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Lesbian couples cause run on Swedish sperm banks

Charlotte West · 23 Jul 2009, 13:06

Published: 23 Jul 2009 13:06 GMT+02:00

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While legislation granting lesbian couples the right to the treatment has increased the demand, Sweden's requirement for non-anonymous donations combined with poor quality sperm has also reduced the supply of donor sperm.

At Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, for example, couples are forced to wait a year-and-a-half for artificial insemination treatment, reported the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.

During the spring, the hospital even began actively recruiting new donors in an effort to reduce wait times.

As of July 1st, 2005, female same-sex couples in Sweden were granted the right to fertility treatment in the form of assisted or artificial insemination at Swedish hospitals.

Previously, homosexual women were forced to seek treatment abroad because the Swedish law only permitted married women, or women who living as registered heterosexual partners ('sambo') to receive artificial insemination.

In the wake of the new law, however, wait times at Sahlgrenska have increased from 3 to 18 months.

“We had estimated an increase of around 25 couples per year after the law change. Now there are 90 couples in line,” Inger Bryman, head of gynecology and reproductive medicine at Sahlgrenska,” told GP.

As a result, she explains, the hospital is unable to comply with Swedens healthcare guarantee (vårdgarantin), which is intended to ensure that patients receive treatment within a reasonable amount of time.

Patients needing to see specialists should be able to receive an appointment within 30 days, and should receive treatment within 90 days following a referral for a particular treatment.

“They are clearly having to wait for too long,” said Bryman.

In addition to the increased demand for artificial insemination, Sweden is also facing a shortage of sperm donors across the country.

One of the main causes of the shortage is Swedish legislation which allows children to seek the identity of their biological fathers after they turn 18.

Sweden was among the first countries to grant children conceived through artificial insemination this right, according to a study done at Uppsala University Hospital.

According to healthcare officials, the lack of anonymity deters many prospective sperm donors.

However, the most common reason for the shortage is due to poor quality sperm, either related to deterioration while being frozen or to medical conditions.

The sperm shortage in Sweden has led many couples to seek treatment abroad, mainly in Denmark or Finland.

Denmark, for instance, has much stronger protection of donor anonymity provisions.

Story continues below…

For example, at the Århus-based Cryos in western Denmark, which claims to be the world's largest sperm bank, uses coded identification numbers rather than maintaining a list of donors' names.

The result is that more Swedish women are inseminated in Danish fertility clinics than in Swedish clinics, according to a recent report by The Economist.

In addition to couple looking to avoid extended wait times, single women who have been unsuccessful in attempts to adopt children have also sought treatment at clinics abroad.

“It’s not that unusual. We’re also seeing that single women who tried to adopt are now going to clinics outside the country,” said Kerstin Wedin from Gothenburg’s family services office (Familjerättsbyrån) to GP.

Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:11 July 23, 2009 by Kind Man
The lesbians wants to have kids by donate sperms? They like the men's sperms.

I feel sad for those child who are born from donated sperms.

One day somebody would bring this to their face that you were born from donated sperms and your mom had relationship with female not man. that would be hard for them to see other kids have dad and they are born from unknown sperms.

fck this type of freedom to make kids feel bad and i m afaird some of them might commit suicide.

it is better to be with man for a week until you get full of sperms then officially get divorce and be with your lesbo.

I guess nobody would loves to be born from donated sperms and specially by lesbians. that is so sick to play with kids life like this.
17:26 July 23, 2009 by Ex_New_Yorker

Any man that gives away his sperm is not a man.
18:00 July 23, 2009 by truth
So this is freedom...........

Very Very good.....

Okey borrow sperms of any man but when child will come will you borrow the father love and feelings as well.....

Child needs care,love,feelings from boht mother and father....i agree sometime they divorced but borrowing sperm and giving birth is not at all freedom....

The mother is not giving the right to the child and Goverment should think this thing.....

Absolutely wrong....enjoy yourself but dont snatch the love of father from your child....
18:07 July 23, 2009 by Rebel
I have to disagree. While I do not believe in gay marriage and I think homosexuality is wrong I think it is commendable in this materialistic society that these women want to become mothers -- while many heterosexual women prefer expensive cars or high-status careers. Would I donate sperm to some of the women I know who are bisexual (in the event they hooked up with another woman for life)? Yes I would. So while I may be a conservative and quite religious I have to say that I would not deny these women the chance to have a baby or two.
18:45 July 23, 2009 by Miss Kitten
Not give it away? Doesn't that happen every time he...? Is supposed to keep it in a jar or something?
18:47 July 23, 2009 by zircon
What do I think? No cock, no sperm. Or just be your own judge.
20:23 July 23, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
Some people prefer to ejaculate on a piece of toilet paper. How selfish!
21:35 July 23, 2009 by Rebel
You know, with red heads going extinct maybe men with red hair should try to turn the tide and go pass on the red hair gene to a lot of women.

