Why would I need a Donor?
Where we can we like to use people's own sperm and eggs in the various fertility treatments we offer. However, sometimes there are situations where donor sperm, donor eggs, or donor embryos are a logical consideration, including:
- a man has no sperm
- a woman has been through menopause
- pregnancy has not occurred despite repeated IVF treatments and the fertility potential of the man’s sperm or the woman’s eggs is questioned
- there are problems with fertility in both the man and the woman
- single women
- women in same sex relationships.
Donor treatment and surrogacy come with important social and ethical responsibilities, and all are highly regulated in New Zealand to look after the interests of the children, the donors and surrogates as well as the couple or single woman who want a family.
Some types of donor treatment are ‘established procedures’ under the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act 2004 which means they are available ‘off the shelf’.
A few require case-by-case application to the national Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART). ECART applications are always needed for surrogacy, embryo donation, and sperm or egg donation between family members who are not brothers, sisters or cousins. An example would be a mother donating eggs to her daughter.
For sperm and eggs donated after August 2005, donors must be identifiable. Under the HART Act the clinics notify the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages whenever a child is born using donor sperm, donor eggs, or donor embryos donated after August 2005, or when a child is born after surrogacy.
Births, Deaths and Marriages hold basic identifying information about the donor that can be accessed anytime after birth by the parents or by the child when he or she reaches adulthood.
The clinics offer the same service, with the addition of counselling to help prepare people for exchanging information.