Let’s Dispel Some Common Donor Myths

Let’s Dispel Some Common Myths About Donor IVF:

Myth 1. “If I donate I have some legal/financial responsibility to the child”

Fact – Under Australian legislation, as soon as donor material is used to create an embryo (in the case of oocytes or sperm), or a donor embryo is transferred, the biological donor has no rights, responsibilities or claim to any child born. In Western Australia, donor conceived children are legally allowed to find out who their biological parents are when they turn 16 years old, after counselling. However, donors have no legal or financial responsibilities to that child.

Myth 2. “Gay men can’t donate sperm, just like blood”

Fact – Donated sperm undergoes rigorous testing and all donated material is fully screened for HIV among other things. Sperm donation is completely safe, meaning population groups that can’t donate blood can often still donate sperm. We are always seeking male donors who are:

  • 18-45 years old
  • non-smoking
  • generally healthy

Myth 3. “You have to wait years for donor sperm/eggs/embryos in Perth”

Fact – This may be true at some clinics – donated material in Australia as a whole is in short supply. However, at Fertility North there is currently no waitlist for sperm, and only matter of weeks waitlist for Oocytes and Embryos. This does not mean you can begin treatment immediately though – Western Australian legislation dictates that you must wait 6 months from deciding to use donated material before commencing treatment.

Myth 4. “People will probably choose not to donate to a gay couple/single mum anyway”

Fact – The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. Therefore all donor material (known and unknown) is equally available to all potential recipients.

And finally, the most toxic myth of all:

Myth 5. “If you used a donor it’s not really your kid”

Fact – Genetics are not what determines a parent.