Mother's Day appeal - Let the man in your life father another family
Give the man in your life permission to help make another family.
That’s the message being promoted to mothers, wives and partners this Mothers’ Day by leading South Australian reproductive medicine clinic Flinders Fertility, as it seeks to remove the taboos associated with sperm donation.
Flinders Fertility’s Director of Clinical Studies, Dr Michael McEvoy, says the clinic’s Donate Happiness campaign aims to encourage discussion about sperm donation among families at a time when most Australians celebrate family.
“Sourcing sperm donors is an ongoing challenge worldwide,” Dr McEvoy said.
“Social barriers, strict donor criteria and a misunderstanding of donors’ ongoing obligations to children born as a result of their donation mean that aspiring parents must often join long waiting lists, turn to unorthodox channels or potentially miss out on the opportunity of having a family.
“The shortage is heightened by a growing demand for assisted reproduction from non-traditional parents including single parents and same-sex couples as well as an increasing recognition of infertility in men.
“While we can - and do - source donors from sperm banks overseas, this adds expense for our clients. Our strong preference is to source donors from South Australia which is why we have launched this campaign to break down the taboos and educate men about the process of sperm donation and the legislation which supports their decision.”
It is estimated that over 50,000 babies have been born in Australia through sperm donors. Donor insemination has almost doubled in recent years while the number of sperm donors has dropped by up to 25 per cent .
Dr McEvoy said some of the most significant barriers to donation were raising the issue of donation with family members – be they mothers, wives or partners – and plucking up the courage to walk in the door of a clinic.
“It’s much easier to make the decision to donate when you’ve shared the decision-making process and considered it in a family setting. After all, enabling others to share the happiness of a family is what In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is all about,” Dr McEvoy said.
Flinders Fertility receives approximately 10 enquiries from potential donors each year, of which about five progress to screening and only two become donors.
Flinders Fertility has a self-imposed limit of 10 families allowed to be assisted by any one donor.
Dr McEvoy said donor interest had not declined since the introduction of South Australian legislation which enables children conceived from donated material to access de-identified information when they reach 16.
“In fact, anecdotal evidence points to donors being reassured by clear-cut rules established by the legislation, including the fact that children have no financial claim on their donor parent,” Dr McEvoy said.
The process of becoming a sperm donor is straight-forward:
- Ideal donors are healthy males aged between 21 and 40 years old;
- Donation must be altruistic. Donors cannot be paid in any way except for the reimbursement of out of pocket expenses;
- Donors must agree to the release of de-identifying information about himself to anyone conceived using his sperm if requested and at least 16 years old;
- Donors will undergo counselling, medical assessments and screening for infectious and genetic diseases. This process will be managed in a convenient manner by Finders Fertility’s Sperm Donor Coordinator.
Potential donors can register with Flinders Fertility by calling the clinic’s Sperm Donor Coordinator on 131 IVF (131 483) or visiting