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Assisted Reproduction

Lack Of Sperm & Egg Donors Forcing British Citizens To Look Elsewhere

A shortage of egg and sperm donors in the U.K. has left those struggling with infertility no choice but to look abroad for treatment:

Thousands of couples are desperate to be parents but face being left childless because of a drastic shortage of egg and sperm donors in this country.

There are only around 384 sperm donors and 1,084 egg donors for the whole of the UK, according to the latest figures from the Human Fertilisation And Embryology Authority (HFEA).

So with fertility clinics unable to meet the demand, more people are looking abroad for help.

Nicola and Nigel Dawson did just that. After three failed IVF cycles and spending £23,000, they achieved their dream and are parents to 19-month-old twins Mia and Hannah thanks to sperm and egg donors from Spain….

The top five countries visited for fertility treatment abroad are Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, US and India.

Spain is the most popular due to short waiting times for egg and sperm donors and English-speaking staff.

Success rates abroad can be as high as 60% or more. IVI Barcelona has a success rate of 63% for egg donation.

Clare Lewis-Jones, chief executive of Infertility Network UK, says: “Although many British couples have had very positive experiences abroad, there are some potential problems you do need to be aware of such as regulations and costs of treatment.”

Ms. Lewis-Jones makes an invaluable point. Any couple considering the use of surrogates or donors should consult with, among others, an independent attorney in their country who is experienced in both family and immigration law. One need to look no further than the recent problems that have arisen with Belgium and German citizens who proceeded with cross-border surrogacy to realize the potential perils of obtaining fertility treatment abroad. In no way am I suggesting that there are not viable options available – to the contrary. However, your attorney needs to analyze the applicable laws to ensure compliance so that you can perfect your parental rights, secure citizenship for your child and be able to return home with your baby within a reasonable amount of time following delivery.


One comment for “Lack Of Sperm & Egg Donors Forcing British Citizens To Look Elsewhere”

  • According to HFEA figures, the numbers of UK sperm donors have gone *up* four years in a row since the ending of anonymity, thus reversing a three year decline. The 396 donors in 2008 was the highest figure since 1996, and 77% more than in 2004 just before anonymity ended.

    The 1150 UK egg donors in 2008 was the highest figure since 2001, and the third highest figure ever.

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