By SpermCenter - Posted on September 9th, 2009
Wed, 2009-09-09 15:32 | SpermCenter
Open or ID release donors are sperm donors who have agreed to being contacted by their adult offspring. This is usually when the adult offspring reach age 18.
In the USA the term “Identity Release” was first used in 1983 by the Sperm Bank of California. Today a number of other sperm banks have similar programs but may use different terminology such as “Open Donors.”
These programs may differ somewhat from bank to bank. For example, at one bank it may mean the donor's identity can be released when your child is 18. At another, it may only mean the bank will attempt to contact the donor.
You will also see different terms used to describe this concept. “Open donor,” “willing to be known” and “non-anonymous” for example. At SpermCenter, we use the term Open/ID release since we feel it best fits the concept.
Keep in mind that the essential function of any Open/ID release program, no matter what it’s called, is to give donor offspring a way to contact their sperm donor.
Here are several important facts you should know if you’re considering an Open/ID release donor:
Participation in Open/ID release programs is entirely voluntary by the donors.
Sperm donors may change their mind about contact in the future and withdraw their consent even though they had previously signed an agreement giving consent to be contacted. Anonymous donors may later agree to contact with offspring.
If knowing your sperm donor's identity is important to you, always check with your sperm bank first to ensure you understand their policies.
If you see a “yes” in your donor’s profile on SpermCenter to the question “Open/ID release?” please understand that it means is the bank has some form of Open/Identity release program. This does not guarantee that your child will be able to meet the donor. It indicates the donor’s intent at that point in time.
While sperm banks are legally obligated to protect the identity of an anonymous donor, an adult child can still ask the bank to contact their donor because they would like to have more information about the donor. In these situations it may be best to contact the director directly regardless of their published policy.