For Families

FAQs

We understand that starting or expanding a family can bring up many questions. To help, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that may provide the information you’re looking for. However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is always here to assist and provide guidance.

How do you ship the vials?

We offer a variety of vial shipping options. We invite you to look at our pricing/shipping page for more details. The vials themselves are shipped with FedEx in tanks called “dry shippers”. If you are in the Seattle area, we offer delivery to clinics and free pickup from our Lynnwood location.

Can I do at-home inseminations without a doctor?

Yes; however, there are additional forms that need to be signed by both you and your physician. Please visit our “Forms” page under “Resources” for more information. Please contact your physician before performing an at-home insemination.

Do you have a family limit?

Yes, we do! We abide by an internal limit of 25 families worldwide, per donor (not including the donor’s own family.) We maintain meticulous, anonymized customer records and donor family logs/ sibling registry so that we can regularly audit our distribution and ensure we stay within our limit.

An important note to keep in mind is that this is a family limit, and not a limit on the number of children each donor can produce, so 1 of 25 families could decide to have multiple children with the same donor, and it would still only count as 1 family.

What kind of testing and screening do donors go through?

All donors must pass an extensive infectious disease screening evaluation and have no clinical or physical evidence of infection by the following communicable diseases:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), types 1 and 2
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE); including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
  • Treponema pallidum (syphilis)
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV), types I and II
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Neisseria gonorrhea
  • West Nile Virus
  • Sepsis
  • Vaccinia
  • Zika Virus

Potential donors who have any behavioral risk factors for infection are excluded from the program. Potential donors are then subjected to blood and urine testing to confirm that there is no analytical evidence of infection. Specific assays are FDA-licensed, approved, or cleared donor screening tests, and are performed by a laboratory that is certified to perform such testing on human specimens under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA).

Post Donation Repeat Testing:
Each sperm specimen is evaluated both pre-freeze and post-thaw. A representative test vial from each donation is thawed to determine the individual characteristics of the specimen. Any specimen not meeting our standard requirements is discarded. All specimens are quarantined for at least six months, after which the donor is retested for HIV-1, HIV-2, HTLV-I & II, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, West Nile Virus, and Cytomegalovirus to confirm that no infection was acquired during the period in which he was participating in the donation program.

Blood Type Evaluation:
All donors have their blood tested to determine their ABO group and RH type. A hemoglobinopathy panel is also performed to detect any abnormal hemoglobin variants.

Medical Evaluation:
Our medical team conducts a clinical, psychological, and physical evaluation of each donor. This evaluation includes a four-generation family medical history, which is designed to exclude potential donors with an increased risk of birth defects or known genetic conditions. Eligibility is determined by Cascade Cryobank’s rigorous acceptance criteria, and by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s donor eligibility recommendations.

Advanced Genetic Testing:
All donors undergo karyotype/chromosome analysis, and an expanded prenatal genetic carrier screening test that can detect abnormalities in at least 714 genes.

Criminal Background Check:
A criminal background check is performed on all donors to exclude those who have a history of criminal behavior, which can be associated with personality disorders, drug use, or mental illness.

Interview and Personality Assessment:
Our staff conducts interviews with every donor to get a significant understanding of his personal history, the types of relationships he maintains with family and friends, his ambitions, and his life story. This information is prepared for our recipients in the form of a written interview and a separate staff impressions summary, to provide deeper insight into the personal characteristics of our donors. A standardized personality assessment is also performed, and results are analyzed by a licensed mental health professional to ultimately determine donor suitability.

What if I found the perfect donor, but their inventory isn’t listed as “available”?

We don’t keep donors on our public catalogue if we don’t have any remaining stock. We adhere to the FDA required 6-month holding period between sample processing and inventory release and due to that, any listed donors without “available” stock will have some inventory that has yet to be released. Please contact us if this is the case for your prospective donor for the nearest release date!

I’m interested in a donor, but their profile is lacking some information. Where can I find it?

It takes us time to onboard, process, and compile donors and their information into a complete profile. If you’ve found a good donor match in our catalogue, but their profile is missing listed information you would like to know, please contact us and we will provide you with a timeline in which you can expect that information to be made public.

Questions?

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the application questionnaire, screening process, program requirements, or anything else! We are always happy to help.