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3 Legal Facts Every Sperm Donor Should Know By Guest Blogger Michelle Patterson

Posted Nov 11 2013 2:31pm

If you are considering donation your sperm for the insemination process, there are many factors to consider.  Sperm donation is not a matter that should be taken lightly.  Instead, it should be a decision that is well researched and thought out.  You should know all you can about the donation process and especially about the legal facts for sperm donors.  While there are many legal factors to consider, perhaps the most important is that of your parental responsibility to any children born from your sperm donation.  Many clinics have detailed contracts that outline these responsibilities, and it is wise that you read each contract and understand it fully before signing your name to it.  

Additionally, there are a few ways you can donate sperm, and not all of them take place in a clinic.  You can complete an insemination at a legal fertilization clinic by donating your sperm at a donation center, or a home insemination can take place.  The legal responsibilities for parental rights and responsibilities if a child born from home insemination vastly differ from the parental responsibilities of a child born from a clinical insemination process.  This article will discuss three very important legal facts that every sperm donor should know. 

Donating sperm through a legal facility 

When you donate your sperm through a legal facility or clinic, you will not be classified as the child’s father and you will not have any parental rights towards that child.  Many clinics offer what is called an open donor program, which allows you to provide your information to the clinic should the child ever want to contact you, or which allows one contact from the child when the child is of age.  However, while these options are available, they are not considered part of your parental responsibility. 

Donating sperm to a single woman via home insemination 

If you donate your sperm to a single woman via home insemination, it is highly possible that you could assume parental responsibility for that child, as the woman can choose to name her partner or the sperm donor as the child’s legal father on the birth certificate.  Even though you may have discussed the decision prior to the birth, the woman still has the power to change her mind. 

Donating sperm to a married, unmarried, or same-sex couple via home insemination 

If you donate your sperm to an unmarried or same-sex couple via home insemination, you could also be in the same position as with the single woman.  The same-sex couple could choose to name you as the father on the birth certificate.  However, you are protected if you donated to a married couple, as the male will automatically be deemed the father on the birth certificate.

As you can see, the legal responsibilities differ in each situation, so it is very important to decide what type of parental responsibility you are comfortable with having before you decide to donate. 

About the Author 

Michelle Patterson is a nurse with years of experience in the insemination process. She suggests looking into California Cryobank for more helpful information regarding the legal aspects of sperm donation.


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