In South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania the National Health and Medical Research Counsel Guidelines provide that ‘clinics must take all reasonable steps to reduce the numbers of genetic relatives created through donor gamete programs’ to protect donor conceived people, and donors, from having too many genetic siblings or too many offspring, respectively.
While they do not provide a specific number, the NHMRC Ethical Guidelines state that:
[g]ametes from one donor should be used in a limited number of families. In deciding the number of families, clinicians should take account of:
- the number of genetic relatives that the persons conceived…will have;
- the risk of a person conceived with donor gametes inadvertently having a sexual relationship with a close genetic relative (with particular reference to the population and ethnic group in which the donation will be used);
- the consent of the donor for the number of families to be created; and
- whether the donor has already donated gametes at another clinic.
The Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (Fertility Society of Australia) has advised that ‘a maximum of ten donor families per sperm donor’ is acceptable.[6