Sperm Donors Step Up To The Camera

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Sperm Bank for Lesbian Couples and Single Mothers Announces Major Advance: Full-Face Donor Videos and Photos

Pacific Reproductive Services, a sperm bank, has opened a new window on "willing to be known" sperm donors

We will be steadily expanding the number of donors for whom we provide these options

For Pacific Reproductive Services, a pioneering national sperm bank founded in 1984 specifically to serve lesbian couples and single mothers, the launch of online access to a group of videos and adult photos of their sperm donors is the next logical step in serving the unique needs of its client base.

"We have always worked hard to give our clients - and their children, should they wish it - the greatest possible sense of who our donors are as people while maintaining strict donor privacy," says the bank's director, Sherron Mills. "Unlike the large majority of heterosexual couples in which male factor infertility is an issue - and who often do not tell their children they were born of sperm donation - our client base has a deep interest in having as much information as possible beyond a donor's physical health because they will be more disclosing with their children."

Opening A New Window On "Willing To Be Known Sperm Donors"

Over the years, the artificial insemination field has offered an increasing array of informational options to their clients to help compensate for the necessity of preserving sperm donor privacy. These include everything from donor-provided baby photos and essays to handwriting analysis and "photo-matching" services in which clients provide the sperm banks with images of men - family, friends, even celebrities - whose features they desire in their children.

Most importantly, however, sperm banks have increasingly sought donors who are "willing to be known" to children born of their donations when the children reach 18. These donors contractually agree to meet a child at least once, should the child request it. Pacific Reproductive Services, from its founding and because of the special needs of its lesbian and single-mother client focus, has long been the leader in providing this option. As a result, the sperm bank offers the largest number of willing to be known sperm donors in the United States. To director Mills, the bank's ability to now provide both video interviews and adult photos of a first group of these donors is the "big leap" she has long wanted to take for her clients.

"We will be steadily expanding the number of donors for whom we provide these options," Mills says. "It is, of course, a complex project to undertake. Understandably, not all our donors are willing to do this. But we're finding quite a bit of enthusiasm about participating and we're already in the process of adding a second group of donors with videos and photos available. I think the gratifying response we've received from our donors is basically due to two factors. First, clients who want access to the videos and photos are required to indicate their assent to a strict legal contract controlling their dissemination of these images. Second, the donors - who are already very committed to being as open as possible because they are willing to be known - - are pleased to be able to do this, both for the mothers and their children."

Donor: "Were I In The Mother's Place, I Would Of Course Want This"

Sperm donors featured in the videos and photos have expressed their understanding of how important their participation will be to the families they are helping create.

"Their sensitivity to our clients' needs and hopes has been genuinely heartwarming," says Mills. "Of course, these are all men who have already made the profound decision to meet children in the future, should the children wish it. So it's my sense that the decision to go on-camera was a really just natural extension of that very serious commitment for them."

Pacific Reproductive Services Sperm Bank & Fertility Center at https://www.pacrepro.com/index.php


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Maureen Oddone
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