Danish sperm banks have grown into a successful export industry. Now Norway seems to be following the same path.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health has allowed a fertility clinic, Livio, to export donor sperm to its clinics in Sweden and Iceland. Sperm from a Norwegian donor can be used to create six Norwegian families, six Swedish families, and two Iceland families.
The Livio website explains that Norway recently amended its assisted reproduction legislation to permit single women to make use of IVF or artificial insemination. This opened up a business opportunity. “The Livio IVF clinic has for several years offered insemination with donor sperm to couples,” it says, “and with this change in the law we also expect a large influx from single women who want to get pregnant with the help of donor sperm.”
“We have gone through the regulations and have been clarified that there is nothing that prevents exports,” says Anne Forus, of the Directorate. “We have looked at the routines of the clinics that will use the sperm abroad and assured ourselves that it will not be in conflict with Norwegian law.”
However, the Association for Donor Conceived in Norway criticised the move. “Regulations in Norway are not only about knowing your origin via a donor, but also about knowing that you have a limited set of siblings,” said a spokesman. “By exporting germ cells abroad, we no longer have that control and the sibling group can become abnormally large.”
The association believes that Nordic countries should create common legislation governing sperm donation.