Yank On 'Aussie Sperm Tour' Has Produced Three Pregnancies So Far
Fertility specialists have raised concerns about a man dubbed 'Joe Donor' who recently visited three states and made at least 20 sperm donations to Australian couples.
Victorian couple Tracey Train and Bella Bambia have just found out they are seven weeks pregnant.
"I was over the moon, it was our first try and it was a success so we are so happy," Train, 31, told 10 daily.
The same-sex couple said dealing with their visiting donor Joe "was great, and he made it so easy and was very nice and genuine."
The couple said they turned to social media for a sperm donor and used home insemination kits because fertility clinics were too expensive and limiting.
"We were quoted around $10,000 and our options were limited because there aren't a lot of donors and it would take a lot of time with counselling sessions before we could even try," Train said.
Late last year, in an Australian-exclusive, 10 daily spoke with the man who calls himself Joe Donor, about his plans to increase his brood of kids down under.
"I have 100 successful cases that I know of, and many others either didn't get pregnant or have chosen not to let me know when their babies are born," he said at the time.
His transcontinental family just got bigger with at least three recent pregnancies in Australia.
"I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, that's why my sperm is so strong," Joe said.
Adam Hooper, who runs the closed Facebook group Sperm Donation Australia said Joe connected with single and LGBTQI women on the page.
"Joe had 16 women booked in then from his post and a few more messaged him so I would say around 20 mark as a conservative estimate. And he timed his stay with their ovulation" Hooper said.
Hooper said Joe's tour included visits to Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide and he expects more pregnancies to be announced on his Facebook page in coming weeks.
But not everyone is enthused about couples using social media to produce babies.
"Unfortunately there is no way to regulate this and it's becoming more common," said Fertility Society of Australia President Professor Michael Chapman.
"I do hope that these women who have gone down this route have thought carefully about what it will mean for their child to have 100 siblings scattered around the world.
What will this mean for them and their relationships as adults?" Chapman said.
Chapman says in NSW fertility clinics a donor -- who is from anywhere in the world -- but whose sperm is used in the state, cannot have any more than five children across the globe.
However, the couple, from Narre Warren South in Victoria who also have a four-month-old from another donor, say they are not concerned.
"It doesn't bother us. Joe is really honest about his other donor children from America and Argentina and our kids will be told they are donor kids and will be mindful of that when they have relationships," Train said.
Train, who is carrying the baby, had a recent STI test and saw Joe's STI test dated September on the Facebook page.
We go much further than that, we screen donors for things like cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy and multiple other common genetic diseases and we have a formalised screening and counselling process, Chapman said.
He said sperm donor number in Australia are low because of legislative changes that were introduced about a decade ago, where men who donate no longer have the right to anonymity.
"A lot of men don't want to be contacted 18 years later by their donor child," he said.
Profiting from sperm donation is also illegal in Australia.
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