Sperm donation

Sperm donation is crucial – and we need donors!

For a couple where the man is infertile or for female couples, the use of donor sperm may be the only way of becoming a parent. 

The sperm donor is anonymous for the future parents. But if the child wants to, after reaching the age of majority, he/she may learn the identity of the donor.

Sperm donation in 6 questions

Who can be a donor?

All men aged 18 to 45 years, resident in Switzerland and capable of exercising judgement may donate their sperm. They must not have a genetic disease or a sexually transmissible disease (HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, etc.). They may donate sperm to one centre only.

What rights do the donor and the child have?

The legal parents of the child are the mother and her husband or wife. Couples may not know the identity of the donor, and vice versa: the donor may not know who received his donation.

Swiss law states that after reaching the age of majority, the child may, if they wish, learn the identity of the donor. Nevertheless, it should be emphasised that the law excludes any request for knowledge of paternity regarding the donor. The child has no rights regarding the donor, and the donor has no duty toward the child.

What is the maximum number of children who could result from a donation?

A donor may produce a maximum of eight children.

What are the different stages of donation?

The future donor will learn in detail the specifics of sperm donation during a first meeting with the doctor. The doctor will check that the medical history complies with the criteria, answers all questions and informs the future donor of the legal framework governing sperm donation in Switzerland. He will then sign a contract (which certifies that he has taken note of the information given to him and that he agrees to reveal his identity to the child at majority).

Each file will be identified by a pseudonym to ensure the anonymity. It will contain a description of the physical attributes of the donner (weight, height, eye, hair and skin colour) so that the donor can be matched to the mother's partner. All the personal details will be stored in a strongbox accessible only to the doctor responsible for the sperm bank and the doctor responsible for our unit.

A first sperm donation will allow us to judge whether it is of sufficient quality to withstand freezing//thawing. The donor may then continue to donate at a rate of once or twice a week.

What tests are performed?

A blood sample and urine sample will be requested every three months, during the donation period. The aim of the tests is to minimise the risk of transmission of genetic or sexually transmissible diseases such as mucoviscidosis, HIV, hepatitis B or C, herpes, syphilis or the presence of pathogenic germs.

Is the donation paid for?

Sperm donation is voluntary. It is not paid. Travel and time spent in the unit are compensated. The donor does not pay anything for the tests.

 Last updated on 06/03/2023 at 10:21