Sperm Donors

This page is for sperm donors — to provide support and resources for donors, as well as information about sperm donation.


Recent Media


Declining sperm counts, identified by two recent and influential meta-analyses—combining and synthesizing the results of previous studies—have become widely publicized in the mainstream media.

In the new study, however, statistical analysis of sperm samples provided by the men applying to be sperm donors showed that while the average sperm concentration varied from year to year, it did not change significantly over a six-year period.


"California Cryobank says their current sperm donors are roughly 43% Asian, 40% white, 10% Hispanic, but only about 5% Black.  Nationally, it is estimated as few as 2% of sperm donors at cryobanks are Black."  "...of 263 donors in the cryobank catalog at the time, only 3 were Black."


Technology allows sperm to be frozen longer than the legal 50-year limit but poses medical and ethical questions.

Without telling me, my husband donated sperm back in the ’90s, when we were newly married. We were both students, and we had one child and another on the way. We had talked about ways we could earn money, and we both agreed sperm and egg donation were not a good option. He told me that he understood my concerns and agreed not to do this.

Years passed, and in 2017 he received a notification from a DNA website saying that he had a new match: a biological child conceived from one of his donations. He began to communicate with this child—sharing pictures, stories, and a lot of personal information—but never told me about her. He did, however, inform our adult children, as this person would show up as a sibling match if they did genetic testing. I found out by accident just a few months ago when I overheard my daughter asking him if he had told me yet.


February: New York Times

The Case of The Serial Sperm Donor

One man, hundreds of children, and a burning question: Why?

This particular vaccine is not distributed in the US, but we do wonder how cautious the sperm banks will be.  "Experts say that the vaccinators must caution beneficiaries who have reproductive potential to avoid direct sex with partners from 3-12 months after they are vaccinated."


"Time slowed. Colin felt adrift. He scoured the internet for advice, other stories like his, a life raft he could grasp to guide his thoughts. He couldn’t find his situation reflected anywhere. During his search, he happened upon the website for the Donor Sibling Registry. Its cofounder, Wendy Kramer, was the mother of a donor-conceived child. Frantically pacing an empty cafeteria at work, he gave her a call. She had heard the story before and calmly directed him to some resources."

Older Media


January: CBS Sunday Morning

One sperm donor's extended family

DSR Story — watch a donor meet his biological children for the first time.


A great article on clarifying the rights and responsibilities of sperm donors.


October: NPR

Lost, Then Found

Ryan Kramer and his biological father Lance talk about their connection.

It is a rarity for a college newspaper to acknowledge sperm donation, so although a bit crude (hey, it's a college newspaper), the writer makes some good points.

Research on Sperm Donation

2015: Facts, Views & Vision in OB/GYN (the Scientific Journal of the Flemish Society of Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Health): Sperm donors describe the experience of contact with their donor-conceived offspring.

"This study explores the attitudes and experiences of 57 sperm donors who responded to a survey posted online in the United States and indicated that they had had contact with their donor-conceived offspring or the parents of their donor-conceived offspring. On average, 18 years had elapsed since the respondents donated sperm. In the interim between donating and having contact with offspring, most had become curious about their offspring. Most made contact through a bank or online registry. Most respondents had communicated with at least one offspring at least once and most had exchanged photos with offspring.

Approximately two-thirds had met in person once; the same proportion had communicated over email or text. Other forms of communication were less common. Almost half of the respondents now considered their donor-conceived offspring to be like a family member. At the same time, donors are respectful of the integrity of the family in which their offspring were raised. Donors with contact are open to having their partners and children know their donor-conceived offspring. Although contact is generally positive, donors report that establishing boundaries and defining the relationship can be very difficult. Some donors also urge those who are thinking of donating to consider the consequences and some suggest avoiding anonymity. There were no significant differences in attitudes and experiences between those who donated anonymously and those who had been identity-release for their offspring when they turned 18."

2014: DSR Survey: What would you like other people considering being donors to know that you have learned? Advice from sperm, egg, and embryo donors.

2013: Advances in Reproductive Sciences: Genetic and Health Issues Emerging from Sperm Donation: The Experiences and Views of Donors. Ken Daniels and Wendy Kramer. A second paper on 164 surveyed sperm donors, looking at medical, genetic, and recruitment issues, was accepted for publication in July of 2013. "Overall, donors indicate that they see donating as involving responsibilities to the offspring and families. The study highlights however that their ability to act responsibly is limited by some of the interactions or lack of them with the facilities where they donated. The obligations and responsibilities of donors need to be matched with those of the clinics."

