The Donor Program

Donor Program at Demeter

Demeter Fertility offers the most comprehensive, “no wait” donor program in Australia. The use of donor sperm and/or eggs can be a challenge in many ways. One of the hardest parts when you have decided to un-dertake this option is often finding someone to help, by providing their eggs or sperm in order to build your family. To help in this regard, Demeter Fertility has formed partnerships with some of the most highly regarded Donor Banks around the world. This means when undergoing our donor program, you can browse through our affiliated donor banks to find the right option. Or if you already have a donor, you can come and see us to begin the process straight up.

Open to All

Demeter Fertility is an LGBTQI+ friendly and welcoming clinic, with same sex partners, transgendered people and single women making up the majority of our donor program patients.

Access to our associated donor egg and sperm services is only available for treatments occurring at Demeter Fertility and for active patients. To ensure legal compliance, Demeter Fertility will arrange and manage all aspects of transport and storage.

FAQ’s:

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Egg donation in Australia is a complicated process, in Australia it is illegal to pay donors for their donation. All egg donors must be altruistic, meaning they offer their services voluntarily and not for financial benefit. Anyone can be an egg donor, but at Demeter Fertility we require all donors to undergo significant genetic, blood and psychological screening to ensure all parties are protected.

Many patients opt to find a friend or family member to be their egg donor, while other patients choose to purchase donor eggs from one of Demeter Fertility’s affiliated donor banks. 

Egg donation from a friend or family is called a “known donor” and is the most common and cost effective option for many patients, however some patients are more comfortable purchasing donor eggs from a reputable donor bank to allow for some anonymity from the egg donor or because they do not have a trusted friend or family member to donate. Both of these paths are valuable and viable options for patients undergoing egg donation and available through Demeter Fertility’s donor program.

If you are interested in becoming a donor or have questions about our egg donor program you can contact us here.

Egg donation is an option available for all patients who may need to use eggs that are not their own for whatever reason. Donor eggs are used for patients who are unable to use their own eggs but are still able to get pregnant, such as women who have undergone menopause and no longer produce their own eggs or women who have genetic concerns around using their own eggs.

Egg donation can help women in these situations to build their family. It is also how many LGBTQIA+ couples choose to undergo their treatment, by one partner donating their eggs for the other partner to undergo the pregnancy. 

If you are interested in our egg donor program as a patient or potential donor, you can contact us here.

The process for our donor patients is similar to a usual fertility treatment cycle with a few extra steps.

  1. Patients undergo an appointment with a fertility specialist, if you have a known donor they will also require an appointment with your fertility specialist.
  2. All parties to undergo required fertility testing
  3. Patients to get in contact with Demeter Fertility’s donor coordinator to discuss all options and steps and develop a plan
  4. All parties to undergo a counselling session with Demeter Fertility’s in-house counsellor as per Australian legal requirements 
  5. Once all pre-fertility testing and legal requirements are met, the known donor can begin their egg donation cycle by contacting our clinic on the first day of their menstrual cycle or as per their treatment plan outline by their doctor and monitoring staff
  6. One completion of the IVF cycle, and if there are eggs collected, these are either fertilised and frozen as agreed with patient or frozen.
  7. Patient to undergo a frozen embryo transfers cycle when ready

There is of course more complicated processes involved, however this is the over arching known donor process. If a patient is purchasing eggs from a donor bank the process looks like this:

  1. Patients undergo an appointment with a fertility specialist
  2. Patient to undergo required fertility testing
  3. Patients to get in contact with Demeter Fertility’s donor coordinator to discuss all options and steps and develop a plan
  4. Patients to undergo a counselling session with Demeter Fertility’s in-house counsellor as per Australian legal requirements NSW egg donation law
  5. Patient to gain access to donor banks and choose an egg donor and notify donor coordinator to formalise purchase and shipping of eggs
  6. On receipt of eggs, the donor coordinator and embryologists will discuss fertilisation and freeze, and perform the procedure when agreed
  7. Patient to undergo a frozen embryo transfers cycle when ready

Sperm donation in Australia is a complicated process, in Australia it is illegal to pay donors for their donation. All sperm donors must be altruistic, meaning they offer their services voluntarily and not for financial benefit. Anyone can be a sperm donor, but at Demeter Fertility we require all donors to undergo significant genetic, blood and psychological screening to ensure all parties are protected.

