Thousands of Canadians who are infertile in Canada have to place all their hopes on just 33 men who are Canadian sperm donors. Other donors are imported from outside of the nation, a result of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act.
At one time Canada had two dozen sperm banks but when the Assisted Human Reproduction Act made it illegal to pay for sperm or egg donors they dried up in 2004. Today there are very few men willing to give up their sperm for nothing. CTV reports:
“Today, there is one South Asian donor for all of Canada,” he says, noting that couples are often shocked at the limited choices. “There is a significant shortage of donor semen in this country, yes.”
While it seems like being a donor is as easy as a sit-com plot in reality there is a screening process that takes time. Egg donors have to inject themselves with fertility medications and then suffer through a painful procedure to extract eggs. For men the process is simpler, a cup and perhaps a couple of Hustler magazines, but it’s no guarantee that the sperm can be used. For every 100 donor candidates only 5 have buggers that swim the right way. For couples wanting to be parents that’s not good news. Outreach Health Services is the biggest supplier of donor sperm but it has to import their product. Most of the donors are from Georgia and Florida where donors are paid $100 per visit. Clients can look through donor listings to select that special sperm, as long as they don’t mind it being foreign brewed. The clinics have little choice with the heavy rules applying to home breed donors. CTV reports:
“The legislation said donors could only be compensated for expenses that could be receipted. There was a grace period where people could be compensated for non-receipted period and we’ve been in that grace period ever since,” Dr. Cliff Librach of the CReATe Fertility Centre in Toronto told CTV.ca, explaining how they’ve managed to keep the Canadian donors they have.
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