2010-2012: This is research that we presented as both a talk and a poster to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in 2010 and to the British and Irish Fertility Societies in 2011. The first paper was published in 2012.

Poster: Semen Donors Who Are Open to Contact With Their Offspring
Paper: Reproductive BioMedicine Online: Semen donors who are open to contact with their offspring: issues and implications for them and their families. Ken Daniels, Wendy Kramer, and Maria Perez-y-Perez. "This study investigates the motivations, views and experiences of semen donors willing to have contact with their offspring. Contact in donor insemination has usually been thought of and seen as a coming together of the donor and the offspring — just two people. The results of this study show that there is a need to think of offspring and donor linking as a coming together of two families."

Interesting Facts

March 2024 DSR Statistic: 3,411 egg donors are now registered on the DSR, compared to only 1,776 sperm donors (5,187 total donors registered). The increased number of registered egg donors is because facilities such as San Diego Fertility Center and Oregon Reproductive Medicine regularly write the DSR into their parent/donor agreements so that connecting can happen right from pregnancy/birth. Imagine what would happen if just one sperm bank offered this as an option!

Things to Consider

Thinking about becoming a sperm donor? Read this first!

Selling your sperm means much more than paying for a spring break vacation. This kind of irresponsible advertising (from a NY sperm bank) only goes to show the lack of proper education given to prospective donors about decisions made now for a quick buck, which can affect them (and their families) for the rest of their lives.

Are you thinking of donating sperm? This Huffington Post contribution should be read by all those considering selling their sperm: Thinking About Selling Your Sperm or Eggs?


June 2016, the Editor-In-Chief of Human Reproduction finally says publicly what we have been telling donors since 2005:

Due to genetic testing donor anonymity does no longer exist
"Many thousands of people worldwide have been conceived with donor gametes but not all parents tell their children of their origin. Genetic testing will make this impossible. Over three million people have already used direct-to-consumer genetic testing. The rapidly increasing availability of cheaper and more detailed tests poses numerous challenges to the current practice of sperm and egg donation: 1. Whether they are donating in a country that practices anonymous donation or not, donors should be informed that their anonymity is no longer guaranteed, as they may be traced if their DNA, or that of a relative, is added to a database. 2. Donor-conceived adults who have not been informed of their status may find out that they are donor-conceived. 3. Parents using donor conception need to be fully informed that their children’s DNA will identify that they are not the biological parents and they should be encouraged to disclose the use of donor gametes to their children. All parties concerned must be aware that, in 2016, donor anonymity has ceased to exist."
—JLH (Hans) Evers, Editor-in-Chief, Human Reproduction

10/2023: A heart-warming note from a new Donor Sibling Registry member whose father was a sperm donor:
My father was an unknown sperm donor. Through DNA testing we have connected with 6 of our donor-conceived siblings. My brother and I were raised by our dad and he told us once we were old enough to understand that he was a donor. Sadly, 5 out of my 6 donor-conceived half-siblings were never told they were donor-conceived. We have once or twice a year gatherings for all of us to get together. None of us "need" each other. We all have very full happy lives, but we choose each other, genuinely care about each other, and communicate weekly. It's been one of the best gifts in my life to have these new siblings as genetic family and friends. It's amazing really. All our lives are better because we have each other.

No matter what type of contract you signed with your sperm bank, you always have the right to make yourself available for mutual consent contact on the DSR!

Legal Considerations

Sperm Donor Rights/Responsibilities by State:

A sperm donor has no rights or responsibilities for any children that are born as a result of his donation. The children born from your donations have no legal or financial rights to you or your money. The court cases to date have all included known donors — arrangements that went sour.

The following came from the Human Rights Campaign; it is several years old, so there might be updates to this information:

"In all 50 states, men who provide sperm as an unknown donor assume no legal responsibility for any resulting children born. In some states, however, if a man is known to the woman or couple to whom he provides sperm, he may be required to assume the legal responsibilities of a parent. In California, Ohio and Wisconsin, a known donor releases himself from legal responsibility if the procedure is performed with a physician's involvement. In Colorado and New York, a known donor may be able to assert parental rights; however it is unclear whether a court would impose any responsibilities on a known donor in these two states. In Pennsylvania and Utah, the law is unclear and a known donor may be assigned some parental responsibility. In the remaining states, there are no laws or cases that assign or allow a donor to assert parental responsibilities."

