Sperm donor limitation by country

Sperm donor limitation by country

The limit of how many families or couples a sperm donor may assist varies with country. The main reason to limit sperm donors is the risk of accidental consanguinity between donor conceived people.

Overview table

By country


In Victoria, there is a limit of 10 families per donor. [http://www.mivf.com.au/downloads/sperm_donor_info.pdf Monash IVF sperm donor info] ] In Western Australia, the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 (HRT Act) limits the number of families for each donor to 5. [http://www.rtc.org.au/faqs/index.html#pregnancies Western Australian Reproductive Technology Council] ]


The medical practitioner performing the procedure will set his or her own limit on the number of pregnancies from each donor which will depend upon the size of the community where the recipient is resident. This also applies to foreign women who are treated in Belgium.


There is no upper limit to the number of donor offspring in Canada, but sperm banks generally follow the same recommendations as in the US, i.e. a maximum of 25 offspring per population of 800,000. [http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/story.html?id=52e43aa6-b15c-423f-a845-13a845143e70&k=9062 Women shopping for super sperm] Sue Montgomery, CanWest News Service; Montreal Gazette. Published: Saturday, December 10, 2005]


In Denmark, one donor may give rise to 25 children. [http://dk.cryosinternational.com/bliv-saeddonor/hvad-siger-loven.aspx Cryos] (Danish)]

However, Denmark also exports semen to other countries, and for the donors participating in that way there is practically no limit. Since the limits for each country that is receiving the samples are followed, the risk of consanguinity is reduced.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, a voluntary policy law by fertility clinics limit one donor to "fathering" a maximum of 10 children to 4 families.


Clinics in Norway has a maximum of 6 children per donor. [http://www.shdir.no/vp/multimedia/archive/00001/IS-1149_1664a.pdf Assistert befruktning med donorsæd (Assisted reproduction with donor semen)] Sosial- og helsedirektoratet]


The law now provides (2008) that there must not be more than six births per donor. The same law applies to egg donations.


In Sweden, a donor may give a child to a maximum of 6 couples. However, each pair may have a sibling in addition. Thus, the limit is 12 children per donor. [http://www.sahlgrenska.se/upload/SU/omrade_oss/reproduktionsmedicin/Spermadonatorinformation.pdf Sahlgrenska Hospital's sperm donor information] (Swedish)] [http://www.karolinska.se/templates/Page____69511.aspx?epslanguage=SV Karolinska University Hospital] ] Nevertheless, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) recommends a maximum of 6 children per donor [http://www.sos.se/sosfs/2005_17/2005_17.pdf SOSFS 2005:17, Ändring i föreskrifterna och allmänna råden (SOSFS 2002:13) om assisterad befruktning] (Swedish)] .


The HFEA sets a limit of 10 families within the UK which can be created using the gametes of one donor. [http://www.hfea.gov.uk/en/368.html HFEA information for donors] ] However, there is no limit to the number of children which may be born to each such family from the same donor. A donor may set a lower limit and may impose conditions on the use of his sperm. In addition, there is no prohibition on the export of sperm from the UK provided that the number of families created in the UK does not exceed ten at the time of the export. This means that in practice some donors may produce substantial numbers of children, particularly where sperm samples are exported within the European Union to countries such as Belgium. Special permission is required from the HFEA for the export of embryos.


In the USA, there are no laws governing sperm donation. [http://www.fertilitycommunity.com/fertility/sperm-donor-basics.html fertilitycommunity.com] ] . Rather, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and other expert groups, e.g. American Association of Tissue Banks give recommendations and guidelines. The ASRM guidelines limit a donor to 25 live births per population area of 850,000, [http://www.asrm.org/membersonly/practice/2006gameteguide.pdf ASRM guidelines for gamete and embryo donation] ] although this is not enforced by law, there is no central tracking, and it has been estimated that only about 40% of births are reported. It is likely that some donors have over one hundred genetic children. [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dsr_discussion DSR_Discussion Yahoo group] ] Some sperm banks impose lower limits; e.g., the Sperm Bank of California has a limit of ten families per donor [http://www.thespermbankofca.org/bds.html The Sperm Bank of California information on donor sperm] ] , and the Rainbow Flag Sperm Bank has a limit of donor children by six different women. [http://www.gayspermbank.com Rainbow Flag Health Services] ]

ee also

* Sperm bank
* Egg donor
* Donor conceived people
* Posthumous sperm retrieval
* Artificial insemination
* Surrogacy
* Third party reproduction


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