Over 500 UK sperm donors have 'fathered' more than ten children each
Progress Educational Trust26 August 2014
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has revealed that 504 sperm donors in the UK have between them 'fathered' more than 6,200 children.
The figures indicate that each donor has biologically fathered children in at least ten separate instances. Furthermore, fifteen donors have successfully fathered twenty or more children. The HFEA has refused to reveal the highest number of children born to a single sperm donor, however, on grounds that it would constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act.
The data is drawn from records of IVF and other fertility treatments gathered by the HFEA from clinics across the UK. Current laws restrict the use of sperm from each donor to ten different families (excluding their own), however there is no limit set on the number of children born into each family.
Donors who donate through a licensed fertility clinic acquire no legal rights or responsibilities towards any resulting children, but after a change in the law in 2005 donor-conceived children now have the right to receive identifying information about their biological parents once they reach the age of 18.
The removal of donor anonymity was accompanied by a decline in the number of sperm donations and one in four sperm samples used in UK clinics are imported from overseas.
Current estimates show that approximately 1,000 children are born every year in the UK with the help of sperm donation.
Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.