Under the California Uniform Parentage Act, a sperm donor providing sperm to someone other than his wife, via a licensed physician or surgeon, is not legally or financially responsible for any resulting children and is deemed not to be the natural father of such children. Additionally, you are further protected under the terms of contracts that are signed by both you and the recipients.

2016: Verdict: Friends with Benefits: Texas Man Who Donated Sperm to a Friend Has Parental Rights. 2016 analysis of sperm donation laws.

2010: Research memo from a law student: Parentage And Artificial Insemination Research Results. Legal parenting in the sperm donor world.

Connecting with Offspring

Sperm Donors' Stories


3 Generations Come Together

This family first came together when the donor's dad called Wendy to talk about connecting with his son's biological family. Fast forward to 3 generations of an expanding family!  One of the moms says of the donor's family: "their family arms are open and accept every single one of [my donor's] children as his children."



July: Stephanie and her biological father

Me and my daddy (biological father donor). We have known each other for just about four years now get together as often as possible as text daily. There are 11 siblings all in contact too!!! All my siblings grew up with a father I did not I wanted to find him for 20 years finally did and he IS my dad.


September: A sperm donor speaking about the biological son/donor child that he recently connected with

"After about 5 weeks of conversation, [my donor child] told me that he is going to call me Dad from now on and I am his father because the man who raised him until age 15 was never much of a father and I have been more of a father to him in 5 weeks than that man has been his whole life. Very powerful stuff. I tell them this and will continue to tell them all when we connect: 'I have no expectation of what you will call me and how you will identify me. You will struggle to find what to call me. You will have conflicting feelings regarding this and it is normal and ok. You may try out whatever you like for as long as you like and you may change it any time you wish as many times as you like. When you find what works for you, you will feel it.'"

Jason and his donor son Nate, at the same age

February: From a sperm donor who just posted on the DSR

"When I was a donor, I failed to foresee the rise of consumer DNA testing and the inevitable end of donor anonymity. Since DNA tests are only going to become more popular and accurate as time goes on, it seems to me that I should get in front of this thing and put myself out there."


August: From a donor who joined the DSR

"My goal in joining this site is to present myself so that if my kids are out there and would like to meet me and or get to know me, I'm here for them. I welcome and cherish such a special opportunity. I would never want for any child or person for that matter to feel less whole due to not knowing something that is such an instinctual curiosity. From all the information that I've read, early contact and/or at least the knowledge of who a bio father is looks to be very beneficial for the children. That being said, I'm open to early contact and relationship building. I'm here to help and only add to the child's life in a loving and non-intrusive manner. This is all still very new to me but I will always do my best to be a good example, a positive addition, responsive with awareness and care for any communications."


January: A sperm donor's advice to others wondering about connecting

"In my experience, not only have there been zero negatives associated with meeting these offspring, but the upside is broader and fuller and more positive than I could have imagined. I, too, have been gratified to know my 'selfish genes' are scattered and the offspring were benefiting from what I believe is my healthy stock. Equally, I benefited from feeling generous in having helped folks who’d been struggling to conceive. I’ve always been comfortable with the idea there may be children and their parents who, for whatever reasons, might have no interest in meeting me. But I’d ask you to think now about those children (and perhaps their parents) who have an interest in meeting you.

What relationships and the depth of relationship which may or may not ensue from connecting will be up to you and the others in your life, but the children who call you dad and those who don’t yet know you are siblings. Watching those relationships develop among the offspring I’ve met has been wonderful. Even without having grown up in the same household, each quickly sees bits of themselves in the others, and each now has someone else (or several others) who seemingly 'click' in those ways siblings do but without the competition young siblings often experience. There is a centeredness/groundedness/sense of history some of these children describe associated with learning about to whom they are biologically related.

Each of your offspring (like mine) are likely now in their twenties, so they’ve figured out (at least to some degree) who they are and are leading their own lives. I wish I could better express more of the joys associated with connecting, but I’ll leave it for now by saying it’s been a thoroughly joyful experience on all fronts for me and it’s my perception there has been no downside at all to connecting with my offspring and introducing them to one another."


