Concerns about too many descendants from Amsterdam sperm bank donors
A new branch of the European Sperm Bank (ESB) in Amsterdam is circumventing Dutch rules on sperm donations, said the organizations Donorkind and Fiom. This makes it possible for donors to have many more offspring than guidelines in the Netherlands permit, which is twelve per donor, representatives of the foundations said on the podcast Het Onderzoeksbureau. The ESB uses an upper limit of 25 offspring per donor, they claimed.
ESB is a commercial, internationally oriented Danish sperm bank which also uses anonymous donors. This has not been permitted in the Netherlands since 2004. As a result, Dutch couples who want to have children can make use of anonymous donors from other countries at the sperm bank bank. According to the foundations, the sperm bank also tries to lure potential donors to donate often by giving out 40 euros per donation, up to a maximum of 560 euros per month.
"The arrival of the European Sperm Bank is shocking and worrying, because in some countries there is no limit on the number of descendants," said Ties van der Meer of Donorkind in the podcast. "Many half-brothers and half-sisters worldwide can cause many issues. And certainly if donor children have also been conceived abroad, this can lead to problems. What if two donor children have a relationship and children? You really don't want that."
In a response, the European Sperm Bank said it will inform prospective mothers about treatments abroad that use anonymous sperm donors, because free movement of patients in Europe means patients residing in the Netherlands are free to seek treatment elsewhere in the European Union. The ESB said it adheres to the Dutch guideline that a sperm donor may father a child in twelve families.
There is also a proposal in the Netherlands to legally determine the maximum number of women who can receive sperm from the same donor. The main argument for this is to prevent an increased chance of relationships between blood relatives. Fiom, Donorkind and the Dutch Association for Obstetrics and Gynecology (NVOG) also advocate in favor of worldwide agreements, and an international registration system.
Reporting by ANP