30 Questions to Ask Your Sperm Bank

Because of the many sperm bank complaints that we have received over the past 11 years, we have compiled a list of questions that you should pose to your current or potential sperm bank. Although there are some sperm banks that have accumulated a disproportionate number of complaints, you should inquire to all sperm banks about the following policies, and request that they respond in writing. If they refuse, that might be an indication that you should consider using another sperm bank.

30 Questions for Sperm Banks:
 1. What compensation is there if your vials are lost by the sperm bank? What about the storage fees?
 2. What compensation is there if your vials have low motility, or what if they are contaminated? What type of refund policy is there? What about storage fees?
 3. What compensation is there is if is found that children born from your donor, or the donor himself, has medical issues? What is the refund policy? What about storage fees?
 4. What type of records do they maintain? Paper? Electronic? How long are they promising to keep records for?
 5. How will they notify you if they become aware of a child born through your donor with medical or genetic issues? Will they only contact your doctor? You directly?
 6. How will you be notified if a donor reports a medical or genetic issue? Will they contact your doctor? Or you directly?
 7. Will they notify you if your donor tests positive for HIV after you have already bought vials? Will they contact you directly?
 8. What is their policy on creating large sibling groups? (Fairfax has the largest number of large sibling groups on the DSR.) What tracking system do they have in place?
 9. Do they ask donors if they have donated anywhere else? (Research shows that between 22%-27% of donors donate to more than once facility.)
10. Can people view their premises? See where the vials are stored?
11. Can they confirm which types of screening have occurred on your purchased vials, and provide proof?
12. How do they verify a donor’s medical information?
13. If a donor is found to have lied on their application, is the donor pulled from the system? Are families notified? If yes, how?
14. Are they in compliance with all HIPAA and FDA regulations? Are all patient records maintained on the premises and not accessed from remote locations?
15. How does the sperm bank assess donors’ looks? Objective determination? More than one person’s opinion?
16. If a donor is CMV-positive, does the sperm bank tell the recipient family?
17. Do they let donors know their own donor number? (Fairfax Cryobank does not.) And if not, why? Do they appreciate the need for many donors and recipient families and adult offspring to make mutual consent contact with each other?
18. What type of education and counseling do donors receive? Can you see the materials?
19. Do they hand out the DSR’s brochure? If not, why?
20. Are their donors contacted regularly for medical updates? If so, how often?
21. When is the last time that they were inspected by the FDA, and can they provide proof?
22. If you are a donor, will they notify you when a medical or genetic issue is called in to the sperm bank that has been reported by the parent of a child born via your donations?
23. What proportion of their donors are “open” vs. “anonymous”?
24. For “open” donors, explain exactly how donors are notified when an 18-year-old child requests contact.
25. If an “open” donor is purchased, can that donor change to an “anonymous” donor?
26. Which small clinics do they ship to around the world? And do the smaller clinics/doctors tell their recipients where the sperm originated from?
27. Do employees have a certain amount of sperm that they are required to sell each month? Are there quotas to make? Bonuses given for selling the most sperm?
28. Have they ever had any lawsuits brought against them? If so, what were they? How were they settled?
29. Is the donor number given to donors the same as the number given to the recipients?
30. Will they tell families how many vials have already been sold for their particular donor?