Australian Sperm Donors: Public image and private motives of gay, bi-sexual and heterosexual donors

Ripper, Margie
October 2008
Health Sociology Review;Oct2008, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p313
Academic Journal
This paper contributes to debate in Australia about sexuality-based restrictions on access to Assisted Reproduction Services, particularly sperm donation by gay and bi-sexual men. It utilises content analysis of print-media and reveals that the public image of sperm donation is saturated with concern about risk, particularly risk to heterosexual donors and their property, from claims made by recipient women and their children. In contrast, a detailed analysis of the profiles of men who register to donate sperm through the Australian Sperm Donor Registry reveals that most donors are open to identity disclosure. However a marked difference is evident between heterosexual and gay/bisexual donors with the latter being significantly more likely to desire contact with children born of their donations. It appears sperm donation offers gay and bi/sexual men an opportunity for family formation and parenting which is denied by Australian laws and clinical practices that exclude them from Assisted Reproduction Services and adoption.


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