London fertility clinics are reporting that up to one-third of their sperm donors are from foreign countries. Many of these donors are Australian backpackers on extended tours of the UK and Europe. They have found fertility clinics to be a decent source of income. Though the money is not great, repeat donors (always welcomed by the clinics because they only have to be screened once) can make more than $1200 over the course of several months.
A British law, passed in 2005, might be helping increase the demand for Australian donors. The law says that children conceived by donated sperm have the right to contact their genetic father at the age of 18. Living on the other side of the globe affords these backpackers from Down Under a bit more anonymity than local London residents.
What do British people think of the trend? Clinics welcome it. After the passage of the 2005 notification law, the number of local donors shrunk considerably. So sperm banks have no choice but to look to foreigners to fill the void.