Cum one, cum all; sperm doner shortage in New Zealand! : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread May 14


Sperm donor shortage alarms


An increasing number of lesbians want children, but sperm donors are unwilling to donate to same-sex couples.

Apart from lengthy waits for couples wanting sperm, there are also fears New Zealand's small donor pool many have dangerous consequences.

Many children of same-sex couples socialise with each other as they grow up, raising the possibility that as adults, some may enter relationships not realising they share the same father.

Doctor Liz Harding admits the issue raises fears among lesbian mothers and hopes more sperm donors will come forward to reduce the chance of this happening.

Fertility Plus laboratory manager Margaret Merrilees said to combat the problem they allow the sperm of each donor to be given to a maximum of three lesbian couples.

As a lesbian, Harding never thought she would have the opportunity to have children.

"When I first came out as a lesbian one of the sad things for me was that I thought I'd never have children, I thought families were out of the question for me."

However, five years ago, she gave birth to twins after being artificially inseminated at a fertility clinic.

Harding said the children brought endless joy to her and her partner of 11 years, Diane.

Fertility Associates director Richard Fisher said an increasing number of their clients were lesbian couples and they were always looking for men who would agree to their sperm being donated to same-sex couples.

Merrilees said they were in a similar situation.

"We haven't had many new donors recently. We are definitely getting to the point where before long we won't be able to offer the service to (lesbian women)."

Of the 10 men who donated sperm to the clinic Harding and Diane went to, nine had refused to let their sperm go to a lesbian couple - something the couple found surprising.

"I do feel that people should have a choice where their semen goes to, but I wonder whether that was maybe an instinctive reaction to say no when faced with the option on the questionnaire."

Harding believed it would be helpful if potential donors were given an option to meet lesbian couples with children.

-- (Murray@marry a merry.Maori), May 13, 2002

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