History

THE SPERM BANK OF CALIFORNIA (TSBC) began operations on October 5, 1982 in Oakland, California. We began as a project of the Oakland Feminist Women's Health Center, a family planning clinic. The clinic offered fertility awareness classes intended to help women prevent pregnancy.  However, women trying to conceive at home with known donors were also attending the classes.  Since in the early 1980’s, there were no sperm banks who would serve unmarried women, TSBC was founded to provide a legally protected and medically safe family building option to all women regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.

TSBC and Oakland Feminist Women's Health Center shared facilities until 1988, when TSBC split off to incorporate as an independent nonprofit corporation and move to a larger site in Oakland. In 1995, we moved to our present location in downtown Berkeley.  

TSBC has a history of ground-breaking work in the field of reproductive technologies. We are the first sperm bank in the United States to:

  • provide donor-conceived adults the option to obtain their donor’s identity (our Identity-Release® Program)
  • serve lesbian couples and single women
  • provide extensive personal and family medical histories on donors
  • conduct research on the wellbeing of donor-conceived families and donors
  • document conceptions and monitor birth rates
  • track and limit the number of births per donor
  • operate as a nonprofit organization
  • offer instruction on how to perform inseminations at home

Vision

The Sperm Bank of California is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing ethical family building options to our diverse community.  We have an unwavering commitment to the well-being of parents, children, and donors.

THE SPERM BANK OF CALIFORNIA has been making the dream of family a reality since 1982 when we established as the first sperm bank in the US to serve all women including lesbians and single women.  Rooted in this history and always looking forward, THE SPERM BANK OF CALIFORNIA provides services to individuals and couples creating or expanding their families through donor insemination and sperm storage.

Values

  • We make the dream of family a reality.
  • We support our families and our donors now and in the future through our ongoing family services and our resources for parents, donor-conceived individuals, donors, and the donors’ families.
  • We consider the long-term implications of our policies for parents, donor-conceived individuals, donors, and the donors’ families. For this reason, we track all pregnancies and their outcomes, limit our donors to 10 families, and store all records indefinitely.
  • We provide ethical and visionary leadership in donor conception through our policies, published research, and by working closely with reproductive health professionals and community members.
  • We support open communication in families and access to donor information.
  • We celebrate diversity in our community.
  • We provide high quality services in a supportive and nonjudgmental environment.

Programs

  • We offer donor sperm services, including our pioneering Identity-Release® Program—the first program worldwide to provide donor-conceived adults with the option to learn their donor’s identity.
  • We provide sperm storage services for individuals who face threats to their fertility, are gender transitioning, or who are donating for someone they know.
  • We maintain meticulous laboratory standards and operate in full compliance with state and federal regulations for processing and storing reproductive tissue.
  • We provide personalized customer service and customized fertility education.
  • We are the only sperm bank to conduct and publish research on the outcomes and implications of donor conception for parents, donor-conceived individuals, and donors.
  • We provide community education to enhance societal understanding and promote ethical practices through free resources on our website and through presentations at community organizations and professional conferences.