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Sperm donation

Details the counseling of the recipient couple of sperm donation.

Counseling of the recipients

The decision to have Artificial Insemination Donor (AID) is obviously a difficult one for both partners. Counseling is important to provide an opportunity for both the couple to discuss any concerns about the use of donor sperm and for the counselors to ensure that they fully understand the implication of proposed treatment and the relative merits of ICSI and donor insemination.

Some infertility clinics will only accept couples for receiving donor sperm if they are either married or in a stable relationship and will not offer treatment to single women or lesbian couples. It is a legal requirement that HFEA licensed centres must not provide a couple with a treatment unless account has taken for the welfare of any child who may be born as a result of the treatment.

Any child born to a married couple following the use of donor sperm will be legally the child of the husband unless he did not consent to his wife treatment.  For unmarried couples, any child born is legally the child of her male partner treated together with her. When a child is born to unmarried couple, the male partner may not have parental responsibility for that child (The Children Act 1989. UK).

The recipient couple should be aware of the possible outcome of treatment and that pregnancy and live birth may not occur. Couples should be assured of complete confidentiality, the means by which donors are selected, screened and then matched with the recipient couple.

The couple should also be aware of the risk that they may suffer side effects of medication and potential risks of fertility drugs including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and multiple pregnancy. Other important considerations include the cost of treatment, and the decision as to whether to tell the child of his or her origin by donor sperm is up to the couple.

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