Right, so it turns out you just talk to the embryologist on the phone (if you want to) at this stage. My counselling session is early next week, when I’ll be handing in the form detailing my desired donor characteristics.
Rather than picking potential donors yourself, you’re given a few options by the embryologist based on what you’ve ticked on the form. I asked if you could look through the sperm bank’s database anyway yourself, and you can, online. Available to search freely, without registering. Wowser. Even for internet dating you have to log in.
The embryologist warned, though, that checking the database is not that useful because you’re likely to pick someone who is unavailable because he’s reached his donor limit, has just been nabbed by someone else in your clinic or whatever other reason. They don’t want to set you up for disappointment. Most of us can probably do without further rejection, from a vial of sperm…
Being curious, I said I’d probably have a look anyway, mainly because I still didn’t even know what kind of details were available for each type of donor.
I’m certain I want to go for a known donor, but not so sure about also opting for extended profile (details other than just basics like hair/eye colour, weight, height, race). Not for money reasons (the former is 30% more expensive than an unknown donor, the latter 60% more), as I reckon this is a decision for life. The embryologist pointed out I might be reducing my options to 22 donors by going known donor + extended profile. In a way, going extended profile both gives you the ability to choose and limits those options. If I were a donating man, would I want to help someone get pregnant yet remain unknown? Quite possibly.
So I had a quick look at the sperm bank’s site this afternoon. I’ll admit my stomach started churning slightly as I looked at the donor details. This is where it begins to feel really, really real.
Thoughts on what I saw in the next post, as it’s raised a few issues for me.
In the meantime, what do you think of their little illustration below? Cute, though it does look like a draft someone scrawled on a beer mat after a couple of Carlsbergs down the pub and then decided to use after all.