Donating for research

woman looking through a microscopeSperm, eggs and embryos can be donated for research purposes.

Human embryo research requires a licence from the HFEA and must be deemed ‘necessary and desirable’. The use of sperm, eggs in research is only licensed by the HFEA if they are used to create embryos for research.

In order to donate for research purposes you will need to fulfill certain criteria to establish your suitability:

Consent for donation for research - both the sperm and egg providers will be asked to provide written consent; each will be asked to sign two separate consent forms.

The statutory consent form (provided by the HFEA) requires centres to obtain general consent for the use of embryos in research. This form allows donors to specify conditions subject to which the embryos may be used.

Donors should also be asked to complete a consent form provided by the centre following full discussion about the study involved. 

Payment for donation - Payment of donors is prohibited. You can however claim compensation to reflect expenses paid for travel and loss of earnings.

As an egg donor you can receive compensation of up to £750 per cycle of donation, and as a sperm donor you can receive up to £35 per clinic visit, to reasonably cover any financial losses incurred in connection with the donation, with the provision to claim an excess to cover higher expenses.

These decisions were a result of a consultation on sperm eggs and embryo donation held in 2011:

Further information on donation for reseach

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Page last updated: 22 May 2012

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