Sperm banks struggle to attract donors in China
Almost three decades after China opened its first sperm bank, such fertility institutions are dealing with a worsening shortage of healthy sperm, despite repeated efforts to recruit more donors.
‘It feels weird to know that someone you meet on the street some day could be your child,’ said Zhou Zheng, a sperm donor from north China’s Hebei province. Zhou now has complicated feelings about the donation he made a decade ago, Xinhua reported.
Back then, Zhou was a college student who decided to donate sperm out of compassion for reproductively challenged couples. But the thought of being the biological father of a child he does not know scared him away from doing it again.
According to Chinese law, sperm donated by one person can be used to impregnate up to five women. This means that Zhou, who is married with his own child, could actually have as many as six offspring.
‘Knowing I might have five other kids out there really freaks me out,’ he said. Statistics from the China Population Association at the end of 2012 showed that 40 million people have fertility issues, accounting for 12.5 percent of the population aged between 20 to 49. The ratio increased from three percent two decades ago.
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