Donor Sperm Treatment

Couples may require donor sperm treatment due to poor sperm quality, or complete absence of sperm in the male partner. It is also an option for single women and women in same sex relationships. A few steps need to be taken before donor sperm treatment can begin.

Counselling appointment

You will also need to make an appointment to speak to one of our counsellors. This is a compulsory and important requirement for people seeking donor treatment. A counsellor will be able to offer support if you are considering this treatment option for the first time. They can also provide information in regards to finding a sperm donor and how to navigate conversations with potential donors. The counsellors will explore the social, emotional, legal and ethical implications involved in donor treatment. In your counselling appointment you will discuss the option of using a known donor or a clinic donor. 

Known sperm donors

Rather than choosing an anonymous clinic donor, some people prefer to approach a person who is known to them.  If you would like to use a known donor, contact the Fertility Plus laboratory staff and they will discuss this process with you. The potential donor (and their partner if applicable) will also need to have a doctor’s consultation, blood tests and a counselling session.

Clinic sperm donors

Fertility Plus carefully recruits and selects appropriate clinic donors.  Clinic donors undergo medical screening and attend a counselling session. The donors complete a non-identifying information questionnaire about themselves, including information on their family history and interests. You can use this information to choose the right donor for you. A copy of this information can also be made available to you if a child is born. It will also be available to the offspring themselves if they wish to have a copy later on. 

The choice of donors at any one time will be limited by the number of donors we have currently stored at Fertility Plus and the number of recipients currently coming through for treatment. The laboratory staff will discuss the availability of donors with you.

Donor Screening

In order to become a donor there are a number of screening tests and consultations that take place. Donors are required to have a consultation with a fertility doctor and to provide an extensive medical history in order to rule out any family history of serious disease.

All donors are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, HTLV 1 and 2, Chlamydia and Syphilis. Donors also undergo genetic carrier testing for Cystic Fibrosis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and Fragile X. 

After the sperm samples have been frozen, they are quarantined for six months. The donor then repeats the test for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, HTLV 1 + 2. Once a negative result is received the samples can be cleared for use.  If you are using a personal donor, you have the option to reduce the six month quarantine period for the samples to three months. You will need to sign a consent form if you wish to do this.

Donor sperm for siblings

Fertility Plus will always try to ensure the same donor is available for you to use for subsequent pregnancies, as we are committed to assisting people create a family unit. However, we cannot make any guarantee about the availability of sperm. We will always endeavour to give the recipient parents the first priority for any remaining sperm. If a pregnancy occurs, the option of reserving more sperm from the same donor is offered to you.

Legal implications

Under the Status of Children Amendment Act of 1987, the donor has no legal rights or responsibilities for the child.  Signed consent to insemination is required from the recipient or recipient couple for each treatment cycle.

The Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004 (HART Act) gives all children born as a result of donation after August 2005, the right to access information about their genetic origins. This means that you as a recipient parent could access the donor's personal details up until a resulting child turns 18 years, at this point a resulting child is able to access this information independently. A resulting child can also apply to access the information earlier in some cases.  The details of donor-conceived children, recipients and their respective donors are held on the confidential HART register at the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  All donors recruited from August 2005 are aware and counselled on the implications of being identifiable