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Sperm Donation Laws by Country 2024

Sperm donation can be a controversial topic. Some consider it part of a miracle process that helps those who can't conceive have children, while others oppose it for religious, cultural, or other reasons. As a result, laws can vary widely around the world.

Ten nations allow anyone to become a recipient of donated sperm. These include the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The remainder are all located in Europe. Four countries only allow heterosexual married couples to receive donations - Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, and Austria. Cyprus also allows single women, while Sweden permits it for any married or cohabitating couples.

Seven countries allow donors to remain fully anonymous, including Japan, France, Spain, Canada, and Bulgaria. In the United States, it varies, as it does in Belgium and Denmark. Portugal and Finland allow people born from donated sperm to learn their donor's identity on their 18th birthday. Nine nations don't provide any anonymity, like the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands. There are no definitive trends regionally or otherwise when it comes to anonymity.

Certain nations also set limits for sperm donors. For example, Finnish donors can produce unlimited children, but only for five families in total. Others, like Austria or Hong Kong, strictly limit donors to three children. Some include a mix, though most have limits of around 5-12 children per donor. On the other hand, the United States and Japan have no enforced limits.

Laws even vary about whether sperm donors can be compensated. Several, like New Zealand, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Norway, limit it to expenses related to donations. Other have ranges, like Denmark's 200-500 DKK ($28-$70 USD) or set levels like Portugal's 43.88€ (about $46 USD.) In many others, including the United States, it varies depending on the donor, recipient, and other circumstances.

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Allowed Recipients
Donor Anonymity
Donor Limits
Donor Payment
AustraliaAnyoneNoVaries (NSW & Western Australia = 5 families, Victoria & South Australia = 10 fam.)None
AustriaMarried heterosexual or homosexual couplesNo3 familiesVaries
BelgiumNo dataVaries6 familiesNo data
BulgariaAnyoneYes5 childrenExpenses
CanadaNo dataYes25 children per population of 800,000None
CyprusHeterosexual couples and single womenYesNo dataExpenses
DenmarkAnyoneVaries12 children200–500 DKK
FinlandAnyoneNo. Child may learn ID when 18 years oldUnlimited children, but maximum of 5 families32.40€ per donation (approx. 324€ total plus expenses)
FranceNo dataYes10 childrenNone
GermanyUsually married heterosexual couplesNo15 childrenVaries
Hong KongMarried heterosexual couples with age restrictionsNo data3 childrenNo data
ItalyMarried heterosexual couplesYesNo dataNone
JapanLegally married heterosexual couples (with age restrictions)YesNo enforced limit. Guidelines suggest 10 births per donorNone
NetherlandsAnyoneNo25 childrenExpenses
New ZealandAnyoneNo10 familiesExpenses
NorwayMarried or cohabitating couplesNo8 childrenExpenses
PortugalAnyoneNo. Child may learn name when 18 years old10 families43.88€ per donation
SpainAnyoneYes6 childrenNo data
SwedenMarried or cohabitating couplesNo12 children to 6 families (2 per family)300 SEK
SwitzerlandMarried couplesNo8 childrenExpenses
United KingdomAnyoneNo10 families in UK. Exports subject to national limits£35 for expenses
United StatesAnyoneVariesNo enforced limit. Guidelines suggest 25 births per population of 850,000Varies
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Which country is the best for sperm donation?

The United States has one of the most relaxed sperm donation systems in the world. Sometimes sperm donors can stay anonymous, they are allowed to donate for 25 births per 850K in population, and can sometimes be paid for their services plus expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions