Sample Letters to Clinics, Doctors, and Donors

Are you seeking information about your donor? The following letters are examples that you can draw from when writing your own letter to your sperm bank, clinic, doctor, or donor.

Note: It is not uncommon for donor-conceived people to learn that their mother's doctor was also the man who donated the sperm, especially prior to the 1980s. If you suspect this is true for you, DNA testing is advised. Email Wendy, as she has some additional advice, and may be able to connect you with others who have experienced this.

Sample #1

Dear (Sperm Bank, Clinic, or Doctor),

I was inseminated in 1986 via your office and am delighted to have the chance to thank you again for your help in conceiving my precious son, who now is 18. Through a bit of detective work, I recently was able to find you.

When I called to let your office know that I was pregnant, I received some information about the sperm donor, but it was very limited. My son very much would like to know more. Basically, all we know about the donor is his height and coloring. Now that I have found you, I'm not quite sure how best to phrase this letter so that I don't come across as someone who wants to violate the donor's privacy. Of course, my son and I would like to meet him — if that is an option. But our primary interest is in learning more about the donor's ancestry, looks, talents, and interests. We would also like some sort of medical history and an approximation of how many pregnancies were conceived using this donor.

Any help you can give us would be tremendously appreciated. The keys to have my son's genetic identity are in your hands.


Sample #2

Dear (Sperm Bank, Clinic, or Doctor),

I conceived two children through artificial insemination by donor sperm with your help, my daughter in 1988 and my son in 1991. I have been trying to get you to give me my donor number and the name of the lab that you purchased the specimens from for a few years now, but so far my attempts have been unsuccessful. I really feel that I need to have this information, as my son is autistic, plus I need to see what else might be on the donor's side as far as medical history. Certain conditions can run in certain families. Medical histories can be passed from generation to generation, and my children are entitled to have access to that part of their life. They can avoid the things that may be present in the history by knowing about them in advance and taking precautions necessary in that situation.

This is something that should have been given to me years ago without me having to ask or beg for it. It is non-identifying information that is available to all recipients of donor sperm (I have talked to a lot of people who have used a donor to become pregnant and none of them have had this problem of the doctor not wanting to give them their number and/or place of purchase), and I feel I am being prejudiced against by you not making it available to me and my children. I am only asking for a donor number and the sperm bank or lab used, I will contact them to see if they still have a history on file. They will gladly give me a history as long as I have a number. My children's doctor even feels that I am entitled to this information, and he has recently given me information on who to contact for help if this request is not met by you or your clinic.

Please give this request your utmost consideration and send me my donor number and where the specimen came from. Perhaps you did not use a sperm bank but used a college student instead and have no donor number. I still would like to know if this is the situation. You should have access to the information in your archives or in my medical file that is kept off-site. Thank you very much for helping me and my children with this matter. You may contact me by phone, e-mail, or snail mail. I expect to hear from you shortly.


Sample #3

[Have a lawyer put this version on their legal firm's letterhead for more of an impact factor.]

As a matter of record, {Name of Patient} completed and submitted a written request to receive a copy of the medical records that you maintain in (his/her) name on {date}. Inasmuch as this request complied with applicable law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), you are legally obligated to respond to this request.

For purposes of clarity, {Name of Patient} is requesting a copy of all medical records relating to the patient care, fertility treatment, and endocrinology evaluation that you have performed. This includes the name of the corporation or institution that provided the donor semen, along with the anonymous donor number assigned by that entity to identify the human source of this product.

Sample #4

Dear (Sperm Bank, Clinic, or Doctor),

First, we are so grateful to ***, to you, and to our donor. As you know, we have a gorgeous baby girl who is the love of our life. We still can’t believe it.

We had three items we wanted to run by you:

First, would you be comfortable delivering the enclosed letter to our donor on our behalf? I don’t know what your policy is on this type of thing, but we have left the letter open so that you can see that its contents do not in any way attempt to compromise her privacy or burden her with any information about our family beyond the fact that her gift resulted in a successful birth.

Second, can you let us know if any other births resulted from our donor? We are not particularly worried that our child will one day marry a half-sibling as some people are (!), but are more interested in knowing if our daughter actually has any half-siblings who we might want to connect with one day through the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). We understand if you don’t maintain such information, or if you are unable to release it.

