One of Norway’s national sperm banks is turning away donors despite no official ban and a shortage of people coming forward.

Oslo’s Sperm Bank is seeking 30-40 new donors but has admitted turning away homosexuals claiming they are not psychologically suitable.

Peter Fedorcsak, Laboratory chief at the Rikshospitalet based bank, told Norway’s English newspaper Dagsavisen, “The main motivation for a donor must be a desire to help others, not, for example, donating sperm in order to spread one’s own genes.”

He admitted turning down potential donors who are most interested in fathering children through the donation since a law change which has removed the anonymity behind the process.

But Norway’s other national sperm bank in Haugesund has no problem with gay donors, Eva Bakke told the paper, “We want a cross-section of maleness in Norway. Some men are homosexual, so that would be just fine.”

Jon Reidar Øyan, head of the Norwegian National Association of Lesbian and Gay Liberation, said: “As homosexuals today we live with the donor problem. Some homosexuals have chosen to help lesbian friends and acquaintances, yes, there is a tradition for identified donors in homosexual circles.”

He said the sperm bank has no right to decide if gay people are any more or less psychologically suitable to donate sperm.