technique PCR (polymerase chain reaction). This testing is offered through the GIVF Molecular Infectious Disease Lab (MIDL).  MIDL is truly a cutting edge facility which is CLIA certified and dedicated to infectious disease diagnostics using exclusively high quality Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) DNA amplification technology. Molecular infectious disease testing by PCR directly detects pathogen-specific nucleic acid, rather than relying on cultures, immunoreactivity or serology to identify the organism.   Read more about HSV - Herpes Simplex Virus testing.  

Should I be concerned about the donor's blood type?

Some patients feel that the blood type of the donor is very important when choosing a donor. By selecting a donor whose blood type matches the husband's/partner's blood type, patients may feel more secure about issues related to confidentiality. The donor's blood type may be medically important to consider if the mother is Rh negative (Rh-). These women may develop antibodies to a fetus that is Rh positive. It is also important to remember that children do not always inherit the same exact blood type as their biological parents. For example, a couple with blood types of A and B could have an offspring with any of the four blood types: A, B, O, or AB. Click here to use our blood type predictor tool. Please keep in mind that if you elect to use the blood type of a donor as one of your selection criteria, you will decrease the number of donor choices available to you.

How often do you get new donors?

We typically add about 1-10 new donors each month. The donor register is updated daily on our donor search feature and bi weekly online in pdf format.  If you want to see the newest donors, you can select 'Newest Donors' on the online search top navigation or visit out Meet our Newest Donors page for a summary of our latest additions to the list.

Why do donors choose to donate?

During the required face to face interview with our experienced staff, donors often express the desire to help those who are unable to have children of their own. They may have observed similar experiences with family or friends and are therefore looking for a way to make a difference. Donors also receive monetary compensation for their time.

What is Fairfax Cryobank's acceptance rate for donors?

A rigorous evaluation process screens all donor applicants. Fairfax Cryobank accepts only about 1% of applicants.

What is the age range for your donors?

All donors must be between 18 and 39 years of age.

How many pregnancies is each donor permitted to have?

Read our Limitations on Donor Births here.

Can I be contacted when a donor I've used has low inventory?

Unfortunately we do not have the technology to automatically notify patients of donor availability. You may contact Client Services to check on a particular donor's availability, or by going online to our donor search feature which is updated daily. Under the Availability column a "yes" indicates there are more then 10 units available, "no" indicates there are 0 units available, and "call" indicates there are less then 10 units available. The best way to ensure donor availability is to purchase and store units for future cycles or family building.

Does Fairfax Cryobank offer waitlists for the donors?

As a courtesy, Fairfax Cryobank does offer waitlists for donors who do not have any inventory currently available but are expected to release units from quarantine sometime in the future. Please see our waitlist FAQs.

Can I reserve samples for future offspring?

Yes - you can purchase extra units and open a storage account. The only way to guarantee availability is to purchase and store the requested donor specimens when available.  We will be happy to assist with setting up a storage account.

Do you have a vial exchange program?

Yes- Fairfax Cryobank appreciates our storage client’s business and would like to accommodate their wishes if possible.  Exchanging old doses for an equal number of doses of another donor and/or prep is only authorized within 36 months of when the original doses were placed into storage at Fairfax Cryobank.  Storage clients are eligible for one vial exchange per calendar year.  Doses that have left Fairfax Cryobank are not eligible for exchange or refund. 

How do you verify information provided by the donors?

During the rigorous screening process we ask many of the same questions in several different formats to assess the validity of the donor's answers. We also make a copy of the donor's drivers' license and school transcripts. Any inconsistencies in the donor's answers exclude him from the donor program.

Is there a quality standard that Fairfax Cryobank sets for all of the donors?

All our donors must meet a minimum post-thaw (PT) total motile cell (TMC) count. ICI (unwashed) and IUI (pre-washed) specimens have a minimum PT standard of 10 million TMC. IVF specimens have a minimum PT standard of 5 million TMC per vial. See our Specimen Quality Standard for more information.

May I speak to a staff member who has worked closely with the donors?

Due to many requests from patients to talk to a staff member who has worked with a particular donor we now offer Staff Impressions free of charge on our donor search. Laboratory staff members who have worked closely with the donors write staff impressions. Donors who do not have staff impressions available are no longer active in our program and we do not have staff members familiar with the donors.

Whom do I notify to report a pregnancy?

Either you or your physician can report a pregnancy or birth to us. You may report your pregnancy online at the following link: Report a Pregnancy. A printed pregnancy report form is also included in the shipping tank with every order. We accept this completed form by mail or fax, if your physician prefers this method.

What do you do if you receive a report of a medical condition in a donor's offspring?

Fairfax Cryobank is committed to providing donor sperm that produces healthy babies, of which there are thousands over the twenty years of our operation.  However, in the general population, every pregnancy has about a 3%-4% risk of producing a child with a birth defect or mental deficiency. Our extensive screening and testing reduces this risk, but cannot eliminate it.

We ask physicians and clients to notify us whenever they believe a child born by donor sperm has any medical condition.  In the rare cases when we receive such notice, we immediately remove that donor from sale and investigate the report.  We carefully gather as much information as we can on any reported condition, asking for a physician’s diagnosis, and a family history on the mother.   Unfortunately, in many cases, we never receive a physician’s diagnosis that is essential to properly investigate the report.

Fairfax Cryobank’s Medical Director is a physician who is Board Certified in pediatrics and clinical genetics. He carefully evaluates all adverse clinical reports. If additional  testing of the donor can be done (not all medical conditions have a simple blood or specimen test) that can identify  or help to clarify a donor’s role, he orders it. If our Medical Director determines that using the donor could increase the risk of  the occurrence of a medical condition and/or birth defect above the risk in the general population, we will restrict that donor, meaning that his sperm is no longer available for sale to the general public. 

In certain circumstances, however, we will allow this donor to remain available only to clients who already have a child by the same donor, thus allowing them the option to attempt to have a biological sibling to their child.  Those individuals who wish to have a biological sibling for their child must sign an informed consent that describes the clinical condition and the risks associated with it before they can purchase or ship any of this donor’s units for future inseminations.  Genetic counseling is recommended so that those who want to use a restricted donor can have their questions answered before making a decision to sign the informed consent.  Clients and their physicians can then evaluate if it is appropriate to use this donor.

Fairfax Cryobank is an industry leader in the screening and testing of its donors.  We do everything possible to provide information to prospective mothers and the mothers of children conceived through donor sperm to ensure that they and their physicians can make the best decisions about the selection of donor sperm and the future health of their children.