An open identity (or open ID) sperm donor is one who agrees to at least one form of contact with any donation-born offspring once the child turns 18. Due to its transparency, open ID is the most popular option among sperm banks in the U.S. It’s also the best arrangement for all parties involved and why Seattle Sperm Bank specializes in working with open identity sperm donors.
As children conceived using donor sperm grow into adulthood, many become curious about their genetic background and want to meet the donor who helped their mother conceive. The children may want to know more about their donor’s story, including family history, personality traits, and other details. This type of family knowledge is taken for granted by most people, yet is often lacking for children born from donor sperm. Open identity sperm donation is designed to address this. Since anonymous donations don’t offer this opportunity, most women choose to use open ID donors to give their children the choice once they reach adulthood.
What Does Open ID Mean for the Child?
Once a donor child reaches 18 years of age, open ID allows them to request contact with their donor. This contact must be initiated by the child, not the donor. (In fact, the identities of SSB customers are confidential and never released to sperm donors.) If a child wishes to communicate with you as the donor, SSB will make the connection and arrange a method of contact. This could be a face-to-face meeting, a phone call, or simply an exchange of contact information. Whatever the case, SSB serves as the link between two consenting adults who will then be able to decide how to best move forward.
What Does Open ID Mean for the Donor?
When you become an open identity sperm donor, SSB requires you to be available to meet the child at least once. And this holds even after you retire from the program. But you are only obligated to have one contact with the child. Any contact beyond that is up to you and the child conceived by your donation. It’s also important to note that once you choose to become an open identity donor, you cannot switch to become an anonymous donor.
Sperm donors have no legal rights, responsibilities, or obligations to any children born using their semen. Although a donor and child may choose to keep in touch, there is no requirement that the donor commit to a long-term relationship.
To ensure you understand the responsibilities and expectations of becoming an open identity donor, all donors go through a detailed orientation and evaluation by members of our staff.