~ JULY 2022 ~
A Perth, Australia-based man who has donated his sperm more than 20 times has embarked on a “baby making tour”, sparking debate online.
A sperm donor from Perth, who simply wants to help others become parents, has sparked a social media storm following a recent unconventional sperm donation announcement.
Adam Hooper, who has more than 20 donor-conceived children, has touched down in Brisbane where he plans to donate his sperm to multiple women in a span of 10 days.
The so-called “baby making tour”, will see the father-of-two provide an instant sample of his sperm to women who are ovulating during his stay, the Courier Mail reports.
He is also running a seminar next weekend in the sunshine state and expects a number of women to attend, most of which will be in their late 30s and early 40s.
While he won’t be able to donate to every attendee, eligible recipients will receive donations in a cup free of charge, as it’s illegal for donors to receive payment for their sperm in Australia.
But the gift has caused a stir online, with those who have read Mr Hooper’s story concerned that his selfless move is unethical.
“There’s a reason there should be controls on this,” said one Facebook user.
“Very concerning,” said another.
Some commenters were worried that recipients knowing who their donor is would create problems later on when it comes to financial needs and donor-child relationships.
Meanwhile, others questioned the legality behind the donations.
Despite the comments, Mr Hooper told the Courier Mail that there is nothing “selfish” in what he does, saying he visits the doctor regularly for check ups and is willing to be in the child’s life.
Usually, children who were conceived with the help of a sperm donor are not allowed to meet their biological father until they’re 18 years old, however, Mr. Hooper invites his sperm donor children to contact him at any time.
“I’m not a co-parent but if the child wants they can have my photo or call me if they need. I am available for contact,” he said.
“I want the kids to have a sense of knowing where they are from — too many donor children have to spend years trying to track down their fathers.”
Mr Hooper used his sperm donor experiences to start the Facebook group Sperm Donation Australia, a donation platform which has over 1500 members.
The 37-year-old matches donors with couples and singles via the group, with over 900 babies being born as a result.
It’s one of many online forums used by recipients who want to avoid conventional sperm donation clinics and find a donor who suits their wants and needs.
Are unregulated donations legal?
With the cost of sperm donation treatment on the rise and the number of sperm donors falling, a number of recipients are looking at informal sperm donation.
While it’s not illegal in Australia, an unregulated donation is not recommended by doctors as well as donor and surrogacy experts, as it’s difficult to know if donors are following the rules.
For example, there’s a limit on how much sperm a donor can give. In Victoria and South Australia, a donor can only donate to a maximum of 10 women, whereas in New South Wales a donor can donate to up to five women.
Additionally, donors are not allowed to be anonymous and must truthfully reveal their medical history, as well as their family’s.
But with no online Australian donor register, Manager of Donor and Surrogacy at City Fertility, Kate Wilford, says it’s difficult for recipients to determine their donor’s history if they’re unofficially donating in some states.
“A registry of this type would be useful for clinics to reduce the sperm donors from potentially dishonestly donating both in a clinic and on forums,” she told news.com.au.
Currently, donor registers are only available in NSW and Victoria. Meanwhile, the Queensland government is currently investigating the matter with a decision to be announced next month.