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Sperm donations flowing despite paternity ruling

The Local · 6 Mar 2013, 11:27

Published: 06 Mar 2013 11:27 GMT+01:00

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Last month, a regional appeals court in Hamm, North Rhine-Westphalia decided in favour of a 22-year-old woman asking for permission to override the confidentiality agreement a clinic had granted her father.

But the possibility of being tracked down by their anonymous offspring has had little effect on Germany's sperm donors, with no apparent change in the number of men coming to swap their DNA at a Hamburg clinic for €65 a pop - or €80 if they had to come from a distance.

Yet head of the laboratory at Hamburg's institute for reproductive medicine and cryogenic conservation (IRC) Heike Schultze-Jena maintained that most men do not do it for the cash.

Motivation tended to be similar to that of giving blood, she said. “Lots of men want to help other people,” she said. Another oft-cited reason was the desire to have children without the responsibility of being a proper parent.

The idea of a child contacting a donor in the future was, therefore, rarely a deterrent, Schultze-Jena added. And indeed, around 1,000 children are born from donated sperm each year in Germany.

In 1989, a federal court said that access to a person's own genetic heritage was a personal right. However, a legal ruling about documenting donor details was never drawn up.

Story continues below…

This then changed in 2007, so that details of each donated sperm sample, which is considered tissue donation, has to be kept for 30 years. But this was not undertaken specifically to enable donor children find their biological fathers, rather to be able to screen for and track diseases.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:44 March 6, 2013 by BR549
In the article "or €80,00 if they come from a distance"...Hhhmmm I think "come" should be changed to "travel" due to the nature of the article. :-)
14:47 March 6, 2013 by bwjijsdtd
I'm willing to donate, but masterbating in a test tube isi not the perferred method.
17:17 March 6, 2013 by Istabraq
Should go to the bundestag to fill their bottles. There are hundreds of w@nk3rs there.
17:54 March 6, 2013 by Bigfoot76
I think I just found a new job.
18:20 March 6, 2013 by Englishted
Should the headline say swimming not flowing?
22:39 March 6, 2013 by Mandatory
I wonder if this would eventually lead to a law allowing sperm donars to track down to track down their kin.
22:41 March 6, 2013 by Mandatory
I wonder if this would lead to a law allowing sperm donars to track down their "kin".
11:02 March 7, 2013 by jg.
"... swap their DNA at a Hamburg clinic for €65 a pop - or €80 if they had to come from a distance."

Marksmen get paid more?

Seriously though, the decision of the court in Hamm has probably created a lot of future work for lawyers. Providing anonymous medical details seems fair enough but providing full details of sperm donors is likely to lead to claims for child support, rights to inherit property, etc.
18:21 March 16, 2013 by RainerL
I don't care what anyone says in the contrary. Sperm donation is not a normal thing to be doing. People have become soo self orientated that they are All but too interested in their OWN NEEDS rather than thinking about the poor Kid who is missing out on their real biological Father. I mean > How would you feel looking at your Lesbian / Gay or a normal Hetro Father knowing full well you are not fully theirs?? But I guess as long as they Money speaks it doesn't matter > Hey??! SELFISH SOCIETY!!
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