Directed Donation: A Novel Treatment Option for Fertility

Directed Donation: A Novel Treatment Option for Fertility

A little-known fertility option is Directed Donation.  I thought a brief overview would be appreciated by those seeking additional options. I have included links at the end for those looking for additional information. A Directed Donor is a man storing sperm for use by a known recipient with whom he is not sexually intimate. This is in contradistinction to an  Anonymous Donor who is a donor whose identity is unknown to the recipient or a male Client Depositor who is an individual who deposits reproductive tissue prior to intended or potential use in artificial insemination or assisted reproductive procedures performed on his regular sexual partner.

The recipient for a Directed Donor might be a woman without a male partner who would like to have a child with sperm from an individual she knows, a woman in a relationship with a male partner who is not able to produce sperm or a transgender female wanting to have a child with a female partner or surrogate.

There are several steps by which the Medical Director qualifies a directed donor for specimen use by a recipient. These steps are similar to those required for an anonymous donor. If the qualification is performed in NY State the Directed Donor must be found eligible by the Medical Director of the facility prior to collection of the first semen sample for processing and storage. Determination of Eligibility includes the following components:

  1. A physical examination of the Directed Donor, as well as blood testing for indications of sexually transmissible diseases.
  2. A complete medical history, both individual and family, including first-degree and second-degree relatives.
  3. Genetic testing for major genetic disorders in consultation with a geneticist.
  4. Psychological evaluation and counseling to access psychological risks and evaluate financial and emotional coercion.
  5. Evaluation of a semen specimen
  6. Written informed consent must be obtained, and discussion had with the Recipient, Recipient’s Partner (if any) and Directed Donor about the results of the evaluation and use of the specimens.

The cryopreserved specimens are then quarantined as required by state regulations. In New York State this is 6 months but can be waived by the Recipient after a discussion of the potential risks of doing so. In all non-traditional fertility options, it is always prudent to seek advice from your Physicians assisting you with your fertility treatment as well as your legal advisors.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 516-487-2700.

Links to NY State and Federal Regulations:

  1. NY State Department of Health Reproductive Tissue Banking Regulations
  2. FDA Code of Regulations Title 21

You can sign up for my Blog at Men’s Reproductive Health Blog


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