A German sperm bank making lesbian women’s dreams come true
An interview with Dr. Peet, CEO of the BSB (Berliner Samenbank)
Good morning Dr. Peet. I understand you founded one of only a few sperm banks in Germany. Clearly this of some interest to our community..
Please tell me something about your sperm bank`s history
Thank you for the invitation. The Berlin Sperm Bank was founded in 1995. It was the first registered sperm bank in the city and one of few in Germany.
Since then we have helped more than 1000 couples fulfill their dream. We mainly supply berlin- and german fertility centers (shipping in Germany is limited to certified centers!). Increasingly international shipping of “trademark german quality products” (Dr. Peet laughs) has led to positive feedback from other European countries.
Are there any limits as to patient groups that can be treated?
Well, in Germany donor insemination has been legal for about 30 years. Treatment of heterosexual couples is no problem legally. However treatment of lesbians and single women is another “cup of tea”. In all states of the country-except Berlin- treatment of lesbian couples is not accepted by physician`s rules and regulations. So, as you can imagine, we have women come from all over the country.
Treatment of single women is not illegal, however, as there is no donor anonymity and no way to guarantee that the donor (or doctor for that matter) cannot be sued for child support, it is performed rarely. We in Berlin, at our connected treatment facility (Praxis für Fertilität) treat many lesbian couples an do not anymore limit this to married (social partnership) lesbians. As soon as adoption (Stiefkindadoption in german) is in effect the legal status of all parties involved in the process are on the safe side and the donor (and doctor) are “off the hook”!
Tell us something about treatment safety
All donors donate directly at our facility. Only sperm from men personally known to our staff is stored. According to European Legislation (EATB) our certified sperm bank vigorousely tests all donors on a regular basis. Only after a period of 6 months (quarantine!) samples are released for treatment. A general genetic test is performed on every donor.
What is the actual treatment like?
In many cases there is nothing wrong with the woman concerned, she just lacks the heterosexual intercourse, so –of course- there is no sperm.
In these women, all we or the collaborating gynaecologist need to do, is perform an ultrasound on day 11 or 12 phone and us up to make an appointment for the insemination. We recommend stimulation of the ovulation by injection, so we can better pin-point the perfect time. The woman then comes to our center, the sperm is thawed and washed, then inseminated painlessly.
If the woman has some hormonal problem we treat it beforehand. If she has a “tubal problem” we can perform IVF.
How is the donor selected?
Usually the couples have a pretty good idea of what they want. They can choose color of hair, eyes, height, build and characteristics like hobbies/ interests and profession. Further information can be supplied on request. A few just ask us to make the selection.
So what does a couple need to do if they want to be treated?
Usually the lesbian community tends to be very well informed.
Dr. Peet, thank you very much for the pleasant talk!
You´re very welcome. I wish you a successful party in Palma!
Get in touch!
PRAXIS für FERTILITÄT
Kinderwunsch- und EndometrioseZentrum Berlin
Dr. David Peet und Dr. Wibke Wilkening
Friedrichstr. 150 · 10117 Berlin-Mitte
Telefon: +49 (0)30-832 11 90 – 0
Telefax: +49 (0)30-832 11 90 – 19
firstname.lastname@example.org · www.fertilitaet.de
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