Eighty Percent of Finnish Donor Sperm Rejected
Eighty percent of Finnish men who come forward to donate sperm have their deposit rejected, according to a leading fertility clinic.
Docent Anna-Maria Suikkari, Medical Director of Väestöliitto, told 65DN that only twenty percent of donated sperm is regarded as being of good enough ‘quality’ to be used in helping infertile couples conceive.
The minimum age of a donor, to their clinic, is 20 while the maximum is 45. This is because ‘sperm quality gets lower and lower as people get older’ and also because, Finnish IVF children born since 2007 have the right to know the name of and details about their biological fathers. The biological fathers, however, have the absolute right to reject all contact.
‘Accepted donors usually make ten deposits and they are used with five different families, explained Dr Suikkari. This low number is, in part, to avoid the possibility of inadvertent incest, though no efforts are made to ensure that the donor and the receiving couple are not from the same town.
Infertile couples, again by law, are given minimal information about the donor. He will be matched to the infertile husband in terms of a few physical characteristics, such as eye and hair colour and general appearance, but not in terms of psychological characteristics (which would be illegal). Socio-economic data on the donors is not kept. ‘The couples know that this donor could be anybody. But, of course, the donor has to be healthy and not have a mental illness,’ stressed Dr Suikkari.
She added that a larger proportion of donors were students ‘before the 2007 law’ but now they are broader cross-section and, in some areas, there are fewer of them than before. Donation, however, is very much ‘altruistic’ with donors being paid a ‘government-set minimum day wage’ in accordance with an EU directive.