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Australian fertility clinics and sperm banks, due to a shortage of local depositors, are turning to the USA to make up the shortfall.
Queensland Fertility Group, the largest fertility clinic in Townsville, 1300 kilometers from Brisbane, pays more than $700 an ampule for sperm imported from the U.S.
In the past, clinics used to rely on university students who were short on cash to donate sperm but these days not enough north Queensland men, or even Australian men, are prepared to donate.
Infertility specialist Dr Ron Chang attributed this decline to recent changes to the law that mean sperm donors have to be contactable once the child they helped to conceive turns 18.
“All the donors stopped coming forward because they didn’t want a knock on the door in 18 years time,” he said.
“I think children should have the right to know their biological parents, but it has a knock-on effect.”
The shortage has also prompted IVF clinics nationwide to get creative about attracting potential donors.
New South Wales’ largest clinic, IVF Australia, launched an online advertising campaign with tag lines such as: “You’ve got millions to spare, we only need one.”
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