HOW MANY CHILDREN CAN A SPERM DONOR HAVE?18th October 2017
Did you read the recent and very sensationalised news headlines about Britain’s ‘top’ sperm donor producing at least 34 children?
Another sperm donor has produced 31 children, whilst 17 others have created at least 20 children, according to official HFEA figures.
So how is this possible, when current HFEA regulations state you’re only allowed to help a maximum 10 separate families?
Here’s a comprehensive Q&A to help you learn how the sperm donor limit works – and what it means for you:
What is the 10 family limit?
HFEA rules mean that sperm from a single donor can only be used by 10 separate patients or ‘families’. When this limit is reached, the sperm donor has to be retired and his sperm not used in treatment anymore.
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.
Doesn’t this mean only 10 children can be created from my sperm?
No. Your sperm is limited to 10 separate families – but there’s no limit within these families, so people can use the same sperm donor for a brother or sister for their child.
This is why the sperm donors mentioned in the news headlines have had more than 10 children. These children will be siblings, within the allocated 10 families.
What’s the likelihood of my sperm being used this much?
We carefully monitor how many families each Semovo sperm donor has helped create, to ensure the donor does not exceed the 10 family limit.
Some people are choosing to have only one child, whilst others are waiting a few years before trying for another baby. It can take years for a limit to be reached, depending on how popular a sperm donor is and how much sibling donor sperm demand there is.
How can you ensure my sperm is available if people want a sibling child?
When a woman successfully conceives using your donated sperm, and this is confirmed by pregnancy scan at her fertility clinic, she is counted as one of the 10 families allocated to you as a donor.
This is called ‘family slot reservation’ and we don’t charge extra for patients to do this.
What if I don’t want my sperm to be used to create 10 families?
You do have the right to specify a lower family limit if you wish, to reduce the numbers of families that can be created from your sperm.
But this happens very rarely. Our sperm donors understand just why so many people need donor sperm to have a family – from single women and same-sex couples to men who can’t be fathers because of sperm disorders.
They understand the difference their donation makes. And so are usually happy to create as many families as they are legally allowed to.
Informed consent is a vital part of the process to be a sperm donor. We’ll make sure you fully understand what’s expected of you, your rights over your sperm and what happens if a child is born, before you sign any consent forms and officially donate to us.
Donate sperm with Semovo: A supportive, convenient & trusted sperm bank
If you’d like to donate sperm, you can choose your nearest Semovo sperm donor clinic from our network: You can choose to donate sperm in Liverpool, donate sperm in Manchester or donate sperm in Leeds.
Your donation journey is always tailored and designed to be as convenient as possible for you.
If you’re ready to apply, just complete our simple online initial application form.
If you’ve got any questions, we’re happy to help, call us on 0345 266 1272.