Unregulated sperm donation

Unregulated or informal sperm donation refers to the practice of arranging sperm donation, for artificial insemination practices, outside of licensed fertility clinics.

Informal donation arrangements might occur between two people who know each other or arranged between people online or via social media groups.

In Western Australia, human reproductive technology legislation focuses on sperm donation and artificial insemination procedures by licensed fertility providers. This means that the rights and protections for donors, recipients and donor conceived children, that are enshrined through legislation, may not be realised through an unregulated sperm donation process.

Risks of unregulated sperm donation:

  • transmission of infectious diseases using fresh sperm which has not been quarantined;
  • birth defects and genetic conditions due to lack of screening;
  • donors making very large families which increases the risk of a donor conceived child unknowingly having a relationship with a relative;
  • donor conceived children not having the right or being able to obtain information on the donor parent or any siblings;
  • lack of clarity on legal parentage;
  • increased risk of coercion into sex or sexual assault when meeting unknown donors.

The Department of Health discourages engaging in informal sperm donation due to the potential risks involved. Individuals considering unregulated sperm donation are encouraged to talk with their medical practitioners or a licensed fertility provider about options and how to manage risks. They are also encouraged to seek independent legal advice.

More information

Reproductive Technology Unit

Email: rtu@health.wa.gov.au
Mail to: P O Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849