AFPThe Danish commercial sperm bank Cryos
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 10:10
Dutch gynecologists have asked Danish sperm banks to set a limit to the number of children they can father worldwide with a donor, de Volkskrant reports. According to gynecologists from the Gamete Donation working group of the NVOG professional association, it is problematic that such a limit does not exist worldwide.
In the Netherlands, women can be treated with foreign donor sperm in ten of the thirteen fertility clinics, mainly from commercial sperm banks in Denmark, which supply many donors worldwide. Parents choose this because there are large waiting lists here and they are not allowed to select the donor themselves, which is possible at Danish banks.
In the Netherlands, sperm donors are allowed to father a maximum of 25 children in twelve families. This measure is intended to prevent incest and inbreeding. But other countries sometimes have no limit at all. A Danish donor can therefore have hundreds of descendants.
The commercial sperm banks are not very transparent about the numbers. The large Danish bank Cryos does not apply a limit, European Sperm Bank (ESB) tells the newspaper to help a maximum of 75 families worldwide with a donor. However, this number can change.
The Dutch gynecologists also want parents and sperm donors to be able to find out for how many descendants a donor has already been used. As a result, the conceived children will also be faced with fewer surprises. More and more children want to know where they come from.
Prohibition on donating
In April, the court in The Hague imposed a donation ban on ‘mass donor’ Jonathan M., who has fathered at least 550 children worldwide. He therefore did not comply with Dutch regulations, and managed to get around this because fertility clinics do not share data.
When children are confronted with hundreds of half-siblings, it can have “negative psychosocial consequences”, the judge said. For example, it can be difficult for the children to build a relationship with them, and they may have to deal with identity problems.