Originally Posted by MrsD08
Can you briefly explain ICSI and PGD? This is the 2nd time today that I've heard of ICSI, but I don't know anything about it. Before today, I've never heard of it...
What are the differences between getting an open known and an anonymous donor? When going through a sperm bank, are all the legalities taken care of?
ICSI is just when they physically grab a sperm and inject it directly into the egg during IVF. It's often used for people whose sperm would have trouble finding the egg on their own. In our case, with only 200,000 sperm, we needed help. PGD is a way to scan embryos for genetic abnormalities, if you know what to look for. In our case, we'd be looking for embryos with too many or too few 13 and 14 chromosomes. Others use it for selecting against the cystic fibrosis gene, for example.
An open donor is a donor that's anonymous until the child turns 18. So if you're worried your child will someday want to track down his donor, that's possible when the child is old enough. We chose this option because we didn't want to close our child off to that possibility and forever wonder about his genetic background. For us, we felt that men who chose to be open donors probably thought a little more about what he was doing than the average university student trying to make some extra money. An anonymous donor is 100% anonymous, and you and your child will never be able to find anything out about him. Some people like that; it wasn't for us. Using a sperm bank is great because they do extensive testing on the donors to make sure they're disease-free and ideal for donating. Everything is completely legal since they guys sign away on their sperm when they donate.
A known donor is a friend or relative who is willing to donate to you. They can either do a fresh donation, meaning they come with you to the clinic when you need them, or they donate at a bank and get frozen vials. There is not as much testing unless you order it, and then you probably have to pay for it. Moreover, you'll definitely want to get a lawyer involved and have this person sign away all their rights before you do anything. Even if they're a great friend, you really should do this. You also will have to talk about how that person will present himself in the child's life - will you tell the child from birth, keep it secret, have the guy be a close uncle? I'm personally against the secret choice, but that's because I see it the same way as adoption, and I don't think you should lie to a kid about being adopted, either.
Poke around California Cryobank's website (www.cryobank.com
) if you want; they have a great FAQ page.
Hope that helps! And yes, we can move this to a PM if anyone objects, but I hope maybe others skim through this and think about donor sperm if it's something that might work for them in the future!