Sperm donor drought as new rules take toll

2 minute read

A lack of supply has Australian women checking out sperm "dating" sites

Australia is in the grips of a “sperm drought”, fertility specialists Monash IVF says, but not to worry, the Americans are coming to the rescue.

With Australian sperm donation at an all-time low, Monash IVF is importing sperm from California to meet local demand.

Through a partnership with Californian Cryobank, the IVF group expects to reduce wait times for single women, same sex couples and infertile couples from 12 months down to three months.

Better still, would-be-mothers will have access to a sperm “dating site”.

An online portal will display childhood photos from each sperm donor and personal information, including education level, food preferences, hobbies, and even details about their sense of humour.

The local sperm pipeline dried up, Monash IVF said, because new laws passed in 2010 outlawed anonymous donations and limited the number of women a donor can help to five.

Potential donors were spooked by the idea that their offspring could come knocking on their door once the offspring turned 18.

“Demand for good quality donors has far exceeded supply for a long time,” Amanda Mullins, NSW general manager of Monash IVF, said.

“And we have been powerless to help single women and couples who are eager to start their family within their fertility window.

Californian Cryobank donors go through stringent screening to complete the donor program, mirroring the rigour of our own processes,” Ms Mullins.

This is not the first time sperm has been sourced from overseas. Clinics from Queensland, NSW, the ACT and Tasmania have all imported sperm from the US, according to the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority.

Around 60,000 babies have been born as a result of sperm donations in Australia.

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