Rules in Swden say that a man can only impregnate 6 women and those women can have two children each through the fertility treatment. A man could theoretically create 12 children by becomming a donor.

Darwin would approve I think.
21:39 July 23, 2009 by Streja
Darwin? LOLOL

God these people.
21:54 July 23, 2009 by CTIDinÅrsta
Is that the bank with the worlds largest...

I await the first law suit with baited breath, and to see how the judges will solve the issue. They should find a few t*ssers at the bottom of Drottninggatan to help them out
23:54 July 23, 2009 by Eye_Witness
New definition of a Swedish..."Seems healthy from outside but getting sick from inside". Whats next!!!!, may be mutated sperms of animals to have baby who is half dog a and half human? Keep it up!
00:08 July 24, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
Well, mother nature was able to produce so many rubbish creatures on its own... I think it would be a good idea to conceive Wolverine beyond fiction.
08:54 July 24, 2009 by Nemesis
|It is good to see more families being formed.

Children raised by gay couples are no more or less screwed up than those of heterosexual couples.

I wish these couples well.
08:59 July 24, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
All Sweden needs is for Holecutter to step up to the plate plastic cup. He is such a man among men that he alone should be able quench Sweden's lesbian thirst for sperm.

09:27 July 24, 2009 by Serendipitiz
And every heterosexual couple is perfectly normal, huh? Looking at the narrow minded comments here, one can only wish that a number of people on these forums had ended up on tissue paper..
10:02 July 24, 2009 by Inletwatcher
Tissue paper is a nice way to put it.
10:38 July 24, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
If I had to be a victim of a non-reproductive firing, I hope I would have finished existance clinging to a tonsil
13:42 July 24, 2009 by Otaku
There is only one thing to say:

Decadent !!!

As Rome.

Before the Fall.

These so-called "civilization" is finally at an end.
13:46 July 24, 2009 by Mib
Oh come on...while the equality rules for lesbians may have contributed to the extra demand, it is due to the lack of anonymity and qualityy of sperm. Bad journalism as usual
13:52 July 24, 2009 by Rebel
Serendipitiz, I find agreement with what you say. While I might totally feel the heterosexual family should be the ideal at least these lesbians want to nurture and raise children. At least they are displaying that they are not governed by materialism and selfishness. And I believe the men who donate sperm (that allows heterosexual couples with an infertile husband or lesbians) are helping people realize their dreams as well as allowing children the chance for life.
15:44 July 24, 2009 by Suprise
Happy well adjusted parents make happy well adjusted offspring.. I feel bad that the negative attention craving posters on this article obviously did not have that..
15:48 July 24, 2009 by Kieruk

So does that mean that judgemental offspring must have had judgemental parents too?

I don't like agree with all of the posts on here, but you sound very hypocritical
23:56 July 24, 2009 by Rebel
Like I said, in a purely Darwinistic sense, soeone who makes addition to the number of offspring they have through sperm donation is at least creating more people with their genetic makeup.

Also, as for the quality thing, one wonders if all the drinking that Swedish males do has had a negative impact on the quality of their sperm.
00:26 July 25, 2009 by Kind Man
I wonder those have passed this law, If they were born from donated sperms?

If someone choose to be a lesbian and ignore the normal law, then that is the choice they made.

Why should we sacrifice for them the innocent kids? who would later think always that I am born from donated sperms? and He would be in search for his father but would never find him.

only those would support this law who were born from donated sperms, never knew who was their father, or never saw the father's love. A kid needs all the parents love (father & Mother).
12:41 July 25, 2009 by ml66uk
"During the spring, the hospital even began actively recruiting new donors in an effort to reduce wait times."

Umm, why didn't they do that five years earlier? Maybe they're just trying to save money on fertility treatment...

And stop blaming this on the ending of donor anonymity. The numbers of sperm donors in the UK went *up* after the ending of anonymity. Donor anonymity is wrong anyway. It's not about what the donors want, what the parents want, or what the doctors want, it's about what the donor-conceived people want.
13:10 July 25, 2009 by jonathanjames61
I realy dont know where we are heading to in this world,altration of a natural way of life has become order of the day,One day we will have our generation to blame or others will judge us, how we destroy our race by creation of a society that will never achive notting but self anihilation:lisbian and gaysim is just an act of lossing self confidence in a natural process of Humam way of life,if they are so prouds of it let then recreate themself not to borrow sperms,you see how shallow they could think
14:41 July 25, 2009 by Atlas
So, all these years i have been "dumping" my seeds aways instead of helping those poor lesbian swedes!!! Well, not anymore, Sweden, here i come, just a trip across the Oresund :p:p.

