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article imageSperm shortage in New Zealand, two year waiting list

By Tim Sandle     Sep 17, 2016 in Health
Due to changes in legislation and a high demand, New Zealand has a sperm shortage. The dearth of sperm is such that a woman wishing for a sperm donation needs to wait for around two years.
The extent of the current wait has been highlighted by a New Zealander called Kate Jones (not her real name), who spoke recently with The Guardian. In the interview, Jones says "I had no idea there was a shortage, that came as a real surprise. But it’s something out of my control, so I just tried to get on with life while I waited. I kept dating, still hoping to have a baby the traditional way."
The drought in sperm is also, according to a group of fertility counselors led by Dr. Mary Birdsall representing Fertility Associates, putting a strain and added stresses upon women seeking to have children. This situation has led to a rise in so-called 'reproductive tourism' where some women are going overseas to obtain donated sperm, such is their desire to conceive a child. Importing is not easy, given the requirements put in place by the Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology which shapes government policy.
As well as a rise in demand for sperm, another factor to explain the decline in available sperm stems from fewer men coming forward to donate. A few years ago the government of New Zealand changed the rules pertaining to sperm donate. Now anonymous sperm donations are not permitted and donors are not allowed to receive any payment for their services. To add to this, a sperm donor needs to agree to being identified to any offspring when the child turns 18. This raft of rules has led to a considerable decline in the number of men willing to come forwards.
More about sperm shortage, Sperm donor, Sperm, Babies, Women
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