In January last year a law came into effect stating that all sperm donors must agree to provide identifying information. This information would be stored and held on file so that the child would be able to contact the donor once they reached 18 if they so chose.
Clearly this is putting up a huge barrier for men who would have donated their sperm without too much thought before the legislation came into place. Now being a donor is no longer just about making a “deposit” and walking away. There is every chance – and it is legally permissible that one day 18 years later you’ll meet someone carrying your DNA
According to news.com
“IVF Australia head Professor Michael Chapman told The Sunday Telegraph that donor shortages had become critical, falling from 100 to 10 at his clinic in the past four years.
“Last year we only had two or three donors on our books,” Professor Chapman said. “Today around Australia there are about 50 donors, but the demand is still substantially higher than that.”
As a result, IVF Australia started importing sperm from the US two months ago.
Professor Chapman said donor imports were “not ideal” but would help reduce waiting times for insemination.
So there’s just not enough sperm in Australia. Well, not enough for the women looking for sperm donors in NSW that is. Fertility specialist Professor Illingworth says
“We have for a long time been looking for a way to improve sperm donor numbers in Australia.
“We have now found an agency in the US whose donors have given consent to provide identity to the child after they turn 18,” he said.
Not all fertility clinics are going the American route though. At Genea fertility clinic, doctors recommend finding a “known donor” so the biological father is not a stranger to the child.
“Genea strongly supports the rights of children to know their genetic heritage and will only provide treatment in situations where this is the intention,” Genea medical director, Professor Mark Bowman, said.
What role does the sperm donor HAVE to play (if any)? Nothing is ever as simple as just “buying sperm”. What are the repercussions in terms of health profiling and the child having contact with the donor (if they want to)?
If you are interested in sperm donation you may want to read our earlier post on the topic here