Whittington calls for ‘altruistic’ men to make deposits at its new not-for-profit sperm bank

The Whittington Hospital has set up a not-for-profit sperm bank. Picture: PA/Steve Parson

The Whittington Hospital has set up a not-for-profit sperm bank. Picture: PA/Steve Parson - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The Whittington Hospital’s fertility centre is opening its own sperm bank and calling for men between 18 and 40 to donate.

There is a shortage of donor sperm in the UK, which results in many patients importing sperm from foreign donor banks.

This might be more expensive, and it also circumvents the UK’s “10 family limit”, which means men in Britain can only donate to a maximum of 10 families.

Lab manager Erica Foster said: “The selfless act of sperm donation is one that genuinely transforms lives.

“The donation process itself is relatively simple, and can be completed in under two months.

“We offer evening and weekend appointments, designed to fit around the donor’s schedule.”

Consultant gynaecologist Gidon Lieberman added: “Fertility patients need easy access to UK-originated sperm within a not-for-profit framework. In order to offer this service we are looking for suitable sperm donors.

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“Whether a man donates to a private clinic or to ours, the financial remuneration is the same, and is set by the regulating authority (the HFEA). I would hope men would prefer to donate their sperm to a not-for-profit organisation, where all proceeds are used to support local services.”

Families pay hundreds of pounds, most often to private companies, for donor sperm.

Payment for actually donating sperm is not allowed in the UK, although donors can receive £35 in “compensation” for each clinic visit.

“It is important that those interested in donation understand that the process is entirely anonymous for the first 18 years of a child’s life,” added Erica.

“Thereafter, children have a legal right to know the identity of both their biological parents, but donors have no legal responsibilities towards these children at any point.”

Men aged 18 to 40 who are interested in sperm donation can visit whittington.nhs.net/spermdonor, email donorbank.whittington@nhs.net, or call 07979 548 183 for further information.