A trusted resource for women planning alternative families

Considerations in Using a Directed Donor

Our Directed Donor Program

Choosing a private (directed) donor

Some women decide to ask a friend or, if in a lesbian relationship, a family member of her partner to donate sperm. As the sperm donation is directed exclusively to one recipient, the donor is referred to as a directed donor. In most cases, the donor agrees that he will have no parental rights or responsibilities. (Under California law, directed donors have no parental rights or responsibilities). In other instances, a couple or individual may choose to co-parent with a man who will share legal parental rights and responsibilities. In either case, the parties will typically draw up a legal agreement that defines their agreed-to parental rights and responsibilities.

Here are some important issues to consider in making decisions about using a directed donor:

Medical considerations for all donors:

  • Does the donor have significant risk factors for infectious or genetic diseases? *
  • Does his medical and family medical history make him a suitable choice?
  • Are his semen characteristics adequate for conception?

Social considerations for using directed donors:

  • Do I (we) feel that his background, lifestyle and communication style are compatible with our own?
  • How much contact, if any will the donor be having with the child?
  • What will the child call the donor?
  • When will the child be told that this person is her or his donor?

Considerations for co-parenting arrangments:

  • Can we agree to a parenting arrangement that works for all of us?
  • Do we agree on the fundamental parenting issues (discipline, education, religion, medical intervention, etc.)?
  • Will the donor have financial responsibility of any kind?
  • What will the child call the donor?
  • When will the child be told that this person is her or his donor?

Please read about the processes regarding the screening of Directed Donors.

After having read these forms please call PRS to make arrangements for your next steps 1-888-469-5800. (If you are in the greater Los Angeles area, please call us at 626-432-1681.) We will be happy to assist you through this Directed Donor process.

* Federal tissue bank regulations require that all sperm donors are screened for infectious diseases and determined to be eligible or ineligible for donations. Additionally, to reduce the risk of transmission of serious hereditary defects in donor conceived children, PRS performs genetic screening and testing of all donors.