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    Legal aspects of sperm donation

    Each country has its own laws and regulations regarding sperm donation and fertility treatmentHere we touch upon some of the legal issues you may want to know and consider when planning your fertility treatment. We also provide you with a list of regulations on sperm donation by country.


    When you consider treatment with the help of a donor, it is a good idea to start by finding out which options are accessible to you. Due to different legislation regarding sperm donation, your options depend on your country of residence and treatment country. Below you can learn more about the country restrictions regarding the use of donor sperm, which encourages some people to cross borders for fertility treatment - others decide to look for a donor in the grey market. Last-mentioned is not without risks and may have legal implications such as the question of who will be recognized as the legal parents of the children.   

    Here we give you some examples of the legal framework in different countries today, and some of the legal aspects you should know and consider when planning your fertility treatment. However, we recommend that you reach out to your local authorities or a legal advisor for legal advice.

    Pregnant woman knowing the legal issues of using donor sperm

    Legislation regarding the use of donor sperm

    During the past decades, we have seen a tendency towards more countries becoming more liberal when it comes to sperm donation. This is positive, but still not all countries allow donor conception for everyone; this can be due to relationship status or sexual orientation. In some countries, there are also restrictions regarding the choice of donor types to choose from. The restrictions can lead to increased fertility tourism and cause people who are not allowed fertility treatment in their own country to choose other options in their pursuit to get pregnant.

    Whave made an overview of the access to treatment with donor sperm in selected countries. This will give you an idea of how much legislation in this area differs from country to country.


    LAWS ON THE USE OF DONOR SPERM IN SELECTED COUNTRIES

     

    Are single women allowed fertility treatment with donor sperm?

    Are lesbian couples allowed fertility treatment with donor sperm? 

    Are heterosexual couples allowed fertility treatment with donor sperm? 

    Are ID Release or Non-ID Release donors allowed? 

    DENMARK 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Both are allowed 

    GERMANY 

    Yes  
    (however, not all clinics offer this) 

    Yes  
    (however, not all clinics offer this) 

    Yes 

    Only ID Release 

    HUNGARY 

    Yes 

    No 

    Yes 

    Only Non-ID Release 

    ISRAEL 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Both are allowed 

    NETHERLANDS 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Only ID Release 

    POLAND 

    No 

    No 

    Yes 

    Only Non-ID Release 

    SPAIN 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Only Non-ID Release 

    UNITED KINGDOM 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Yes 

    Only ID Release 

    The table above only shows selected countries. If your country is not on the list, and/or if you are unsure about the regulations in your country, you are welcome to contact our Customer Care Team who will be happy to guide you. Being a global sperm bank with local experts means that we have extensive knowledge and experience regarding regulations and possibilities in different countries.  

    Fertility tourism: Crossing borders to achieve the dream of a child

    If the rules in your country do not allow you to receive fertility treatment or to choose the donor you would like, you might consider getting fertility treatment abroad. According to 2017 study by ESHRE, about 5% of all fertility treatments in Europe are estimated to be within the category of cross-border reproductive care – also known as fertility tourism. 

    Reasons for travelling abroad for fertility treatment can be to: 

    • Access treatment that is not accessible to you in your own country (for example singles or lesbian couples who are not allowed treatment in certain countries) 
    • Avoid long waiting lists 
    • Access less expensive treatment 
    • Have treatment in accordance with personal wishes (such as the choice of an ID-Release or Non-ID Release Sperm Donor or to access more information about the donor’s looks and personality) 

    Travelling abroad to receive fertility treatment can be a good solution, but in some cases crossing borders for fertility treatment comes with a risk. This could be in relation to legal aspects such as determination of the child’s legal parents and the quality of the treatments. If you consider having fertility treatment abroad, you are welcome to contact us for advice on your options and considerations. 

    Woman with suitcase travelling for fertility treatment abroad

    The risks of the grey market

    In countries with limited access to sperm donations, you might find unauthorized sperm banks or private persons offering their services to you. This is referred to as the grey market. 

    Grey markets often thrive in countries with extensive restrictions regarding who can have treatment and/or with a limited supply of sperm donors. The limited access to treatment may cause people to consider alternative ways to achieve the dream of a child, for example, the use of a private donor offering his sperm through a website or social media.  

    We understand that such offers can be tempting if you are not allowed to have the treatment you wish for in your own country, or if the time perspective is unbearable. However, we strongly advise you to consider the risks associated with this. Sperm banks and private persons operating outside official regulations do not necessarily comply with the same standards of quality and safety. This means that there is, for example, a considerable risk of less or no screening of the donor, and therefore a risk of passing on diseases to you or your child. There is also no way of knowing how many donations these donors distribute.
     

    Do sperm donors have any parental rights?

    Sperm donors at Cryos are not considered the father of children born from their sperm donations. This means that they will not be seen as the legal parent and as a result cannot be asked for financial support according to Danish law. They have also agreed not to contact the children, no matter if they are ID Release or Non-ID Release Donors. 

    Be aware, that if the sperm donation or fertility treatment does not take place at a licensed sperm bank or fertility clinic, other rules may apply. This means that if you decide to find a sperm donor outside a licensed sperm bank, the donor may be considered the child’s legal parent. 

    Lesbian couple with child – both considered legal parents

    Are both mothers in lesbian couples considered legal parents?

    If you are a lesbian couple who considers becoming parents with the help of donor sperm, you would probably like to make sure that both of you, no matter who carries the baby, will be legal parents of the child. As with other aspects of fertility treatment and sperm donation, the question of legal parenthood differs from country to country. At one end of the scale, you will find countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands, where both mothers can become legal parents and get parental rights when the child is born. In other countries, e.g., Germany, the non-birth mother must adopt her child in a second-parent adoption. Finally, some countries unfortunately have laws against same-sex parents making it impossible for lesbian couples to both be recognized as legal parents of their child.  

    If you are unsure about your country’s regulations, we will be happy to guide you to the best of our knowledge. We know the legal framework in many countries and we can help you learn more about your possibilities. You can contact us here.

    Would you like our help to plan your path to parenthood?

    At Cryos, we believe that everyone should have the right to become parents. Our Customer Care Team is ready to help you plan a fertility treatment that suits your needs. We can guide you on how and where to have the fertility treatment you prefer. With a wide network of trusted partner clinics around the world, we can recommend local clinics where you can have treatment with donor sperm from Cryos. Book a free call or contact us now to start planning your path to parenthood.
     

    The purpose of this page is to give an overview of important legal aspects regarding use of donor sperm in selected countriesHowever, there may be exceptions or changes, as Cryos does not have complete knowledge of the legal framework in all countries of the world.