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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 12:19 GMT
Australian MPs' sperm in demand
Sperm and egg
Donors in Victoria are not entitled to anonymity
Politicians in the Australian state of Victoria have been asked to donate sperm to replenish dwindling supplies.

Monash IVF clinic in Melbourne has written to all male politicians under the age of 45, appealing for them to set an example.

Sperm stocks have become depleted since a 1998 law ordered donors to agree to have their identities revealed when a child turns 18.

The clinic says it has not yet received any replies.

'Role models'

In a letter from the clinic's medical director, Prof Gab Kovacs, the parliamentarians are asked if they have "ever thought of becoming a sperm donor".

"We hope that if some of the leading role models within our community become donors, others may follow suit," the letter says.

Prof Kovacs said he had been inspired by the success of a recent celebrity campaign urging more people to become organ donors.

He said before the law changed, Monash IVF clinic had around 20 new donors a year, while only five men signed up last year.

In December, 2004, an Australian fertility clinic in Albury, south-west of Sydney, offered students in Canada a free two-week holiday in Australia in return for sperm.

Other nations which have banned anonymity in the donation of sperm and eggs have also experienced shortages, but they argue that a child's right to trace his or her biological parent is more important than ensuring supplies.


SEE ALSO:
'Plea for egg and sperm donors'
30 Dec 04 |  Health
Sperm imported to meet shortage
09 Apr 03 |  Scotland


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