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The option of insemination with donated sperm can be a very rewarding way to build a family, but Donor Insemination (DI) also can raise some rather unique and complex questions for consideration.
To assist patients in making an informed decision about sperm donation and to feel fully prepared for this form of family building, all patients receive both information and preparatory counselling from various members of the team (the physician, nurse case manager, counsellor, DI coordinator, and financial administrator).
Those interested in the DI option are first provided a separate and private counselling appointment to discuss their decision to pursue donor insemination and any existing concerns or reservations that might exist. This appointment is an opportunity to explore some of the implications of sperm donation. Some common questions that often arise include; what characteristics to consider in selecting a sperm donor. For example, recipients must consider whether to choose a donor who has agreed to the release of his identity to a potential child when that child reaches the age of majority. Recipients must also consider; whether or not to inform a child about sperm donation, when and how to talk to children and what sort of relationship might occur between a potential child and the donor if an identity release donor was chosen. It is not uncommon for patients to have concerns and feelings of uncertainty about these issues. In addition to counselling, all of our patients are also provided with a variety of written and video resource materials to assist them in considering the option of donor insemination.
Once patients have completed the initial preparatory counselling session, they are provided time to reflect on and discuss the information provided and to explore their options in choosing a donor. A second brief counselling appointment on the day of their medical orientation allows an opportunity to ask questions, explore any continuing concerns and to finalize the decision. The goal is to ensure that all participants in DI feel confident and prepared as they embark on donor insemination.