Inside every hero there are millions more
Every year, around 13,500 fertility treatments in the UK use donated sperm or eggs. Some people will always have known that they’ll need a donor to have a family. For others, finding out they need a donor can be a real shock.
Who needs donor sperm?
A person or couple will need sperm if:
- the male partner is not producing sperm himself
- a mans own sperm is unlikely to create a pregnancy
- a man has a high risk of passing on an inherited disease
- they are a same sex female couple
- they are a single woman
What are my legal rights or responsibilities?
As a donor, you will have no legal rights or responsibilities to any children born with your sperm. This means:
- You will have no legal obligation to any children conceived from their donation.
- You won’t be named on the birth certificate.
- You won’t have any rights over how the child will be brought up.
- You won’t be required to support the child financially.
What can a recipient of my donor sperm find out about me?
A patient using your sperm donated at CRGW will be able to find out:
- your physical description (height, weight, eye and hair colour)
- your year and country of birth
- your ethnicity
- whether you had any children at the time of donation, how many and their gender
- your marital status
- your medical history
- a written personal description and goodwill message to any potential children (if you chose to write one at the time of donation).
They won’t be able to find out any information that might reveal who you are.
Are there any limits on how many families can use one donor?
Yes, in the UK a donor’s sperm may only be used to create up to ten families (this doesn’t include their own). This means your children may be partially genetically related to children in up to ten other families.
What can my children find out about their donor or donor-related siblings?
It’s natural for some people who have been conceived with the help of a donor to want to know about their donor or siblings. They might want to see what characteristics they’ve inherited from their donor, or what similarities they share with their siblings.
When a child conceived from your donor sperm reaches 16, they’ll be able to find out the same information that your donor sperm recipient could find out about you at the time of the donation. When they’re 18 they can find out your name, date of birth and last known address and it’s up to them if they want to try and get in touch.
In the UK, it’s illegal to pay a donor anything other than expenses. This means that most donors donate for altruistic reasons rather than financial gain.
The expenses limit is £35 for sperm (per donation or clinic visit.)
To become a sperm donor you must:
- be aged between 18 and 41
- be willing to be screened for medical conditions, including genetic conditions and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), for example HIV, syphilis and chlamydia
- be free from serious medical disability
- be willing to have a healthy diet and lifestyle
- know or be able to find out about your immediate family medical history*. This covers your:
- not have any hereditary disorders within your family
- not use drugs
- agree to be registered with the HFEA as a donor
- not put yourself at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- not knowingly leave out any relevant information which could affect the health of any children born as a result of your donation
- be willing to be identified and known to any children born from your donation when they get to 18
- be able and willing to commit your time and energy to the sperm donation process
- provide a proof of I.D
- Meet sperm parameters to be a sperm donor
* If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to provide details about your immediate family members’ medical history then discuss this with your clinic. This doesn’t necessarily prevent you becoming a donor.
What is the difference between being a ‘sperm donor’ and a ‘sperm sharer’?
A sperm donor altruistically donates sperm for others to use in treatment.
A sperm sharer donates sperm in return for being able to have their own fertility treatment
Give the gift of family
To find out more please telephone the clinic on 01443 443999 or ask a question here.