Third, we wanted to see if you would be willing to maintain brochures about the DSR in your office and/or link to it on your website so that other recipient families can know it exists. We are finding it to be an extremely helpful resource for things like contemplating how to share information about birth circumstances with our daughter. Not everyone chooses full disclosure, but we do; the research shows that children who never recall a time when they didn’t know about their birth circumstances actually fare the best. Needless to say, this is not an aspect of parenthood we anticipated when we sat in your office for all those months trying to conceive!

As it happens (and you may already know this), there are a wealth of global resources to turn to for support for donors, potential donors, recipients, potential recipients, and donor-conceived children and their families, one of the best of which is the DSR. I enclose their basic brochure which you can also download from their website, where in addition to the registry they also have a wealth of articles and information, links to a multitude of global resources, and even a psychologist that people can contact. There is also a book you can read called Finding our Families: A First-Of-Its-Kind Book For Donor Conceived People and Their Families.

Please let us know your response to the first and second points, either by email or phone (contact info below). We leave the third point up to you and your amazing staff to determine.

Thank you so much for everything!

Sample #5

To: Donor ####

Dear Donor:

First of all, thank you for your priceless gift, which resulted in a child for us. We feel so unbelievably lucky and grateful. Our child is very healthy and happy, thanks in great part to you.

We write because we have registered anonymously at the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR), a private non-profit organization that assists individuals conceived as a result of assisted reproductive technology (or their parents, on their child’s behalf) to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties. We want to offer you anonymous registration, at our expense. Please consider this offer at your leisure. We have a lifetime membership to the DSR, so this offer will always be open to you.

The reason we have done this is that we would love to receive any relevant medical updates about you that may have implications for our child, and similarly, at some point in the future you may want access to medical information about our child that may have implications for you or your children. Our research has shown that the DSR is the best way to facilitate this exchange of information.

Beyond that, we have read that donors and children sometimes choose to share more personal information with each other, anonymously or not, once the child turns 18. We are completely open to this development, and leave it up to the two of you to determine what is right for you both when the time comes. Ultimately, please know that we completely respect any level of contact that you may choose now or in the future, which we understand may include no contact of any kind, not even anonymous contact through the DSR.

With infinite gratitude and respectfully yours, we are

The parents of a beautiful baby born ***

Ryan's Letter to the Cryobank from the Week He Turned 7-years-old

Sample Letter to Sperm Donor Offspring

Have you found genetic children via DNA testing and need help writing that first letter? Are you worried that the news might come as a shock to them? The following sample letter for donors is intended to use as a guide; feel free to pull bits and pieces from it, add your own information, and use your own communication style.

Hi, it looks like we’re very closely related! Back in the [1990s], I was a college student and also a sperm donor at the [***] sperm bank.

I realize that this news might be confusing or even shocking to you, and I hope that you're open to learning more about the situation and about your extended "donor-family." When I donated, I was assured (as were the parents) that there would always be anonymity. But now, with the advent of commercial DNA testing, more and more people are learning that they are donor-conceived, and more donors are being found via the DNA websites. I realize that this news may come as surprise to you, and I realize that this may be a sensitive or private subject within your family, so I want to assure you that I will be extremely respectful of your privacy regardless of how you may wish to connect. I also understand that you might need some time to process this new information.

Please know that all the emotions you might be feeling right now are completely normal. It's not uncommon to feel confused, relieved, excited, sad, or angry — sometimes all at the same time!

If you didn't already know you were donor-conceived, you may be wondering why this information was withheld from you. It's important to try and understand why some parents keep this "secret." Many parents were advised by doctors to never tell. In addition, some parents are fearful that the news might create discourse within the family, negatively affect the relationship with the dad, or upset or anger the child. Most parents were never adequately counseled with regard to dealing with infertility — so sometimes the shame of infertility turns into the shame of donor conception. But I assure you, there is nothing to be ashamed of, and your parents can walk beside you as you explore this new reality. While fear can be a powerful emotion and the reason the secret was kept, honesty and truth can be much more powerful and positive!

I joined the Donor Sibling Registry website ( to make myself available for mutual consent contact. There are [**] other donor-conceived people on that website who are your half-siblings! I have met a few of them, and they’re a great bunch of people. We’d welcome you into our group with open arms.

I have some medical and ancestral information that you might find interesting. Also, you have genetic grandparents who would very much like to meet you. If and when you’re ready, I’d be happy to discuss it all with you! In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out the DSR's book for adult donor-conceived people and the Donor Sibling Registry website, which is an excellent resource for exploring research and reading personal stories about establishing these new family connections.