Sperm clinics are facing criticism over the way they use donations after one fertility organisation was reprimanded for breaking the terms of a donor’s consent by giving his seed to a lesbian couple, despite his stipulation that it not be given to same sex partners.
The London Women’s Clinic on Harley Street admitted the error after the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) discovered the blunder, they were then suspended for three months.
The HFEA found that restrictions were broken five times since 1999 after the sperm was given to at least four same-sex partners, and later used again to produce a sibling. Both the father and the couple have not been informed yet.
Dr Kamal Ahuja, scientific director of the London Women’s Clinic, told the Daily Mail that a new team was now in charge of the clinic, he said: “I cannot defend the indefensible and whoever was on duty all those years ago did not read the notes properly. Donors can be more than reassured that things are very different now.”
Despite a change in law last year removing the anonymity of sperm donors, this man gave his seed before the legislation, meaning his children cannot know his identity.
But Christine Whipp, who was conceived using a sperm donor, told the Daily Mail, the law is unfair to children, “‘There is a real gung-ho attitude in clinics towards the rights and interests of the child and I am not surprised they have ignored the wishes of the donor.
“Donors are very naive if they think ticking a box will protect what happens to their sperm.”
She told the paper, “How will these children feel if they find out their father did not want them to be created into the situation in which they now live?”
A spokeswoman from the HFEA told PinkNews.co.uk there are very few cases of people refusing their sperm to lesbian couples, “The donor can specify particular stipulations, it’s clearly unfair to give a clause like no same sex couples, but its his donation.
“Clinics sometimes won’t use the sperm.”
She said other clauses include proscribing that the child should not move abroad, and cannot go to boarding school.
The clinics have the final say on whether they accept the requests.