Egg and sperm donors: anonymous or non-anonymous?
In France, according to the new law that has just come into force, from now on only non-anonymous egg and sperm donation will be allowed. Children born through in vitro fertilisation with donor eggs or sperm will be able to know their identity when they reach the age of majority.
If you would need a sperm or an egg donor, how would you like the selection process to be?
I will let you know what other people answers when asked this question during the consultation:
- I have already chosen her: I want it to be my sister who donates me her eggs. I do not have a male partner and I would like to have a child with a friend of mine.
- I would prefer the process to remain completely anonymous: the doctor should assign us a sperm/egg donor based on our physical features and only get to know what is strictly necessary from the medical point of view (family history, age and blood group). I would not want to have any contact with the donor in the future.
- I would rather know who the donor is. I would like to choose him myself. I wish to see pictures of him and to have as much information as possible about him at al levels, including his identity. I would like it to be like this because I will tell my son and when he becomes 18, he will have the right to meet him if he wants to. Others would like that too, but they are not planning on telling their son.
We will not speak about the motivations because it does not matter; they do not have to justify their decisions to anyone.
But on a practical level, what happens? Can you do it?
Well, that depends on the laws of each country. In some of them, gamete donation is forbidden. In other countries, it can only be done with anonymous donors, and in other ones they can only do it with non-anonymous donors.
In my experience, many women without a male partner want to choose their sperm donor, so it has to be a “non-anonymous donor”, whereas most women who need donor eggs prefer that the donation remain anonymous.
Theoretically, laws regulate the rules according to the needs of the population, so how is it to understand, for example, that in France (the country of “Liberté”) it was until recently forbidden to inseminate an unmarried woman with the sperm of a donor? Now it is legal, but it is impossible because only “non-anonymous donors” are allowed when there are practically none and, moreover, is not allowed to bring sperm from other countries.
Lately we are experiencing an increase in regulations against women’s freedom.
It seems rather that the laws are conditioned by other interests, as the logical thing would be that the two options could coexist and that the parents could choose!
But nowadays, thanks to the Internet and the multiple travelling possibilities, patients often prefer to visit centres abroad to fulfill their dreams of becoming parents, not accepting the limitations imposed by their closest environment.
Society is changing and the fertility clinics must adapt to new concerns and demands. To help our patients on that matter, we have created a system so that they can undergo an insemination or an In Vitro Fertilisation with known or anonymous donors including all options mentioned above. You decide… and we make it work as easy as possible.
Treatments with anonymous egg and sperm donors are carried out in our centres in Spain and Italy. Treatments with non-anonymous sperm donors, in other centers with which we collaborate.