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Sperm donors 'should be anonymous'
Despite the law change which allows donor-conceived children the chance to identify their donor mother or father, the majority of people still believe that sperm and egg donors should be able to remain anonymous.
In the survey run by Manchester Fertility Services, which operates its own sperm and egg donor programme www.manchesterdonors.com, 59 per cent of people believed that donor identities should not be revealed, whilst 41 per cent said that children should have the right to find their biological ‘parents’ if they wished.
Since 2005 donor-conceived children can apply for identifying information about their donors when they turn 18, and all potential egg and sperm donors must consent to their details being available.
Professor Brian Lieberman, founder of Manchester Fertility Services, says: “The law change has resulted in a different type of donor coming forward, particularly sperm donors. Rather than students donating for extra money, we’re now seeing more mature, working men, between 31 and 40 years of age, who are often married with children of their own. They’re donating for altruistic reasons, and this has resulted in improving the image of donation to the general public, as being something worthwhile to do. In fact, we had an increase in the number of donors after the law change occurred.
“However we should remember that the reason for anonymity removal in the first place was not to increase the number of donors recruited, but to allow children to trace their biological ‘parents’ if they wish to do so, for their own emotional well-being.”
Manchester Fertility Services was one of the few sperm banks in the UK to actively recruit donors willing to be identified before the law change took place. Currently it has no waiting lists for treatment using donor sperm. However, egg donors are always needed. For more information, visit http://www.manchesterdonors.com or http://www.manchesterfertility.com.
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• Manchester Fertility Services, a leading provider of private fertility services, infertility treatment and IVF in the North West, was launched in 1986 by Professor Brian Lieberman. Based at the Bridgewater Hospital in Manchester, Manchester Fertility Services offers a wide range of infertility treatments ranging from IVF and ICSI to treatment using donated sperm or eggs. Since its launch, over 3,000 babies have been born with the help of Manchester Fertility Services. It also has a successful donor sperm and egg programme. For more information, visit www.manchesterfertility.com and www.manchesterdonors.com