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Gingersnap
06-26-2008, 11:46 AM
Childless couples denied as anonymity loss scares egg and sperm donors

Mark Henderson Science Editor

The removal of anonymity from sperm and egg donors has provoked a crisis in fertility treatment that is denying couples the chance to try for a baby.

Infertility therapy with donated sperm has collapsed to the lowest levels since records began, according to the first official figures, seen by The Times, since the Government banned anonymous donation in 2005.

The number of women treated with donated sperm fell by about 20 per cent, from 2,727 in 2005 to 2,107 in 2006, the first full year after the change. The number of donor insemination treatment cycles fell by 30 per cent over the same period.

Egg donation is also in serious decline: the number of treatments using “shared” eggs, offered by women in return for a discount on IVF, fell by 40 per cent between 2004 and 2006.

The figures demolish claims by ministers and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that sperm donation has improved since anonymity was ended. Last year Shirley Harrison, then the chairwom-an of the authority, said it was “a myth” that there had been problems.

Although the number of sperm donors has risen slightly, many will be friends and relatives who donate for a couple’s exclusive use. Fewer donors are contributing to sperm banks, from which the donation can be used by up to ten women. The result is that although more donors have been registered the shortage of sperm is becoming more acute.

Why, there's just no possible way that the removal of anonymity could ever affect something like this! What man wouldn't want his dubious phantom children showing up on his doorstep 20 years later? :rolleyes:

Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article4215440.ece)

noonwitch
06-26-2008, 12:46 PM
I am not in an age group where I can donate eggs. If I were, and I donated them, I wouldn't have a problem with the people knowing where they came from-what if the baby needed a blood transfusion and I was the only match? Or if the baby developed some other medical problem that was genetic, and I could help with family backround information? If I'm going to help some other couple have a baby, I don't have a problem with helping them later, if needed, as long as it's the lab who contacts the donors, not the birth parents.

Of course, a lot of donors are donating for the cash, not because they really want to help people have babies.

biccat
06-26-2008, 12:57 PM
If I'm going to help some other couple have a baby, I don't have a problem with helping them later, if needed, as long as it's the lab who contacts the donors, not the birth parents.
What about when the parents don't want to take responsibility and the court insists that you pay child support?

With anonymous donors, there is no chance that the court can find the donor to enforce child support.

Gingersnap
06-26-2008, 01:24 PM
There are almost no conditions where information about the biological parent will be useful. I assume they screen for things like Huntington's disease and Tay-Sach's disease. Your own cancer or heart disease history is really pretty irrelevant. Almost everybody dies of cancer or heart disease - very few of us are eaten by bears.

A donor might be a match for a kidney transplant but the odds of a match are no better than with a stranger.

I don't think that most people who sell eggs or sperm are in it to help the infertile. It's a purely mercantile arrangement. Very, very few of these people want any kind of relationship with their offspring. The idea that you can tracked down by some strange kid is going to kill this industry. Infertile couples will lose and nobody will win. The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again.

Shannon
06-26-2008, 01:39 PM
I've often wondered if there have ever been any half sibling marriages or dating that they would never know about. The thought creeps me out.

BSR
06-26-2008, 02:38 PM
I would like to offer my services as a sperm donor. I only do it the old fashion way ladies. I havent had any dissatisfied customers and I dont charge a dime..


Here I am doing some complicated "classified" work for the government. Hit me up if you wanna ride the Johnny Vegas Express. With non-stop service to "Extacyville" ...:cool:


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Goldwater
06-26-2008, 02:58 PM
Here I am doing some complicated "classified" work for the government. Hit me up if you wanna ride the Johnny Vegas Express. With non-stop service to "Extacyville" ...:cool:

I'd hit it.