New policies to improve sperm and egg donation services approved

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved new policies aimed at improving sperm and egg donation services.

This follows an extensive public consultation, “Donating sperm and eggs: have your say”, which ran from January to April 2011.

The Authority has agreed to take a proactive approach to donor recruitment, retention and care by working with the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) sector, professional bodies and voluntary organisations to raise awareness, improve the care of donors and ensure that donation continues to take place within a safe and ethical environment.

The Authority has agreed to change the compensation that donors can receive. Moving away from the current system of out of pocket expenses and a loss of earnings allowance capped at £250, clinics will in the future be able to offer donors compensation which better reflects their expenses. The new scheme will include a fixed sum of £35 per visit including expenses for sperm donors, and a fixed sum of £750 per cycle of donation including expenses.

Professor Lisa Jardine, Chair of the HFEA, said: “In looking at donation we have focused on what it means to people – to those born of assisted reproduction, to donors, to patients wanting desperately to have a baby and to the public in general. We are convinced that it is right to look at compensation not in terms of crude sums but in terms of the value of donation.”

Professor Jardine said they have set a level of compensation which will not deter those interested in donation but will retain donors already in the system, without attracting those who are merely financially motivated.