LGBT Parenting: 3 Pros and Cons of Using a Known Donor


The decision to have a child isn’t one many people take lightly. LGBT couples have other considerations that straight couples may not have to consider. One of which is choosing the right option to expand their family. 

An LGBT couple can become parents in several ways, including adoption, IVF, surrogacy, and donor insemination. Each of those options presents its own hurdles and advantages.

An anonymous or known donor is one issue that must be explored when it comes to LGBT parenting. What are some of the pros and cons of using a known donor? 

Known Vs. Anonymous Donor – What’s the Difference? 

Same-sex couples looking to become parents often consider artificial insemination with donor sperm. An anonymous or known donor is the two most common ways to procure sperm.

An anonymous donation comes from a sperm bank. The LGBT couple doesn’t know the donor’s identity or much about them. Unless the family chooses, the donor will never meet the child or any part of their upbringing. 

On the other hand, a known donor is a friend or family member willing to donate their sperm to fertilize the egg. 

What are some of the pros and cons of anonymous and known donors? 

3 Pros and Cons of Using a Known Donor 

Realistically, LGBT couples have fewer options for becoming parents than straight couples. Here are three things to consider when choosing between an anonymous donor and a known donor. 

  • PRO: Costs Less

Artificial insemination isn’t cheap. Couples who use an anonymous donor can expect to pay $700 or more for one vial of sperm. That cost doesn’t include the price of the procedure itself, which can cost up to $1,000 per cycle. In many cases, it takes several tries for the insemination to take hold. 

Conversely, your friend or family member will often give the sperm without any financial stipulations. But it’s important to keep in mind that professional sperm clinics perform screening, provide counseling, and pay for the legal fees when using an anonymous donor. 

All of those fees will be your responsibility if you choose a known donor. All told, anonymous donors do tend to cost more than a known donor. 

  • CON: Personal Ramifications

Using a known donor can get messy in ways that an anonymous donor can’t. Sperm bank donors know going into the agreement that they will have no legal rights to any children created from their sperm. 

A friend or family member taking an active part in the creation of the child may expect a hands-on role in rearing them, too. It can potentially ruin a friendship or cause problems within the family if there’s a conflict between the known donor and the parents. 

  • PRO/CON: Donor Isn’t Anonymous 

Knowing the identity of the donor is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you will always have access to your child’s medical and family history.

On the other hand, the lines between donor and family/friend can get blurry. 

The decision to use an anonymous or a known donor won’t be easy. The would-be parents need to consider all aspects of each option before making an irreversible decision.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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