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Significant rise in demand from Ireland for non-anonymous sperm donations

CEO of the Danish clinic, Mr Ole Schou, also told the Medical Independent (MI) that it receives orders from Ireland almost every day. These would comprise orders from fertility clinics and individuals.

According to Mr Schou, demand for donor sperm is increasing year-on-year from heterosexual couples, lesbian couples and single women. The latter category represent the biggest growth area and the most amount of orders.

Less than 50 per cent of orders delivered to Ireland in 2016 and to date in 2017 were anonymous sperm orders, Mr Schou said.

He declined to provide the number of orders for sperm placed by individuals in Ireland, stating that this information is confidential.

Mr Schou said heterosexual couples usually opt for anonymously-donated sperm. However, some heterosexual couples prefer non-anonymous donors in order to give the child an opportunity to meet the donor in the future. 

The clinic estimates that around 50 per cent of pregnancies from Ireland are reported.

Of these reports, clinic statistics show there were 143 pregnancies in 2016, compared to 49 in 2015.

In 2010, pregnancies from Ireland reported to the clinic peaked at 166 in 2010, falling to 143 in 2011 and 140 in 2012 before dropping off to their lowest in many years in 2015.

There is no law governing assisted human reproduction in Ireland but the Government has agreed to introduce legislation. The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provides that donated gametes used in donor-assisted human reproduction procedures at facilities in Ireland must have been donated non-anonymously, but these provisions have yet to be commenced.

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