From a California Cryobank donor

"I discussed online registries w/CCB and my thought of registering on your site. I have always felt your site appears high quality and 'trustworthy.' However, CCB, of course, had their cautions, and they were quite strong in their position that I should NOT register because there are likely errors with people putting wrong donor ID, or even fakes ... so that if I register, CCB says there's more than a slim chance I'd be reaching out or opening up to people not really offspring of mine, and I find that troubling because I was just about to drop the $."
A follow-up email from the above donor, in February 2019: "Hey Wendy. So I thought you might like a little update. I recently spent two days and nights with one of the families ... met the boys with their two moms. Was awesome! So many quirky and offbeat things in common, and we all hit it off, friends, or better said, 'extended family' now. I also have made extensive connections with 4 other kids. Again, a very wonderful and happy experience; we are sharing a lot of ourselves, and I hope to meet them too. I am single, never close to married, and have often thought of how BLESSED I am to be in the position of: 'Oh, I have never had kids. I wonder what they might have been like.' Many people can only wonder, and they know it will never be. I, on the other hand, can wonder, but then, by sheer miracle, and it's not a dream, HERE THEY ARE! Wow!"


"I donated several hundred times from 1981 through 1988 and look forward to making contact with my progeny. Thank you for all you have done to help fill in a void that has been on my mind for many years."



"My decision to be a donor was inspired by the blessed gift of my children. They and their half-siblings (I only know of a son and daughter) have the right to know each other. With humility, I can say that I've never had misgivings about being a donor and continue to desire contact without any presumptions. I sent an inquiry and personal letter to [my sperm bank], and, having since discovered the DSR, will trust the universe in this quest. As a parent of children who are the light of my life, I already feel an affinity with the parents of these children conceived in trust and love."


A former sperm donor meets his biological daughter and grandson for the first time.

From a Donor

"One thing is crystal clear for me. That is that the interests and well being of the children — all of them — are paramount. Regardless of what the legal framework was at the time of my being a sperm donor, I believe that I do have responsibilities to the children born as a result of my sperm donations. At the very least, those children have a right to know what my part of their genetic heritage is. I will be more than happy to get in touch, if and when they do desire. I think about them often and wonder who, where, and how they are, and what is happening in their lives. I think, that if one day some of my unknown offspring do make contact with and meet me, it might be – for them primarily and for me too — a wonderful 'jigsaw' experience!?! I only donated for a period of about eight months! All of that said, the prospect of it actually happening is a little daunting, in some ways. What if they do not like me, or I them? What if they feel unhappy with my having contributed to their creation, but then taken no responsibility for them — especially if they have had an unhappy life? How will my own family react to and view them? On and on my thinking goes. However, at the base of all of this I am quite clear in my mind, that these wonderful children do have a right to know, what they want to know about me — because in them, there is a part of me."

From a donor who eventually added his posting to the DSR (an example of how donors feel years after donating)

"Hi Wendy, I just wanted to thank you for making the Donor Sibling Registry possible. I donated sperm in 2000 and 2001. I've never been embarrassed about it, for the most part — I told my mom and close friends at the time. But it never occurred to me that any biological offspring of mine would be even want to contact (let alone meet) me. I don't know exactly how this came into my consciousness 15 years later, but here I am! Your website, and the interviews you've done on NPR, which I've researched in the past few days, really opened my eyes. I don't know if it will ever come to be, that I meet someone who I helped to bring in to this world. But now I know that's a possibility, thanks to you and your son. Thank you for educating me about the role I may have played in someone's life. I definitely don't remember the sperm bank ever talking to me about this stuff. ;) I hope you and your son are happy and well!"

From a donor

"But at any rate, my own sons and daughters: wake up, endure, whatever. Just as long as you also accept this apology: not for my having helped conceive you, of course, but for my not having helped raise you. And also for your not having ever known me in person. And also, now, for my not knowing you at all."


Written by a former sperm donor.


An article by a former donor about searching for and connecting with a daughter.

Richard Hatch's Story: The first winner of TV's Survivor tells his story of finding a son and a daughter on the DSR.

Experiences of Donors Connecting on the DSR

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 (https://donorsiblingregistry.com/) 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 DSRs 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.

Sperm Donation Humor

Was Homer Simpson a sperm donor?
Source: imgur.com/r/pics/io0NB


A papa dog meets his puppies for the first time — kind of like a sperm donor? (Click photo for link to video)
Source: imgur.com/2jJLAYK


Used with permission: Rhymes With Orange © 2018 King Features Syndicate, Inc., Hearst Holdings, Inc.




Seen on the Donor Sibling Registry's Facebook page.