The Donor Who Dared To Say Don't

You wouldn't sell or give away your kids, would you? So don't donate your sperm!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Saying No To Junk Male

SPERM donors are becoming rare in WA.,21498,21518415-2761,00.html?from=public_rss

The number of men wanting to become sperm donors has plummmeted since state laws changed to allow children conceived of donor sperm to have access to the identity of their biological father once they turn 16.

Waiting time for insemination with anonymous donor sperm has increased to nearly two years at some fertility clinics.

Bruce Belinge, reproductive biologist at the Concept fertility clinic, said changes to the law in December 2004 had made men more reluctant to become donors.

Each donor could be used to achieve only five pregnancies and ``our waiting list for access to donors has blown out beyond 12 months'', he said.

Helen Stapledon, 37, of Kingsley, who conceived her son Banjo with the help of an anonymous sperm donor, said she couldn't express how grateful she was to the donor.

Ms Stapledon, an accountant, said she approached a fertility clinic after deciding to become a single parent.

"I thought about it for quite a while and decided I didn't want to give up the idea of having children just because Mr Right hadn't come along,'' she said.

"I also didn't want to go into a relationship just to have a child.

"I didn't want a donor who I knew because, I guess, I didn't want someone else interfering. Also, if I do meet Mr Right, there's less baggage because there are no shared-custody issues.

"It doesn't bother me that Banjo may want to know his biological father in the future.

"I guess my overwhelming feeling is gratitude to the donor.

"Donors also have to agree to allow their sperm to be given to single women, so I'm extremely grateful he said yes to that.''

Dr Belinge said the profile of donors had changed.

"In the past, a lot of young guys were doing it for pocket money when they were going to university,'' he said.

"But the average donor now tends to be a bit more considered about his decision and have a more philanthropic approach. I think older men don't seem to be nearly as concerned about a donor child making contact with them.

"Evidence in other countries where donors have been identified shows that most donor children who contact their donor parent are not looking for anything more than an understanding of their roots - just to find out who they are and where they came from and perhaps a bit more information about their genetic parents and grandparents.''

Concept offers men $75 a donation. Dr Belinge said there were no thoughts of increasing the payment, but the clinic planned to increase its advertising to find more donors.

Steven Junk, scientific director at Fertility specialists of WA, said anonymous donors had become so scarce his clinic no longer canvassed for them and advised its clients to find their own donors.

"The law now is that the donor has to be identified once a child turns 16, so they may as well be identified now,'' he said.

"Many people find that while family members initially aren't willing to be donors, often they change their mind after counselling"

Hey there
You know what? Those laws were changed in W.A. because my husband and I (who have a son concieved with donor eggs) met with our donor so as our son could have biological info about himself and a sense of "family". We met (0ur donor)unlawfully and risked $5000 fine or 12mths imprisonment for doing so but instead of being fined or jailed Jim McGinty amended the laws - so they know we were doing the right thing and now everytime I see this "Because of law changes donors are scarce" - I feel we are to blame - well so what! If they were really putting the child first and foremost as they claim they are then they wouldnt even allow annonymous donors in the first place.
Suzy Q
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