On the serious note, however i have to say i have no problem whatsoever for lesbian couples having kids from artificial insemination. It's their choice and of course it comes with responsibilities and own risks, like for example a kid being raised without a father, not knowing his/her father and maybe being bullied for not having the father on school events or other stuff. So, care has to be taken for these choices.
14:43 July 25, 2009 by Streja
There are hundreds of thousands of kids from homosexual parents and studies have shown that they are not worse off than other kids.
17:29 July 25, 2009 by I Love it when ...
can't the couples just adopt ???

there's enough people in the world and we don't need more

there plenty of orphans waiting to be loved
18:04 July 25, 2009 by Decedo

Any man that gives away his sperm is not a man."


What do you call one night stands then?
21:04 July 25, 2009 by CTIDinÅrsta
"Any man that gives away his sperm is not a man". ?????WTF????

What is he then?

Does he feel like a woman?

Could one make him a man by standing by him?

So do you charge for it?

Is that by volume or weight?

Do you grade it in advance?

How does one order?

Do you deliver?

Are you in the Stockholm area?

Can I get fries with that?

Do you accept cards? Euro?

Is there an ISO standard for it?

What about returning faulty goods - are we talking Michael Phelps or doggy paddle in the shallow end with armbands?
23:55 July 25, 2009 by grantike
am really intressed by the comments by rebel i donot know ur sexuality but i respect that.lesbian know from day one that a two girls cannot make children same like two men cannot.so why are they looking for other peoples sperm to give birth to a child.this is crazy.children need parental guidance both from mum and dad.me as an example lack from my early stages as child living without my dad and i know what it means and what i have lost.so they also increase the waiting period at 3years or more that willl discourage them from going at all.
23:58 July 25, 2009 by Johnny Salami
I was knocked out once by a lesbian with a board. Now every time I'm around tlesbians I get nervous.
00:23 July 26, 2009 by kaze
I don't get why more people donate.

If I could I would.
02:55 July 26, 2009 by Kind Man
this is very sick law, a child or an adult or son or daughter need to know his dad and have his love. i dont understand why some ppl support this law?
09:47 July 26, 2009 by Ours
It may be better to find private sperm source and not be so stuck on isolation of the child from a father figure of some kind. Many gay couples find ways to include a biological parent in the life of their offspring. I could lend my husband to some one with a face but not to just a random mama want to be.

I worry about how many people will be sleeping with their half brothers and sisters in about 16 years. This is very unsettling. It happened in the USA in many places when good samples were hard to get and the doctors made to many kids from too small of a gene pool or sperm supply.

children are forever and it is not easy.

I wonder if just a few of those Lesbian families could just include male friends or relations in their making of a family how much better their child to be would enjoy its family life.

'Priscilla Queen' of the desert had a nice twist on that theme.
13:39 July 26, 2009 by Inletwatcher
Coming from an adult child that was brought up in a mixture of orphanages, group homes, and being partially raised by a mother with no father, I think I turned out pretty well rounded giving the circumstances. My Mom taught me the guy things as well as some of the girlie things. I can survive off the land, from the teaching of my Mother. I can survive the asphalt jungle as well, from the teachings of one parent. I guess it depends on how rounded the parents/caregivers are.

I would have much rather been brought up in a homosexual home than be brought up in that orphanage. Some times I did miss my Daddy, yes. But I got enough from other adults around me to "fill" in that space.

I think people should butt out of others lives and pay attention to their own backyards.

15:32 July 26, 2009 by Rebel
Interesting comments.

First, Grantike, I am a heterosexual male. Yes, I know that two women cannot reproduce without a male. However, I would point oout that there are a lot of couples who go in for sperm when the husband (male) is either sterile or has bad genes. Also, I have to say that at least these women are following the Biblical injunction to multiply and replenish the earth more than a lot of heterosexual women who are too selfish to have babies.

And one thing I will say in defense of these lesbian couples is that I am sure their fathers (the children's grandfathers) will be there for them. Now that's a thought, isn't it? Not only is a donor making it possible for children to be brought into the world, as well as give a woman the chance to be a mother, but is also giving her and her partner's parents a child to love as a grandchild (or hopefully grandchildren).
15:41 July 26, 2009 by Streja
Heterosexual women are too selfish to have babies? But we need men for it and many of them don't want to have kids when we want. Then some of them don't want to help raise the kids. By the time we find someone that wants to have babies it's too late because we are 40.

Men need to grow up sooner really.
16:22 July 26, 2009 by 7
the current earth's population is 6 billion give or take and the population is still increasing. seems like women are doing their biblical duties after all.
13:25 July 30, 2009 by RomanZeus
Will gladly donate (FREE) mine... contact me at:

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