Croatia to Import Donor Sex Cells From Other EU Countries

Katarina Anđelković

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May 30, 2023 – Croatia is planning to import donor sex cells from the EU, as there are not enough local donors. The sperm and egg cells should come from licensed banks.

Couples from Croatia who need donor sperm or eggs for this type of medically assisted fertilization to become parents should soon no longer have to go abroad to achieve that, writes Index/Jutarnji. The Croatian Society for Human Reproduction and Endocrinology has begun, in cooperation with the state administration, to prepare the ground for the import of sex cells from highly controlled licensed banks in the European Union, such as those from Spain, Denmark, Italy and other countries that can comply with Croatian regulations.

After the necessary rules are passed and contracts with banks are signed, the procedure is relatively simple. When doctors determine that a specific couple cannot conceive without donated cells, the authorized health institution for carrying out heterologous fertilization procedures will order the necessary cells from the contracted bank.

Deficit of sex cell donors in Croatia

The cells will arrive in Croatia by plane, according to a precisely determined procedure that is the same for donated sex cells as for organ transplantation. They will then be stored in an authorized institution and used for fertilization and embryo creation exclusively for that specific couple.

Further use of the cells, i.e. their repurposing for another couple, will not be possible. The right to a known origin of donated sex cells in Croatia is legally enabled by the Law on Medical Fertilization from 2012. According to Prof. Ph.D. Dinka Pavičić Baldani, president of the Croatian Society for Human Reproduction and Endocrinology, though, since the passing of the law, there has not been a single person in Croatia who would be interested in becoming a cell donor, so Croatia has not had an opportunity to establish its bank of sex cells which Croatians citizens would donate.

The assumed reason for the lack of interest is that, according to the law, the donor cannot be anonymous. In Croatia, it seems no one is ready for that, writes Jutarnji list journalist Kristina Turčin.

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