What are the guidelines for known sperm donation?

Posted by & filed under Aging, IVF, Sperm.

Health Canada does not support known-donor, fresh-sperm insemination. The rationale is to protect the health of women involved. Guidelines are clear that couples must be having sexual intercourse before a fertility clinic can use a fresh sample in an insemination.

We can help you monitor your cycle – we can even make sure you have maximal fertility while taking medications – but we cannot complete a cervical or intrauterine insemination.

This could put you in the difficult position of being tempted to doing inseminations at home yourself. We cannot speak to the medical safety of doing so, or to the emotional risks of the parties involved, nor to the legal risks up to and including the child support implicit in the biological father’s participation.

 

What alternatives do you have?

Health Canada will approve known-donor insemination, when the sperm is frozen for six months in an approved setting. As noted above, the only approved setting in Canada is at ReproMed. You would need to contact them directly.

Unfortunately, your known donor may not match Health Canada’s criteria for suitability for known sperm donor. Under these circumstances, there is a special release called “DSSAP”. For example, if your potential donor has had homosexual relations, or is over the age of forty, then sperm could only be released through DSSAP. At Hannam Fertility, we do not work with DSSAP sperm, as it is not in our opinion a process regulated and approved by Health Canada. We can, however, forward your care to other clinics that may well be willing to provide this service.

Though we cannot support known donor sperm insemination, we are comfortable supporting your right to understand and maximize your own personal fertility through cycle monitoring and/or medications where necessary.

These, and additional, guidelines were put in place by Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC) in 2006, to enforce the Assisted Human Reproduction Act of 2004. However, the AHRC was wound down in 2012 in response to a 2010 Supreme Court of Canada ruling. Health Canada now administers the guidelines. Specific limits of jurisdiction continue to be debated and interpreted. These limits are of particular interest to people interested in third party reproduction (donor eggs, donor sperm, and gestational carriers). Since the legal restrictions to clinical care are not always straightforward, different clinics are responding differently. We believe we have a very conservative interpretation of the law that maximizes healthy outcomes for all parties concerned. If you have any specific questions about how the laws of Canada may impact you, you may want to speak with Sherry Levitan (416-784-1222) or Kelly Jordan (416-203-2899 x 29), lawyers with a particular interest in and experience with reproductive medicine.

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