What are the requirements to become a sperm donor?
“Our donors are between 18 and 45 years old and represent the diversity of society,” says donor coordinator Laura Fleckenstein, who interviews potential donors for Sperm Bank Hamburg. Donors come from all walks of life, have different backgrounds, religions, educations and jobs.
What they all have in common is that they are both physically and mentally healthy. And that is carefully examined in advance. So if you are interested in becoming a sperm donor, you will receive both a general and an up-to-date update on your health status.
Who can become a sperm donor?
The first step to becoming a sperm donor is to examine the sperm. First of all, it must be determined whether your sperm are donor quality at all. To do this, a semen sample is first washed, frozen at minus 196 degrees Celsius and thawed again. You do that because the donor sperm are frozen for storage and when they are sold, they still have to be of first class quality after thawing. The thawed sperm are then assessed under the microscope for quantity and mobility. “Only one in 20 sample donations is good enough,” says laboratory manager Jean Marie Skarke from experience. However, if the sperm pass the test, the potential donor’s medical testing process begins.
How does a sperm donation work?
Let’s assume that the quality of your sperm and your health conditions qualify you as a donor. In cooperation with the sperm bank, you will create an anonymous online profile for potential biological mothers and their partners. In it you reveal your physical characteristics, your ethnic origin, your character traits, your occupation, your medical family history and your hobbies. Your profile also includes a baby photo of you and a personal audio message explaining why you became a donor.
To donate, you then regularly go to the sperm bank of your choice, ideally at least once a week for a year. More often is also possible, but 48 hours grace period should be in between. As soon as a child is born in Germany with your donation, you will be informed by DIMDI, the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information. “At the European Sperm Bank we adhere to the quota applicable in Germany, according to which each donor may donate to a maximum of 15 families,” explains Dr. Barikbin.
What about possible legal claims of the children?
Since July 2018, the Sperm Donor Register Act in Germany has stipulated that children have the right to know their parentage and that sperm donors are released from possible claims under custody, maintenance and inheritance rights. Children who have been conceived through artificial insemination using sperm donation can, however, from the age of 16 inquire about their biological father from the central sperm donor register of DIMDI. This means that the sperm bank at which you donate has to forward your data to the institute and for this you have to contractually give it your OK beforehand. Incidentally, you yourself have no right to learn anything about the children you have conceived, but you also have no obligations.
How much money can you make with sperm donation?
There is usually between 40 to 80 euros per donation, making an income of around 160 to 560 euros per month. A donation from you sells a sperm bank to couples or single women who want to have children. Financially, the donation is more worthwhile for the sperm bank, where your sperm are frozen and from where they are sent: A frozen 0.5-millimeter straw with up to 10 million sperm costs around 700 euros.