I don’t need to say anything about this feature with an unlicensed sperm donor who is joined by Laura Witjens of the National Gamete Donation Trust and Peter Thompson of the HFEA on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme. If you’ve thought of using an online donor, please just watch it….
If you’ve ever thought about using an online sperm donor, this article may put you off… It’s about a sperm donor called Simon Watson who advertises his services on Facebook and claims to have “about 800” genetic children, and says he wants to reach 1,000.
In the UK, donors who donate officially through clinics are limited to 10 families. Donors go through a fairly lengthy process which often involves counselling as well as screening for genetic diseases and sexually-transmitted infections. Their sperm is frozen for six months and the donor is re-tested before it is used to ensure that it is clear from potential infection. Any children conceived will be able to trace their donor once they reach the age of 18.
Of course, using an online donor like Simon Watson is cheaper but that’s hardly surprising as you aren’t getting the careful screening and checking process that happens in a licensed clinic. He apparently charges £50 for samples after meeting his customers at motorway service stations.
If you’re only thinking of using an unlicensed online donor because a clinic is expensive, I’d think again and perhaps try to cut back elsewhere. Is the choice of genetic parent of your future child really a place you want to be taking risks by saving money?