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knowndonorregistry.com - thoughts?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Good morning!


Does anyone have any experience with knowndonorregistry.com? Using a known donor is the path my wife and I have chosen, but we're limited by the availability of men known to us. I found this website and have now started communicating with a couple of donors who seem to meet our guidelines. I would love to know if anyone has used this site and what their experiences have been with it - both positive and negative.


Additionally, if anyone lives in PA and is familiar with sperm donor laws, that'd be super helpful too! For example, having a physician administer it versus us doing it ourselves - does that affect the rights of the donor (i.e. does it give him more legal rights to the child if not administered by a physician)?


Thanks for your time,


post #2 of 9

Hi Erin,

  I have not used that service, but I wanted to say something about the legal issues.  I don't know the specific laws in PA, but Federal laws regulate sperm donation.  Here in California, the state recently passed a new law that makes it easier to use sperm from a known donor with a physician, but the donor is still required to be tested for STD's and other things.  In general, Dr's cannot use fresh sperm from a known donor to inseminate you or for IVF unless that donor is a known sexual partner or spouse.  The way to get around that is to have the donor tested for STD's and such, make a donation, have it frozen and quarantined for 6 months before it can be used.  Making a donation to a sperm bank may sever his parental rights, but I am not sure. 


You can certainly do your own inseminations at home yourself without involving a doctor.  There are kits you can use to ship the fresh stuff overnight if the donor is not local.  Several folks here have gotten pregnant that way.  Doing it this way does not give you any legal protection.  Many people consult an attorney to draw up a donor agreement before getting started.  I think this is a good idea.  After a child is born, your partner could do a second parent adoption to make your legal positions more secure.


Everyone, please correct me if I said anything that is wrong.


Good luck to you in your babymaking!

post #3 of 9

Are you legally married (anywhere)?  If so, the spouse is the "presumed father", which obviously makes no sense for a lesbian couple, but as far as I know, no cases have been through the courts yet (though Scorpio is a law student, so maybe she knows better).  There are a few cases involving child support and custody, and those have generally ruled in favor of the non-biological parent being considered a parent if she was actively involved in child-rearing.  But sometimes not.  Truth is, this is a new frontier, and it will take a while for the courts to sort it out.  But you don't want to be a test case.  So sign a contract with the known donor and have the non-biological mother do a second parent adoption.  It's not absolutely protective, but it is the best you can do.  If the known donor came around and declared himself the father, you would still probably end up in court, but you would most likely win with those protections in place.  Having a middleman (a physician or a sperm bank) provides even more protection.  It kind of depends how much you trust your known donor - we don't have any protections set up, but he's my brother (and I'm legally married to my wife), so we're pretty sure we're okay.

post #4 of 9
DP and I very briefly looked on KDR for a donor, and found a lot of guys with questionable intentions. I am sure there are some legit donors on there, who would be fine signing away parental rights, and being only a "donor." However, most donors we contacted wanted a co-parenting situation, and desired to be a major part of the child's life, even if their profile stated otherwise. We also received a slew of emails from donors (and their wives!) soliciting their services, which I found extremely odd. Our whole experience on KDR was very uncomfortable and we quickly decided to find a donor another way.
post #5 of 9

Regarding severing legal rights - I met with a fertility specialist in our area who said that if we had a known donor, we could set up a sort of "directed" or "designated" donor for us. The donor could donate to the doctor's office, do paperwork and STD testing with them, and the we would basically "buy" the sperm of our designated donor from the doctor - like a really small-scale sperm bank, but cheaper than a real sperm bank. We did not end up going this route for other reasons, but I did learn that there are some doctors out there who will put themselves in the middle as a mediator. I believe Pokey is right about STD testing and quarantine. It is more expensive and complicated, but the legal grounds are more clear. 


Fresh sperm (including shipped sperm - I mean, any sperm where there is not an intermediary) has less of those hoops to go through, but doesn't come with medical assistance (if you decide you need or want it) and has more gray legal ground. Basically, you have to be comfortable with the risks and confident in your donor contract + the intention of the donor you're working with. The FDA regulates what doctors can do with fresh sperm, so the medical help you can get would be limited if available at all. 


I have heard of people finding KDs so many different ways - asking around the community, friends-of-friends, craigslist, etc. The KDR is just one place. My acupuncturist offered to help me find someone! Think of it as a weird kind of really awkward blind dating and put out a lot of feelers until you find the right person. Good luck! 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

easttowest: We are legally married in NY, but reside in Pennsylvania. We plan to pursue 2nd parent adoption - but need to do alot more research. Does anyone know if you need to have completed the adoption process prior to birth in order to list the same-sex spouse on the birth certificate?



post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by rugbyerin View Post

easttowest: We are legally married in NY, but reside in Pennsylvania. We plan to pursue 2nd parent adoption - but need to do alot more research. Does anyone know if you need to have completed the adoption process prior to birth in order to list the same-sex spouse on the birth certificate?




In MA, both members of a same-sex couple can be listed on the birth certificate at birth, but I don't think that's the case in PA.  I think the adoption will have to be completed and an amended birth certificate issued.  The good news is you can terminate the donor's rights at the same time as the adoption, so you should be fully covered legally.  Also, if you handle most of the paperwork before birth, you can schedule the court appearance right after birth and not have a very long wait.  If you don't the child might be 6 months old or so before s/he is legally yours.


I am no expert, but this is my understanding of the laws as they currently are.

post #8 of 9
Hi! Just chiming in--in IL we got both of us on the birth certificate right away, and then did the 2nd parent adoption process later. You might want to talk with a lawyer about the 2nd parent adoption procedure in PA before you get started to make sure you have everything ready to go. We used an unknown donor, but still had to put out an ad in the paper looking for the 'father' before terminating rights.

I do know of at least one couple who had a good experience and have had no issues with their donor, so there are good guys out there!

Good luck!
post #9 of 9

We have a KD (but it's a friend) and both my DP and I are on the birth certificate. DP hasn't officially adopted DD yet (we are waiting for #2 to do a 2 for 1 deal ;) ). We have no "issues" with our KD at all and aren't worried about him asking for custody etc.


However, we did talk to a lawyer early on. She basically said that any contract you set up will not always stand up in court. Also, things often change for the KD once baby is born and a second parent adoption can take time. There is a declaration of parentage that can be done earlier but even that is not available right from birth.


What sort of relationship/agreement are you hoping to have with your KD? If it is not someone you would ever want in your child's life (even when they are grown up) then I'm not sure a KD is necessarily a good choice. A lot of people want a KD because they want that option or they want the person to be accessible in some way (name, medical info) for the child as they grow up - you can get that from a wtbk donor too. Or maybe they really trust/admire the person, etc...usually that's a case where it's a friend. KDs can be a wonderful way of starting a family (we have had an amazing experience) but it can quickly get complicated and messy if you don't know the person (and sometimes even if you do). I'm not trying to sound like a downer...just adding my 2 cents :)

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