In Australia, around 60,000 children have been born as a result of donor sperm. Donor sperm has led to the creation of families that otherwise would not exist. For same-sex couples, couples with male infertility or genetic medical conditions, and single females, donor sperm provides a viable solution for those wanting children.
Things to Consider
Before considering donor sperm, it is important to assess whether the process is suitable for you. As children grow up they may ask questions about their genetic history. Naturally, it is important to consider the effects donor sperm will have on such discussions. With donor sperm in Australia, children are also given the right to know who the donor is when they become 18 years of age. The possible impact of knowing who the sperm donor is should also be evaluated before choosing donor sperm as an option.
Selecting a Donor
With donor sperm, you are given the option to choose an ‘identified donor’- someone you know, or a ‘de-identified donor’- someone you don’t. Regardless of your selection, there are tight legal screening procedures for all donor types. These include testing for any sexually transmitted diseases and certain genetic conditions. If you choose a ‘de-identified donor’ you will have access to information about the donor, including their occupation, ethnicity, physical attributes and medical history. Having this information allows you to make sure you are informed about the donor of your choice.
Types of Treatment
The two predominant types of Sperm Donor Treatment are IUI and IVF. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) refers to when the sperm is inserted into an ovulating female’s womb. While in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is when a female’s eggs are removed from the body, fertilised with sperm and then inserted back into the womb. It is important to consider the level of invasiveness and success rate when considering IVF or IUI. Although IUI is not as invasive as IVF, it is less likely to lead to a pregnancy.
The Law & Donor Sperm
In Australia, the sperm donor has no financial responsibility for the child and will not appear on the child’s birth certificate. The sperm donor cannot be financially reimbursed for any sperm donation. It is important to note that donor sperm not sourced through the clinical system may face potential legal complications.
Anonymity & Donor Sperm
Although previously sperm donation was an anonymous procedure for donors, this has changed significantly in Australia. Now there is a strict process in place ensuring that not just anyone can donate. Current restrictions affecting age and medical history ensure that only suitable candidates are able to donate. When an individual donates sperm and a pregnancy occurs, a record is made. When a child of donor sperm turns 18 years of age, they will be granted access to information about the donor.
At Demeter Fertility, we have the largest selection of donor sperm banks in Australia. Get in touch with us so we can provide you with all the information you need to help make the decision that is right for you.