Many patients opt to find a friend or family member to be their sperm donor, while other patients choose to purchase donor sperm from one of Demeter Fertility’s affiliated donor banks. 

Sperm donation from a friend or family is called a “known donor” and is the most common and cost effective option for many patients, however some patients are more comfortable purchasing donor sperm from a reputable donor bank to allow for some anonymity from the sperm donor or because they do not have a trusted friend or family member to donate. Both of these paths are valuable and viable options for patients undergoing sperm donation and available through Demeter Fertility’s donor program.

If you are interested in becoming a donor or have questions about our sperm donor program you can contact us here.

If you are wanting to donate sperm, your first step is to contact Demeter Fertility and ask to speak to our donor coordinator. You will be required to attend an appointment with our Medical Director to discuss the legal implications, and then undergo fertility testing and legally required psychological assessment and counselling assessment as well as provide a significant medical history.

Once these requirements have been met, the process is very simple. In conjunction with the embryology team you will provide a sample to the embryologists to be analysed, frozen and stored in our laboratory for potential patients to choose to use. You will not be notified if your sample is used by donor patients as all altruistic donors are treated as anonymous donors.

All our donor programs both known and anonymous abide by both NSW and Australian regulations. 

Demeter Fertility has extensive experience in donor fertility treatments and the most comprehensive range of affiliated donor bank in Australia. Because of this foundation, Demeter Fertility is well versed in the personal interests of patients undergoing this process.

It is the parents prerogative whether or not to discuss the role of donor tissue in their Childs life, if and when they feel it is appropriate. In general, our counsellor states the more openly available the information is, the more successful the outcome is for all involved.

In Australia it is illegal to buy or sell human tissues including sperm, eggs and embryos. Under NSW law any child born from donated sperm, eggs or embryos are deemed to be the legal child of the birth mother, donors are under no legal or financial obligation to the care of the child. This is formalised throughout the fertility treatment process and legal contracts.

In 2010 the NSW Health Department established a Central Register for donors and donor-conceived offspring. The NSW Health Central Register contains information about donors and children born as a result of ART treatment using donated gametes.

Once a child conceived using donated gametes turns 18, they will be able to access certain information on the Register if they wish.

IVFAustralia does not offer a donor service for women beyond the natural age of menopause (51 years of age) or to someone whose health could be compromised by a pregnancy.

In NSW, babies are born every year who are conceived as a result of using donated sperm either from a private donor or by using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatment. While the use of privately donated sperm is unregulated, the use of donated sperm in ART treatment is regulated by the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act (ART Act) which among other things:

  • requires that all providers of ART treatments be registered with NSW Ministry of Health;
  • prohibits anonymous sperm donations;
  • limits Sperm Donors from donating sperm to more than 5 recipients;
  • sets standards in regards to testing of donors; and
  • mandates the registration of certain Sperm Donor information in a Central Register about the donor’s ethnicity, physical characteristics and medical history including genetic test results of the Sperm Donor and the donor’s family.

The Sperm Donor information held in the Central Registry becomes accessible to a child conceived using ART treatment once the child turns 18.

Regardless of whether a “donor conceived child” was conceived using a private Sperm Donor or via ART treatment, under NSW law a Sperm Donor is not a parent and therefore does not have parental rights. Section 14 of the NSW Status of Children Act 1996 states that a Sperm Donor is presumed not to be the Father of a child conceived using his sperm, unless he is the husband or de facto partner of the Mother.

This Act also provides that if a married woman (including a woman in a de facto relationship) has undergone a fertilisation procedure and becomes pregnant and her husband consented to the procedure, her husband is presumed to be the father of any child born even if he did not provide the sperm for the procedure.

 

Section 60H of the Family Law Act 1975 deals with children born as a result of artificial conception procedures and, in relation to sperm donorship, it provides that:

“if, as a result of an artificial conception procedure, a child is born to a married woman or a woman in a de facto relationship, and the woman and her spouse or partner consented to the carrying out of the procedure, then whether or not the child is biologically a child of the woman and her spouse or partner, for the purposes of the Family Law Act, the child is the child of the woman and her spouse or partner and, if any other person provided genetic material, “the child is not the child of that person”;

Section 60H of the Family Law Act does not however specifically deal with the circumstance where a single woman undergoes an artificial conception procedure for the purposes of the Family Law Act.

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