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One of the benefits of being a lesbian is definitely not accidentally getting pregnant. But what about when you actually want to get pregnant? Well, unsurprisingly, it’s a bit more complicated. While there is an “underground” market for sperm, for many reasons, you should not go that route.

One of the main reasons is safety for yourself- you don’t want to get pregnant from sperm that hasn’t been tested in a laboratory and could carry harmful STIs, but also because the people willing to do it this way are sometimes “birthers”. A birther is a cis-man whose goal is to “spread his seed” to as many people as possible and procreate as much as possible.

The danger with this is because there’s no regulation or way of tracking this, it’s possible that future generations could accidentally procreate with a sibling. Hopefully, despite the allure of price and ease, it’s clear that it IS worth it to go the safe route. 

Now, let’s talk about safe avenues. You can either go with a known donor (brother of the non-carrying partner is a frequent choice) or unknown donor (meaning a donor you do not already have a relationship with). 

Known Donor Safe Choices

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Going with a known donor is a great option for couples who have a family member or close friend that is willing to donate. It’s very meaningful to have a connection with the donor.

You also know their character and family history. They might want an active part in your child’s life or not. Make sure that you have an understanding of this.

If you are going to use a known donor, it is important to consider how much you trust this person and how much you trust any sexual partners that they have.

We very highly recommend that you go the route of having the person donate at a sperm bank where they will check the sperm for mobility and make sure the donor does not have any communicable diseases.

This is a better route because this way you will know if the sperm is of a good quality and you can depend on not contracting a disease from it. 

We know that some folks will still want to skip the sperm bank route. Please know that this is not our recommendation, but in the vein of harm reduction, we are going to discuss how to make this as safe as possible. If this is your case, then, you should have the donor do a full STI screen before they donate.

You should also understand who their sexual partners are. If they are not fully monogamous, then we suggest going the sperm bank route. The reason being is that other people could be bringing in new diseases in between a test and a donation. Having a donor that is monogamous and does a full STI screen before donation will be the better option to having a known donor and not going through the sperm bank. 

The other important consideration with a known donor is understanding what the legal implications are. 

You must go through a lawyer to make sure that they will not have any legal obligations/requirements for your future child. You will also need to make sure that the non-carrying partner will have parental rights. This all needs to be done with the guidance of a lawyer.

Everything You Need To Know About An Unknown Donor

You and your partner have decided to conceive with an unknown donor.

First step is to consult your primary care physician, as they may have suggestions for fertility clinics in the area. Reach out to the clinics that fit your needs best, take advantage of any free consultations they offer, and come prepared with any questions you may have.

The fertility clinic will be able to provide a list of local and nationwide cryobanks. This is where the real fun begins: picking a donor. 

Going through a certified and official donor establishment guarantees that the specimen you choose will have been thoroughly tested for any diseases, mobility issues, and all legal requirements of the donor have been settled.

Typically, you are given the option to search by a number of variables including but not limited to education level, race, ethnicity, religion, height, hair/eye color, number of successful pregnancies, etc.

Many banks provide donor profiles that include audio clips, childhood photos, family medical history, and answers to writing prompts that give couples the opportunity to gain a little more insight into the donor’s personality.

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You and your partner will have to discuss what is important for you to have in a donor and then comb through the thousands of eligible profiles. Donors can also opt to remain completely anonymous, open to being contacted after the child turns 18 years old, or open to being contacted at any time. 

Once you have narrowed down your search and picked the lucky sperm, now what? Seeing the cost of a vial of sperm can be very overwhelming. It can range anywhere from $400 – $2000 per vial, and it’s recommended to purchase at least 2-3 vials at a time. There will also be additional shipping and storage fees incurred depending on the facility you choose. 

What’s next? 

Ok, you’ve acquired your sperm and you are ready to get this party started! Well, maybe not quite. There are a few more steps once you find and acquire your sperm. But never fear! We’ll cover those steps in a future article, so stay tuned.