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Choosing a sperm donor for fertility treatments

“I am a student, a teacher, an engineer, an artist, a musician. I am social, sensitive, intelligent, friendly and outgoing. I have a good sense of humour and a lot of courage. All my grandparents have a university degree. As I child I wanted to be an astronaut. Here you can see my photo as a child and a hand-written letter to you.”

There is a disappointment waiting in the Finnish fertility clinic. The only available details of the donor are the height, ethnicity and the colour of the eyes and hair. The doctor says that the policy is based on the law, that says:

“Choosing the gametes in purpose of influencing the child’s qualities is only permitted… the doctor should choose such gametes, the donor of which bears a similar appearance to the parent in question, unless the recipient wishes otherwise. …In the health inspection of the donor, only such information may be collected and recorded that concern the colour of the skin, eyes and hair, the height and the ethnic origin. No other information may be collected.”

The Finnish donors certainly are as nice, talented, educated and energetic people as the foreign donors. Such information is just not being collected, as it may not be given onwards. The people working in the Finnish clinic are frustrated in front of all the information on the website of the foreign clinic, as most of the information is such that should not be revealed.

“I want to help people get the children they wish for. I hope my donation helps!”

The couples and single women seeking treatment with donated gametes certainly have a lot of concern and uncertainty before the treatments have begun. Everybody would surely do everything in their power to ensure a good life for their baby. The choice of the donor seems a crucial factor that will have a major impact on the future of the child.

“I wish you all the best. Be true to yourself. I would be curious to know how your life has turned out.”

People that have become parents know that a child is a person of his/her own. Some may bear a liking to the parents but with an individual twist. The child will live his/her life as he/she chooses. The genetic background is only a minor thing in the whole entity of the person. Maybe the legislator in Finland has been right when stating that the detailed information of the donor is not so crucial. The process of donating spermatozoa or eggs will guarantee that the donor is nice, decent, helpful, altruistic, energetic, courageous and able to commit to the programme. And the donor has specifically been thinking about the recipient, wanting to help. I think that this would guarantee the best possible background for the child to come.

An interpretation of the detailed descriptions of sperm donors from a Danish sperm bank.
22.12.2006/1237 Laki hedelmöityshoidoista (law concerning fertility treatments) unofficial translation by the author.

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