TSBC Equity Policy
It is part of TSBC’s mission to find ways to provide equitable services, including access to reproductive options for our increasingly diverse community. For this reason, we have created our Equity Policy which includes reserving vials of certain donors to better assist TSBC recipients in their family creation efforts. Vial purchase restrictions occur for a variety of reasons and on a case-by-case basis. This helps give recipients a greater chance to build their family with the donor of their choice, and helps recipients with financial limitations be able to purchase single or smaller numbers of vials at one time.
Vial purchase restrictions may include but are not limited to:
- The number of vials purchased in a single transaction. This allows TSBC to assist as many recipients as possible in creating families with their donor of choice.
- The number of vials purchased from a donor’s Sibling Inventory in one transaction. This allows families who may not be capable of purchasing more than one vial at a time the opportunity to plan their future family with less worry.
- Vial purchases to recipients if they, their partner, or their existing children do not share ancestry with the donor. This allows recipients to create families that have a shared cultural identity.
Longevity of Sperm
TSBC is committed to assisting all recipients in creating their desired family, including preserving access for those seeking a donor with shared ancestry and culture. As sperm can remain frozen for extended periods of time, the Equity Policy allows TSBC to assist current and future recipients. TSBC has a small and diverse catalog. However, there are certain ethnic groups for which TSBC has fewer options in comparison to others. Most families seek a donor who shares their ethnic background. Prospective parents are willing to look internationally for donors with shared ethnicity when necessary. TSBC seeks to provide donor access to as many recipients as possible who are faced with unique challenges in finding a donor who shares their ethnic background and/or race.
Access to Care
TSBC has a history of providing access to communities underrepresented in assisted reproduction. We began with supporting female same-sex couples and unmarried women. We continue to serve an even more diverse population of intended parents including those who are trans and gender expansive.
For intended parents of color, equity means access to donors of color to help them have their families. A donor’s ancestral heritage (“race”) and ethnicity matter to most recipients regardless of their ethnic background. If given the option, most people choose a donor who shares ancestry with the intended parent(s) in both race and ethnicity.
Intended parents have been choosing donors with shared ancestry and/or features for decades. For some, it was to conceal the use of assisted reproduction. Among others, who are open about their family’s origins, matching a donor – especially to the genetically unrelated parent – usually remains a priority (Scheib et al. 2000; Nordqvist 2012). A donor who shares the non-genetic parent’s features “highlights the importance of their characteristics” and role in the future family (Henry & Goldberg 2016, p. 1114; Scheib & McCormick 2016). It helps when family members look like each other, an often remarked-on aspect of being a family.
References and Further Reading
- Ethics Committee of American Society for Reproductive Medicine (2015). Disparities in access to effective treatment for infertility in the United States: A Committee opinion. Fertility Sterility 104, 1104–10.
- Mamo, L. & Alston-Stepnitz, E. (2015). Queer intimacies and structural inequalities: New directions in stratified reproduction. Journal of Family Issues, 36, 519-40.