What is it like working at a sperm bank?

Updated Jul 20 2017
Felt Sperm Ornament by Smitheriffic
When my partner and I think about starting a family down the road, we know that as two women we will most likely choose to work with a sperm bank. I am positive that route makes the most sense for us and our future family, but I still can't quite wrap my mind around the idea of a sperm bank. They seem so sci-fi!

The idea of contacting one and sharing personal information with a customer service person also seems daunting.

I feel like knowing more about the actual people behind the place would demystify it a bit — if anyone wants to share their experience working at a sperm bank (what is the place like? What is it like to work with clients?) I'd love to hear it! — Jordan

  1. As a woman in a same-sex relationship dealing with infertility I've had entirely too many interactions with the staff at our chosen sperm bank. My wife and I have often wondered/joked about this question!

  2. This isn't particularly helpful but nonetheless – when my wife and I were picking out our daughter's donor (which feels like the weirdest online dating ever, but I digress), they all had these 'essays' (really just a few short-answer questions) from the staff, who talk about their impressions of the donor. One of them mentioned how she'd run into the donor at a 'local music event' and he was embarrassed for not recognizing her. I can just imagine how strange that could have been for both of them…or maybe not at all, but yeah. ha.

  3. I don' t have any inside experience but as a donor offspring I've been working with people at the California Cryobank to try and track down more medical history on my donor – they are super nice, down to earth, and very happy to explain all the ins and outs to you about every little thing – give a call over to their Client services (http://www.cryobank.com/Learning-Center/Sperm-Banking-101/) and I'm sure someone would be willing to help demystify things for you.

    You did get me curious about the "behind the scenes" at a Sperm bank so I did some googling and found this cool blog where some of the staff from Cryolab share their stories:

    Lab Tech Story: http://www.cryolab.com/blog/?p=97
    Lab Staff Story: http://www.cryolab.com/blog/?p=52
    Lab Staff Story: http://www.cryolab.com/blog/?p=231
    Client Rep Story: http://www.cryolab.com/blog/?p=301

    Anyway, hope that helps a little at least 🙂

  4. My partner works at a sperm bank. It's a small staff of great women (and one man who organizes deliveries). There is no random customer service rep to whom you'd give your info; most employees do many jobs, including heath intake interviews for donors, then writing up the impressions essays, etc. The same employees meet with potential clients, take your info, listen to your requests, and try to make the best match for you based on their inventory.

    We also used this sperm bank a year before my partner was hired (random coincidence). We used a family friend as a known donor, but wanted to go through the bank as a legal precaution. They were great to work with during that stressful but exciting time. We've since transferred our "investment" to another bank (conflict of interest, now). I haven't worked with the new bank directly yet (we have a newborn — no need for seed now!!), but I imagine the set-up is similar. I don't think there are any sperm banks large enough (or well-funded enough) to hire customer service reps, or to otherwise have large / impersonal staff.

    Good luck!

    • Very interesting topic…. So is it safe to assume its nothing like the scenes from If These Walls Could Talk 2?

      • I don't know if I've seen that. Is that the one with Ellen & Sharon Stone? I'll have to check YouTube, I guess. 🙂

  5. We had three kids with a lesbian owned sperm bank in San Francisco. My wife chose the donor from the catalog and I was the birth mom. Our first son took one try, and the twins took almost two years. Most of the people behind the scenes were awesome- warm and understanding. Both of the Nurse Practioners who did IUI were great. One person behind the desk was pretty rude but we just avoided her. I had to be referred to a fertility clinic at my own medical center for extra help and they were super awesome too. We used the same donor for the twins (a boy and a girl) so the all look similar too. Which was worth being my own cryo delivery person with a 2 year old in tow.

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