The sperm donor

Austrian reproductive law defines the legal prerequisites for sperm donation:

  • The donor cannot have any infectious diseases. The sperm samples have to be completely free from infections. The donor serum or plasma samples have to be negative to HIV1 und 2, HBV, HCV and syphilis as well as negative urine samples for chlamydia. The blood and urine samples are to be taken at the time of every donation.
  • All samples are cryopreserved and can only be released for donation if a check-up of the infections (HIV1 and 2, HBV, HCV, syphilis, Chlamydia) is negative.
  • The semen quality has to fulfill the current WHO criteria.
  • All personal data of the donor has to be recorded: blood group, Rhesus factor, height, weight, hair colour, eye colour and ethnicity. The donor cannot be part of a risk group, (e.g. drug user, promiscuity)
  • A maximum of three families can have successful treatments with one donor. The sperm donor can only donate at one institute according to Austrian reproductive law and has to familiarize himself with the current legal framework.
  • The donor has to be completely healthy and cannot have any known genetic illnesses. However, the institute would like to point out that it is not possible to check the family and relatives of a donor or to test for all possible genetic diseases in a donor. Should you know of any genetic illnesses in your own family (of the female partner), please let us know BEFORE the treatment!
  • The testing of the donor and his sperm must guarantee that the sperm is capable of reproduction according to the current status of medical science and experience. Furthermore it must be ensured that the use of the donor sperm does not lead to health risks for the woman or the desired child.

Is the donation anonymous or will my child get to know details about his father?

The institute cannot give any information on the identity of the donor. Likewise the donor will not be informed on the identity of the receiving patient.
However the resulting child can request access to the data regarding the treatment and donor from its 14th birthday onwards. The donor is not required to contact the child even after full disclosure of the information.

Legal basis

The treatment is conducted in the framework of the Austrian Reproductive Law (Reference: FMEDG, http://www.ris.bka.gv.at/bundesrecht). Subsequently a paraphrasing of the relevant paragraphs:

§1 (1) Medically assisted reproduction in the sense of the federal law is the use of medical methods to induce pregnancy in another way than through intercourse.

§1 (2) Methods of medically assisted reproduction in the sense of paragraph 1 are especially

  1. the introduction of sperm into the sexual organs of a woman
  2. the union of ovocytes with sperm cells outside of a woman’s body
  3. the introduction of viable cells into the uterus or fallopian tubes of a woman and
  4. the introduction of ovocytes or of ovocytes with sperm cells into the uterus or the fallopian tubes of a woman

§7 (4) An attempt for medically assisted reproduction has to be preceded by a detailed consultation of both partners by a notary on the legal consequences of their written consent (see §8). This is only relevant for married couples if the sperm or ovocytes of a third person are to be used.

§ 8. (1) Medically assisted reproduction can only be conducted with the consent of both married partners, registered partners or civil partners. The consent for civil partners or in cases where sperm of ovocytes of a third person are used has to be supplemented by a notary deed.

§8 (2) The married couple, registered partners or civil partners can only give their consent in person. They have to be able to reason and judicious.

§8 (3) The consent has to include:

  1. the explicit consent for assisted reproduction;
  2. if necessary, consent for the usage of sperm or ovocytes of a third party;
  3. Name, birth date and place, nationality and address of the married couple, registered partners or civil partners as well as
  4. the time period in which the assisted reproduction will take place.

§8 (4) The consent for the medically assisted reproduction can be revoked by the any part of the married couple, registered partners or civil partners via the attending doctor until the time of introduction of sperm, ovocytes or viable cells into the body of the woman. The revocation does not have to be in a certain form and is effective regardless of a loss in reason or judiciousness; the doctor has to record the revocation in writing and give a confirmation if required.

§8 (5) The consent of both married partners, registered partners or civil partners cannot be older than 2 years at the time of introduction of sperm, ovocytes or viable cells into the body of the woman.