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Why Are International Sperm Banks Running Low?
Sperm banks in countries such as the U.K. and China are anxious to grow their sperm donor databases. As more couples and individuals look to grow their families using third-party reproduction, there is a higher need for donated sperm. The U.K.’s national sperm bank is currently overdrawn due to a combination of fewer donors and this increased need for sperm. In August, Britain’s national sperm bank revealed that its database consisted of only nine donors total.
Without a healthy database from which to choose, those in need of donor sperm have limited options when it comes to selecting a donor. Many believe that changing laws may be responsible for the U.K. shortage. Because donors may value their anonymity more than anything that might motivate them to donate, they may prefer not to donate if any child born from their donation would be able to locate them upon turning 18 years old. This situation has not yet arisen as the law was only enacted in 2005, but the first opportunity for a child to do so will be in 2023.
Increased demand, aside from those who face an infertility diagnosis, also comes from the LGBT community. Same-sex female couples require a sperm donor in order to have a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF). These couples are beginning to make up a significant portion of sperm clinic patient populations around the world. For instance, in a decision profoundly affecting LGBT rights in every state, the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015 affirmed the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.
Countries experiencing a lowered sperm donor database are looking to increase their donor numbers by launching campaigns similar to those adopted by countries like Denmark. The Danes take a proactive approach to donor recruitment by appealing to men’s sense of strength and masculinity – asking that they “prove” what a great donor they can be. The Danish approach poses a challenge to prospective sperm donors, and they are confident that this style of marketing works well for those who are on the fence as to whether to become a sperm donor.
Regulations for sperm donor requirements vary from country to country, but we suggest those living in the San Diego area review our sperm donor requirements and fill out an application. Sperm donation is far less time consuming than egg donation and is not invasive. Sperm donors are compensated for their time and effort.
Please contact FCC with any questions you may have regarding donor sperm.