Wed, Sep 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Government guideline sets rules for egg, sperm donors

TEMPLATE:While donors cannot charge a fee, the law does allow those who receive an ovum or sperm donation to authorize payment of a subsidy

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) has published guideline that sets the “maximum” fee for ovum or sperm donations.

The Artificial Reproduction Act (人工生殖法) bans ovum or sperm donors from charging a fee, but a “nutrition subsidy” can be given, although the amount has varied widely.

A template of a consent form for such donations was released by the agency last month, setting out the legal requirements for donors.

Sperm donors must be between 20 and 49 years old, while ovum donors must be between 20 and 39, and potential donors must submit to medical examinations and assessment, according to the consent form.

The maximum “price” for a sperm donation is set at NT$8,000 — although the norm is NT$5,000 — while for an ovum donation it is NT$99,000, according to the new form.

HPA statistics showed that between 2011 and last year, 891 sperm donations were made in Taiwan and 2,737 ovum donations.

“The demand [for donations] is higher than the supply at present, and usually the quality of the egg is better if the donor is younger,” said Tseng Chi-jui (曾啟瑞), director of Taipei Medical University’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and Sciences.

The hospital conducts tests to screen for genetic diseases before accepting egg or sperm donations, and if the results indicate a possible negative effect on the potential baby’s health, then the egg or sperm will not be used, he said.

Shih Ching-yi (施靜儀), a senior specialist at the HPA, said the donation consent form template was created after referring to similar forms used by clinics and hospitals.

The government-approved template has been distributed to all medical facilities that perform in vitro fertilization, Shih said.

Since ovum and sperm donors must undergo medical exams and various medical procedures to determine if they are eligible donors, those who receive the ova or sperm can authorize their medical facility to give a subsidy for nutrition to the donor, or to help pay for the exams, medical procedures, loss of working hours or transportation fees.

The normal subsidy for a sperm donor is NT$5,000, but if the donor has visited the hospital more than three times before making the donation, the maximum can be raised to NT$8,000, Shih said.

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