Desperate for a baby, but single? Your sperm donor options ….

desperate baby sperm

Guest post by the editors of

Related: If you’re thinking of being a single mom

Every year, many babies are conceived thanks to sperm donation — including single moms by choice. Prospective moms considering this method have three options:

Sperm donation via a sperm bank

Many women looking to become pregnant via sperm donation will head directly to a sperm bank.

Once they’ve picked their sperm bank (which is, by the way, a really tough choice to make!) the prospective parents can start their search for the perfect donor. By flicking through a catalog (which is sometimes online) the mom-and-dad-to-be can make an informed decision based on several criteria. These may include the man’s appearance (hair and eye color, height, ethnicity), his blood type and even his education or chosen career. The information available depends on the facility, with some sperm banks even providing photographs.

Some of the advantages of opting for a sperm bank are that, first and foremost, they have very strict donor requirements (so you can be sure of finding some really great candidates). Secondly, each donor regularly undergoes all sorts of medical screening to be certain that he is free from any hereditary, chronic debilitating or infectious diseases.

A very important point to consider when you want to have a child via donation is the price. In fact, using a sperm bank can be pretty expensive. Although the cost depends on the facility, you can expect to be charged for the registration, the purchase of vials, storage as well as shipping.

The amount you’ll pay will depend on many factors, including the number of vials you purchase, as well as whether you’re choosing washed or unwashed sperm. Expect to pay between $200 and $700 per vial or unit of sperm. On top of that, you’ll have to add assisted reproduction methods fees (artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization). IVF clinics charge $10,000 to $15,000 per treatment. And if the treatments fail after several attempts, you might end up handing out even more of your hard-earned cash.

Choosing a known sperm donor

Fortunately, there are other options that enable people to cut costs. In fact, some feel more comfortable opting for a sperm donor they know personally, for example, a friend or the brother of a friend. Knowing a woman that has infertility issues or a lesbian couple that can’t conceive is often the inspiration for men to make a difference by donating their sperm.

Regardless of the relationship that the woman may have with the donor, it’s vital to ensure that he goes through all required screening for diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, HIV, Gonorrhea, amongst others. Sperm count and quality should also be tested to improve the odds of having a baby.

Choose a sperm donor via the internet

As an alternative to using a sperm bank or a known donor, certain websites, such as, now offer to connect people who can’t become pregnant naturally with free sperm donors.

Online, prospective parents have the opportunity to get to know their potential donors, for instance by reading through their personal profiles or chatting with them on a forum. A meeting can be arranged to help them find the right sperm donor. As with a known donor, it’s essential that any donor found on the internet undergo the same required tests.

Using a sperm donor to have a baby is an important decision that must be carefully considered. Questions such as whether the donor should be involved with the child must be discussed beforehand. According to their preference, both parties (that is to say, the donor and the prospective parents) should agree and sign paperwork to ensure that the wishes and legal rights of everyone involved are respected.

Whether to choose a known or an anonymous donor, as well as whether or not to co-parent and share responsibility for the child with the donor, are important issues that prospective parents should always consider before taking a decision.

Related: If you’re thinking of being a single mom

Are you considering having a baby on your own? How will you do it? Did you have a baby via donor sperm? What route did you go? What advice do you have to share with other women? Share in the comments!



Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour,, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.

Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

5 thoughts on “Desperate for a baby, but single? Your sperm donor options ….

  1. I was conceived 40 years ago via sperm donation. That’s a fancy way of saying that my biological father was happy to receive money and never meet me, his child. My parents were happy to pretend that I was the biological child of the father who raised me. No one concerned themselves with how I would feel.

    How do I feel? I wish my parents on both sides would have considered my needs. All the love in the world will never erase the deep grief that comes from knowing my biological father gave me away. And instead of helping my through my grieving processes, my parents instead are angry that I love and want to have a relationship with my sperm donor father. Fortunately I was able to find him using commercial DNA testing and family tree triangulation.

    If you choose to use a sperm donor, please choose an open donor who is willing to have a relationship with his child should the child desire to know his/her bio father. Understand the reality that using a sperm donor means that your child will have a more complicated family tree than most, with 3 branches instead of two. Understand that anonymity in donor conception doesn’t erase the love your child will feel toward a sperm donor father.

    1. I just want to clarify that this isn’t always the case. I was conceived with donated sperm, and that didn’t change the fact that my real parents were my moms, not some random guy in California. For much of my life my siblings and I have been raised by a single mother, and I’ve never felt any distress about my parentage. Some people are confused or disbelieving that paternity simply isn’t a factor in my life, but I assure you it’s true.

  2. I am a single women 28 years old and have no desire to be in a relationship I have wanted to be a single mom all my life. Idk how to go about this and the fees for using a sperm bank in illinois

  3. i am a single mother who chose to have a child solo. When i turned 40 i was in the height of my career. No time for a relationship. Several men offered to father a child with me, but ultimately decided that an anonymous sperm from a sperm bank was the best way to do it. My daughter is now 24. She found the anonymous sperm donor and 22 sibs online 2017-2018. The sperm donor took her to Europe this summer to “deepen” their relationship. Since my daughter turned 17 our relationship took a dive and never recovered. So in walks her “knight in shining armor.” (the sperm donor). This has created even more drama and problems, and it seems that the donor wants me out of the picture. He got divorced this year, filed for BK, and lost his job. I don’t have a good feeling about this. He is using my daughter (who he says is his favorite) for some bizarre reason, and my daughter only cares that she found the other 23 biological chromosomes. i’m so sad and depressed. i have lost my daughter, she has blinders on. It may take years before she sees the truth about him. Finding the sperm donor may not be a good thing, especially when there’s issue within the family. He is no knight in shining armor.

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