I recently mentioned that Great Britain will soon do away with anonymity for sperm and egg donors — fertility clinics in the UK will soon be required to reveal the names of donors to children once they turn 18. This has led to dire predictions of a steep fall in donors.
Australia passed a similar law in 1998 and has seen those predictions come true. Now a Melbourne fertility clinic has written to all male politicians under the age of 45 asking them to put their sperm where their legislation is and serve as donors.
The Monash IVF clinic reports that whereas in 1998 it had about 20 donors a year, in 2004 it could only round up five such donors. So the clinic’s medical director, Gab Kovacs, wrote a letter to male politicians in Victoria saying,
We hope that if some of the leading role models within our community become donors, others may follow suit.
Kovacs says he was inspired by recent drives to improve organ donation in Australia.
Apparently this isn’t the first clinic to think outside the box to obtain sperm donors. According to the BBC, in December an Australian fertility clinic offered Canadian students a free two-week vacation in Australia if they’d agree to be sperm donors.
Australian MPs’ sperm in demand. The BBC, January 13, 2005.