There is an increase in the number of Australian women who are having babies using sperm donation, sbs.com.au recently reported, with the demand from single women doubling in the past five years.
With a severe shortage of sperm donors in Australia and long waiting lists; many women are setting off for Denmark to have what are known as “Viking babies”.
In contrast with Australia and some other parts of the globe, Denmark still allows anonymous donation; donors are in abundance, and there are no waiting lists. It is unsurprising that the country’s fertility industry is booming, attracting thousands of clients each year for sperm donor treatment.
Iben Kristoffersen, managing director of Storkh Clinic, one of the leading clinics says that most of their clients are from overseas. She adds: “Actually, at this point we only have five per cent Danish customers.”
One Australian, Tanya, 40, is heading to the Scandinavian country from her home in Melbourne, to undergo IVF treatment. She points out that she is able to choose from “hundreds and hundreds of applicants,” where in Australia, she might have just six donors to pick from.
She explains how choosing to become a single mum is a tough decision to make: “There’s a lot of soul searching that’s involved because you’re making a conscious effort to deprive your child of a biological father.”
When questioned by others why she hasn’t tried to conceive “the natural way” or why she didn’t “find a guy for the night,” Tanya says that it doesn’t sit well with her ethically.
Sophie Harper, of Canberra, has a daughter, aged three, and she went through a similar process.
Sophie is creator and producer of a popular podcast on her story; called Not by Accident; she is “happy to share her experience with others,” reports SBS.
Sophie said: “The day after my 38th birthday, I called a clinic and booked an appointment to talk about choosing a donor and getting pregnant. I was single and had hoped I’d find myself in a happy, healthy relationship with someone who wanted to embark on parenthood with me. That didn’t happen and didn’t look like it was about to, so I felt I had to take action before it was too late. Now I have a wonderful daughter, Astrid, and absolutely no regrets.
Fortunately, she was living and working at the time in Denmark. She said: “I was in the right place.”