I’m a young man who is hard up for cash, with a high IQ and good health, so I’ve thought of seeing if I can donate sperm. I was thinking of the Fairfax Cryobank in particular. I have a couple of questions. First, was the screening process especially painful or time-consuming? Second, did you have any trouble making time for donations. They only accept from 6:30-1:30 M-F, which means I’d either have to get up early or take time off from work, assuming I find a full-time job of course.
(The third question is how can I keep my cackling fool brother from finding out and going into hysterics, but that’s my problem.)
I used to work in a fertility lab so I can give you a basic run down of the process as we did it.
The screening takes about 2-3 months. We required 2 years of college, but I can’t remember any who had less than 4, with most having grad degrees. An extensive medical/family history was taken and documented, then the donor was tested for disease, if all passed, the initial donation was made and incubated. (This is about 2 months into the process.) The donor wasn’t paid until the 6 month incubation mark, when he was re-tested for disease, and accepted into the donor program. The donations weren’t used until after a year of incubation, and the donor was required to stay in the program for a year, minimum.
We took donations IIRC no more than 3 times a week, and didn’t paid for counts too low to use. Actually, the more I think about it, I think it was only 2X/week/donor. After so many donations (100?) or so many pregnancies (I think 8), the donor was dropped from the program, unless he had an exceptionally high count or exceptionally viable sperm, in which case he was eligible to work with me, which was using sperm for QC testing (not fertilizing anything).
If you’re unsure about wanting to make little Rikers, or disappointed in the process (lots of guys were, especially after finding out they don’t get paid for 6 months), check into donating for quality control for an embryology lab. Medical colleges also use sperm donors for research.
I donated to the Medical College of VA and got well for very little trouble.
The screening process was completely painless (except for the little stick when they drew the blood sample). It involved a questionaire about my health history, level of education, interests, etc. I have no idea what parts of this were available to couples.
I got a complete physical out of the deal, which I needed anyway, and $300.
I could only donate once per week, and one week they didn’t pay me because of a low sperm count. That was offset, however, by being told “You’ve got really great semen” after another deposit.
I don’t have 2 years of college yet, but I mentioned this and they still sent me the form letter on how to sign up. I know about the quarantine period.
Are you saying that I might donate for six months, but then they might stop using mine earlier and then only pay for what they used? I don’t think I’d sign that deal. If I pass their screening I expect to be paid for all my hard work.
I’ve heard of the 8-baby limit in another post. This company seems to have multiple sites. I wonder if I can move on and go to other clinics. Could I move from one clinic to the next, as a sort of genetic Johnny Appleseed, or is that frowned upon?
What really concerns me more than anything else is that I am healthy, with a very high IQ and no genetic problems I’m aware of, but I am not doing anything impressive right now, having recently dealt with some major bad events that I let interfere with my plans for my life and so forth. I don’t have anything to make up an impressive resume or CV. I’m worried that they’re looking for some romantic story about a promising, successful, ambitious young man to put in a catalog. Is the process straightforward and basically medical, or should I be worried that I’m not marketable?
You’ll only have the problem with your brother if you decide to inform him about it, otherwise, no one but yourself, the clinic, and the thousands of straightdopers who frequent this site will ever know
Not really. As someone who may have to use this option in the near future (depending on test results), it all depends on the needing family (or woman, whatever the case may be). I personally would like someone who is either in school or has finished, but it’s not necessary. Showing ambition and intelligence in other areas is fine as well. I would be looking for someone who shares my Rh factor, physical characteristics of my husband, personality and interests of both of us. A good education is merely a plus to me, not a deciding factor.
I’ve looked at donors lists and I will tell you two things that are a big turnoff for me: one, being very indescriptive about yourself. If I am technically having another man’s child, I’d like to know more about him than what I would on a one-night stand. I want to know what your dreams are, your strenths and weaknesses, and just your general personality. Some of those forms are so cold and have no personality, it makes decisions very difficult.
Two: evaisve about medical history. I need to know every physiological and physchological issue from your grandparents to present generations. I just want to know for the health and well-being of my child, that way if something is wrong down the road, I can better prepare to deal with and recognize the signs. I guess simply for prevention and education.
More than anything else, the donor needs to be at least a very close match to my husband, physically and in personality/interests. Since it was a birth-defect that caused the (more-than-likely) sterility, he always wanted a child much like him. This is a difficult decision and if I can make it easier on him by fulfilling his wishes in this, then by all means I can (and will) be very picky about our choice. Maybe it will cut out many very great choices, but it’s our life also here.
I do know that the process has come a long way in the past 20+ years. I wouldn’t want it any different though. The more detailed, rigorous testing they do on the donors, the more likely I will be to choose those samples. Where you see it as a way to make some extra money, I see it as an outlet to fulfill one of my greatest dreams in life - to have a child.
This is a far more heart-wrenching process for the ones on the receiving end of this. Think of it this way, if you are an ideal donor, you will be helping several families achieve and experience something they want more than anything else. I know if this is the route we one day need to take, I will be forever grateful for the college kid on the other end who did this for some pizza cash.
So please keep in mind the things I’ve told you when/if you do this. Take time out to be as descriptive and forthcoming as you can. Know all your medical history, your blood type, be frank about who you are and your personality. Don’t worry about fitting a “mold”, be yourself and be completely honest and most of all be DESCRIPTIVE. You’re dealing with at the very least 2 other lives here, the child and the mother.
By the way, you are doing a wonderful thing. Don’t let your brother beat you up about it. You’re helping someone and giving them the greatest gift. Good luck to you.