Regulations governing egg and sperm donation in Spain

By BSc, MSc (embryologist) and (invitra staff).
Last Update: 03/30/2020

Both egg and sperm donations are considered by the Spanisch Law 14/2006 regarding Human Assisted Reproduction Techniques (LAHRT). This legislation stipulates the requirements for being a donor and states that the donation must be altruistic and anonymous.

It also limits the maximum number of newborns per donor on national territory to six. Therefore, it establishes a maximum number of children in Spanish territory, but it does not limit how many times you can donate or how many descendants you can have internationally.

In addition, it defines egg and sperm donation as a free, formal and confidential contract to be made between donors and the fertility clinic.

Donation requirements

Spanish legislation establishes that those women and men who want to help other couples have children by donating gametes must comply with the following conditions:

  • Being over 18 and under 35 for women and 50 for men. The maximum age limit is not established by Law 14/2006, but by Royal Decree 412/1996.
  • To have full capacity to act.
  • Enjoy a good state of psychophysical health: they must meet the requirements of the necessary medical and psychological studies. These are carried out to confirm, on the one hand, the absence of genetic, hereditary or infectious diseases that can be transmitted to the offspring and, on the other hand, that they are emotionally prepared.
  • To agree to the anonymity and altruism of the donation and thus to record the informed consent.

As regards the recipient's requirements, any woman of full age and capacity to act, regardless of her marital status and sexual orientation, may resort to assisted reproduction treatment with eggs or donor sperm. If the woman is married, the husband's consent is also required.

The Spanish Law on Assisted Reproduction does not set an age limit for the recipient. It only states that users of these techniques must be over 18 years of age. However, there is a consensus among clinics that it is ethically inappropriate to perform fertility treatment on a woman over the age of 50.

Considering seeing a fertility specialist? Don't forget that, in the field of Reproductive Medicine, as in any other medical area, it is crucial that patients rely on the doctors and staff that will help them through their treatment cycle. Logically, conditions vary from clinic to clinic. For this reason, we recommend that you generate your Fertility Report now. It will offer you a list of clinics that have passed our rigorous selection process successfully. Furthermore, the system will make a comparison between the fees and conditions of each clinic so that you can make a better-informed decision.

Altruistic donation

Law 14/2006, on Assisted Human Reproduction Techniques, stresses that the donation of sperm and eggs must never be of a commercial nature or be subject to a commercial activity.

Furthermore, it is stressed that the promotion carried out by assisted reproduction centres or gamete banks with the aim of encouraging donation must respect the altruistic nature of this activity. This means that it is forbidden to recruit donors by means of motivation or financial gain, as well as the purchase and sale of gametes.

However, despite the altruistic nature of gamete donation, Spanish regulations allow donors to be financially compensated for possible risks and discomfort, as well as for job losses and travel involved in the act of donating. Currently, in Spain, this compensation is 800-1,000€ per donation in the case of egg donation and 30-50€ per sperm sample.

Donor Privacy

Egg and sperm donation must be completely anonymous. Neither donors should know the future recipients of their gametes nor will recipients know the identity of the person who gives them their gametes so that they can have children.

It's the fertility center who will be responsible for allocating recipients to each donor on the basis of the phenotypic (physical) and immunological characteristics (compatibility of blood group and Rh factor) of the recipient.

Recipients will never be able to select the donor or give their preferences about the characteristics of the donor.

The law emphasizes the importance of guaranteeing the confidentiality of data related to the identity of donors by banks or reproductive centers. Only in exceptional cases that pose a danger to the health or life of the child or where appropriate on the basis of the laws of criminal procedure, may the identity of the donors be disclosed. In any case, this revelation will be restricted.

Both the recipient parents and the children born from donated gametes, once they have reached the age of majority, have the right to request general information from the fertility clinic on the medical history of the donors, as long as it does not include the identity of the donors.

Reciprocal IVF and Open Donation

As we have mentioned, Law 14/2006 establishes that the donation of gametes must be anonymous. However, there is one exception: the method of receiving eggs from the partner (Reciprocal IVF).

Reciprocal IVF is an assisted reproduction technique that allows one of the women to provide the eggs and the other to carry the baby in a same-sex relationship. In this way, they both actively participate in the pregnancy, as one of them will be the genetic mother and the other the pregnant one.

Therefore, it can be seen as a non-anonymous egg donation, that is, open egg donation, since the first woman gives her eggs to the second.

In order for this practice not to be considered an illegal act, the couple must meet one requirement: marriage. If this condition is not met, they could have legal problems, as it would be considered a non-anonymous donation.

If you are a lesbian couple and you are considering motherhood, in this article we explain what options assisted reproduction offers you to become a mother: How does sperm donation work in Spain?

FAQs from users

By Rebeca Reus BSc, MSc (embryologist).

Yes, as long as the conditions set out in Law 14/2006 on Assisted Human Reproduction Techniques are met: it must be anonymous, altruistic, confidential...

Can I get information about my egg donor in Spain?

By Rebeca Reus BSc, MSc (embryologist).

The Spanish legislation on reproductive matters indicates the following:

Born children have the right by themselves or by their legal representatives to obtain general information about the donors that does not include their identity. The same right corresponds to the receptors of the gametes and pre-embryos.

Therefore, yes, it is permitted to obtain information as long as it is of a general nature and does not include personal, contact or identity data.

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References

Author

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
Adapted into english by:
 Romina Packan
Romina Packan
inviTRA Staff
Editor and translator for the English and German edition of inviTRA. More information about Romina Packan

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