CONTROLLING THE 10-FAMILY LIMIT IN SPERM DONATION21st June 2017
The 10-family limit is a rule that applies to all sperm donation in the UK. But do you know why it’s so important?
UK fertility regulator the HFEA (Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority) and the Department of Health established the rule to limit the numbers of children one single sperm donor can produce.
Donating sperm: What the 10-family limit actually means
Under the rule, only 10 separate families can be made from your donated sperm, although there’s no limit to the number of children within these families, giving people the chance to have more children using the same sperm donor.
The number was set at 10 families only, based on the perceived social and psychological interests of donors and donor conceived people in maintaining a relatively small number of children and donor siblings.
The limit is also in place to minimise the possibility of two children from the same sperm donor having a relationship with each other, without knowing
they are genetically related.
UK sperm banks and sperm donor monitoring
In the UK, the 10-family limit must be strictly adhered to. It applies to donor sperm from UK donors, but also to donor sperm imported from abroad for use in the UK. This means only 10 families can be created from foreign sperm supplied to UK clinics.
Under the HFEA Code of Practice, clinics must have proven and efficient monitoring procedures in place to prevent more families being created than is allowed, whether they’re using UK donor sperm or imported donor sperm.
Clinics must record how they have checked that any foreign sperm bank they use is complying with the UK 10-family limit, including for those undergoing treatment.
Breaches of the 10-family limit: What can go wrong?
But recently the HFEA issued an alert, as one of the world’s biggest sperm banks – and a major importer of sperm to UK clinics - has breached this rule.
The Danish sperm bank has not effectively monitored the number of UK families created by one particular sperm donor. Four other sperm donors from the same sperm bank are also in danger of breaching the rule.
Inspectors are now contacting all UK clinics that used sperm from the donors concerned, to see how 10-family limit rule checking was implemented.
Semovo: 10-family limit compliance reassurance
As a UK-based, HFEA-licensed and regulated donor sperm bank, at Semovo we closely monitor all our sperm donors in line with the 10-family limit rule.
Under sperm donor consent – which you complete as part of the sperm donation process - you may specify a lower number of families than 10 if you wish. But in most cases Semovo sperm donors are happy to help as many people as they are allowed to.
Donate your sperm to Semovo: A trusted sperm bank of choice
Donating to a licensed sperm bank is just one of the ways you can be assured of safe and regulated sperm donation journey with us.
At Semovo we offer you the most tailored and personal sperm donor experience, including convenient regional sperm donation locations, online counselling and support from our dedicated donation teams.
Read more about why Semovo is becoming the UK’s favourite sperm bank for men who want to donate sperm. Learn more about the sperm donation process, and our sperm donor criteria to see if you can donate sperm.
If you’ve got any questions, we’re happy to help. Just call our team on 0345 266 1272. Or if you’re ready, you can apply online to be a Semovo sperm donor with no obligation.