Monday, October 10, 2011

Women looking for sperm donors online is growing

By Mary Mcconnell

Last updated at 8:11 AM on 10th October 2011

Donor search: More young women are turning to the web to help them become mothers
Donor search: More young women are turning to the web to help them become mothers
Increasing numbers of women are turning to internet sperm donors to become mothers after failing to find the man of their dreams.
Scores of women in their early twenties are logging on to websites such as and to find fathers for their children.
Many women, some of whom are as young as 18 or 19, say they are frustrated with relationships and have decided to face the challenge of parenthood alone.
According to The Sunday Times, women under 25 make up a quarter of women registering on some sites, where they post pictures or themselves, as well as private information allowing potential donors to get in touch.

One 20-year-old said: 'I've wanted kids for as long as I can remember. I lost a baby when I was with my ex-boyfriend. We broke up shortly afterwards, too devastated to continue. But since then I have known I am ready to be a parent. I am financially secure, I have found a job with flexible hours, I have a house and a mortgage. I know I could offer a child a loving, safe environment, so I don't know why I should wait.'
Danger: There are risks if women using unregulated channels for their fertility treatment
Danger: There are risks if women use unregulated channels for their fertility treatment
According to Christina Hughes, professor of women and gender at Warwick University, having a child is no longer a matter of waiting to find the right man and falling in love. 'Now there is an emphasis on women waiting until the time is right to have children.' she said. 'Even though these women are young, they believe that they have the support structure and feel emotionally and financially independent: for them it is the right time.'
Research shows that between one and two per cent of patients at licensed fertility clinics are under 25 but the number of adverts suggests that the number using unregulated channels may be much higher, perhaps due to the cost of fertility treatment, which can run in to many thousands of pounds.
But the unregulated market is fraught with dangers and women who take this route are putting themselves at risk.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said that there are legal implications as, outside of licensed clinics, the man's status as the father cannot be waived. There are also health risks because sperm gained over the internet cannot be screened.

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