“Here is a list of sperm banks in South Africa.” Photo: Getty Images
Are you interested in the idea of donating your sperm?
Sperm donation has become an acceptable option for couples or single adults who want to become parents, but cannot, for various reasons, do it themselves.
Those in need of donor sperm can include couples facing infertility, LGBT couples who want to start their own family, or adults who are considering becoming single parents through IVF or surrogacy.
Sperm donors offer these future parents the most wonderful gift.
Parent24 investigated six large sperm banks in South Africa and compiled details on donor requirements and compensation options.
Prospective sperm donors face a rigorous screening process. First, an appointment is scheduled and then the screening process begins, which consists of questionnaires, analysis of blood and semen samples, and analysis of the donor’s history.
The donor family’s genetic background, general health, and lifestyle will be investigated at no cost to the donor. A psychological evaluation process is also common.
The sperm donation process generally involves two clinic visits per week, for about four months. Donors are encouraged to produce a sample on site, but home options are available with some restrictions.
A sample can be generated using one of the following options:
- a sample collection bag used during intercourse
- by electrostimulation
The ejaculate is then sifted and prepared for cryogenic storage, where it can be stored for up to 20 years.
Numerous blood tests are required throughout the process. There are no health risks associated with donating sperm.
Read: ‘We had to carry on alone’: Two dads who advocate for same-sex parenting share their surrogacy journey
Sometimes there are restrictions on how many times a donor can donate sperm to different recipients. The number of times the same donor can be used is established by local law and is limited to six live births per donor.
Some donor recipients may ask the sperm donor not to donate to other recipients, to ensure that they can have another child who shares the same genetic material as their sibling. These requests can be discussed and accepted at the discretion of the sperm bank.
Read: Mom gives birth to a ‘miracle baby’ after buying sperm online
Under South African law, donors are not paid for their sperm. However, a donor may be reimbursed a nominal amount to cover costs that may accumulate, such as travel and out-of-pocket expenses.
Some sperm banks also offer “time and commitment” compensation.
A donor can expect to receive compensation of between R3,000 and R8,000 for their efforts.
Payments are only made if the donor was successful, after the process is complete.
See also: ‘Not possible’: legal expert explains rules on ‘multiple’ surrogates in South Africa
Sperm donors waive their parental rights and obligations by signing a letter of permission allowing the bank to use the sperm for artificial insemination purposes.
Sperm donors can express a preference for who they would like to donate their sperm and include details such as marital status, religion, sexual preference, and ethnicity of the family receiving the donation.
South African law prohibits disclosure of donor and recipient identities, and couples using sperm from an anonymous donor have no right to know the identity of the donor. They may also not look for donor identification information anywhere else.
Find a local sperm bank
Different sperm banks may require you to have a certain level of education or to be interested in something that adds value to the intended family, such as having a degree or being proficient in sports or academics.
Cape Town-based Aevitas Sperm Bank invites men between the ages of 19 to 37 to apply.
AndroCryos, located in Johannesburg, welcomes donors between the ages of 21 and 35.
Cape Cryo Bank located in Cape Town, looking for men between 19 and 40 years old.
Johannesburg-based Medifem encourages donors between the ages of 21 and 35 to apply.
Vitalab Cryobank South Africa accepts applications from men between the ages of 18 and 35.
Wijnland Fertility Sperm Bank requests that donors be over 18 and under 40.
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