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Why do women from all over Europe turn to Danish sperm to get pregnant?


Across Europe, women like Kim are conceiving or having children from sperm donors through Danish sperm banks. Some Dutch fertility clinics say that more than 60 percent of their treatments are done using sperm from a Danish institution.

With her “biological clock” ticking faster, and her partner wanting to fulfill his wish to have children, Kim, a 37-year-old Dutch woman, considered in June 2020 that it was time to start looking seriously into the possibility of satisfying her desire to be become a mother

Having no particular attachment to the ‘traditional’ family, she ended up in a Dutch fertility clinic where she was offered a choice between a sperm donor from a Dutch sperm bank or a commercial Danish sperm bank. I chose the latter option because it offers a variety of donors and more information about them.

“While Dutch sperm banks only allow you to select four external traits, namely hair color, eye color, ethnicity and posture, Danish sperm banks give you more comprehensive profiles, including the baby’s photo, handwriting and tone of voice,” Kim told Euronews.

This gave her a good impression of the personal behavior of the sperm donor, which she considered important for her future child. “I wanted my child to be able to trace his origins and stimulate possible curiosity about his biological background,” she said.

After a thorough thought process, Kim ended up choosing a sperm donor of Portuguese descent who she found in the database of Denmark’s Crios International, the world’s largest sperm bank.

She placed the order on Tuesday and called her fertility clinic on Thursday to inform her of the arrival of three straws of frozen sperm. Unusually, the insemination that followed, about a month later, was an immediate success.

Danish domination

Across Europe, women like Kim are conceiving or having children from sperm donors through Danish sperm banks.

Some Dutch fertility clinics say more than 60 percent of their treatments are done using sperm from a Danish institution. In neighboring Belgium, six out of 10 children born thanks to sperm donations are said to be born to biological Danish parents.

Almost a fifth of the donated sperm available in the UK is imported from Denmark, and the Irish newspaper The Irish Times has claimed that 90 per cent of Danish sperm goes to other EU countries.

Danish sperm banks prefer not to give exact numbers and percentages of the amount of sperm donations they produce, citing strategic reasons, but which are clearly dominant in Europe. In the words of Martin Lacey, commercial director of Creos International: “If it’s a big market in Europe…it’s a big market for us.”

The two largest Danish sperm banks are Creus International and the European Sperm Bank, with headquarters in Aarhus and Copenhagen. While Crios International claims to have more than 1,000 donors available, the European Sperm Bank says it has between 800 and 900 donors ready for selection by recipients.

Its popularity can be attributed in part to the wide selection of sperm donors, which gives expectant mothers a wide variety of phenotypes to choose from.

The offer is very broad and diversified due to the fact that both companies have opened branches in other parts of Europe such as Cyprus, UK, Germany and Holland.

A long standing tradition

So why exactly has this country gained a foothold across Europe when it comes to sperm donation?

Much can be traced back to Denmark’s ancient tradition of fertility treatment, as well as the early regulation, in 2006 that single and lesbian women were allowed to be inseminated with sperm.

This is currently only permitted in dozens of European Union countries.

According to Anmat Arndal Lauritzen, executive director of the European Sperm Bank, this has not only opened up the debate about sperm donation, but also triggered a wave of newborn Danish donor children.

“Today, more than one percent of all children born in Denmark are born with donor sperm. This is the highest percentage of any European country. The fact that so many children in Denmark were born on the basis of donations has already removed taboos in our country,” Arendal Lauritzen added to Euronews. .

Martin Lassen considered sperm donation very normal in Danish culture simply because it has existed for so long and emphasized: “Our founder started the first Danish sperm bank 35 years ago. Since then, Danes have become accustomed to sperm banks advertising animal donation seminal. It has become part of our culture.”

Lasse Haldrup, 23, who has been a Danish sperm donor since July last year, does not feel that sperm donation is a sensitive topic in Danish society, and he said in this regard: “I speak very frankly about it. My family, my friends and even my current girlfriend know about it.


Unlike most other European countries, Danish legislation allows sperm banks to advertise freely among Danish men.

For example, younger Danes are being targeted with Instagram and YouTube ads. “We invest a lot in recruiting donors,” says Lassen. “We try to educate them by explaining the advantages and disadvantages of donating, and what it can mean to others.”

For every sperm donation, donors receive a fee and a fitness subscription. This financial reward is particularly welcomed by Khaldrop students. “I receive 40 euros per donation and I donate twice a week. For me it’s a win-win situation: I don’t need a side job and I help others have children.”

Serious investment in employment causes many Danes to apply to become sperm donors.

“Due to the large number of applicants, we have a lot to choose from. It ensures that we can provide high-quality sperm,” said Annmat Arendal-Lauritzen, executive director of the European Sperm Bank. However, many health tests are performed, and in the end, only 5 percent of applicants are approved as sperm donors.

No wonder Kim fell pregnant so quickly, giving birth to her baby boy in early February.

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