Abolishing anonymity in gamete donation

The Spanish Fertility Society warns about the problems posed by abolishing anonymity in gamete donation.

The Spanish Fertility Society (SEF in Spanish) has compiled a document entitled Perspective on the anonymity rule regarding gamete donations, to share their medical, biological, ethical, psychological, judicial and social opinions with the Spanish population regarding a possible abolition of anonymity in gamete donation.

This possible abolition is being discussed and diffused among the heart of various European and Spanish institutions and groups.

One of the main conclusions of this document is the shortage that would be caused by this legislative change.

According to the president of the SEF, Dr. Luis Martínez Navarro, “if Spain were to abolish anonymity in gamete donation, the reproductive projects of many women would be placed at risk.”

The coordinator of this document, Dr. Manuel Muñoz, Director of IVI Alicante, advises readers that for a society like ours whose demographics are already in jeopardy, measures like the loss of donor anonymity would surely aggravate the problem:

“9% of all births in Spain are produced as a result of AR techniques. Our commitment should be to improve our service with inclusive policies. Abolishing anonymity could cause an exodus similar to what we have seen in other European countries,” warns the specialist.

A decrease in donors and waiting lists for gamete donation treatments
One of the main and direct consequences of abolishing anonymity in the donation is the possible decrease in the number of donors.

By revealing the donor's identity, the donors could be contacted years into the future because of their past donation.

This behavior, or this decrease, is evident in countries where the anonymity abolishment is already in effect, such as egg donation in England, where gamete donation anonymity was abolished in 2005.

According to the latest SEF Activity Register, gamete donation makes up one third of the treatments carried out in Spain, mainly for the following reasons:

  • Women face maternity at a later age
  • Men have poorer sperm quality.
  • New families are formed without a male progenitor.

These are the patients whose reproductive projects would be jeopardized if the donations decreased due to the abolishment of anonymity.

Additional reasons for not revealing the donor identities, according to the SEF

A possible shortage is not the only consequence included in the Spanish Fertility Society's stance on anonymity abolishment.

The document Perspectives on the anonymity rule regarding gamete donations, developed by the SEF work group compiled of different professional profiles, includes a total of 15 reasons why it is not advisable to reveal the donor´s identity. You may consult the complete document here.


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