"The new law will almost certainly result in a need for more donors, but it's difficult to know how many lesbians will contact us. If we can't manage to recruit enough Norwegians, sperm from abroad will be likely," says Torolf Holst-Larsen, senior doctor at Haugesund Fertility Centre to bt.no.
The donor sperm will be frozen and thawed again to help childless couples throughout the whole of the West country. Every year, between 50 and 60 donor children are born.
"We have enough to help these, but don't really have much left over. With greater demand, we will have a great challenge," says Marit Elise Mølstre, bio-engineer at the Sperm Bank in Haugesund.
Seeking help in Denmark
With support from the Department of Health and Social Services, the Sperm bank in Haugesund is starting to look around for foreign sperms. The Norwegian market will not by itself be able to satisfy demand, they believe.
"We are working on importing non-anonymous donors from Denmark. This is more or less worked out, but we're just waiting for the technical computer solutions and a formal approval from the Department of Health," says Mølstre.
Initially it is Danish sperm that will contribute to a growth in the population here in the West country, but eventually other European countries will be a possibility.
"Sweden doesn't have much to offer. The special thing about Denmark is that it is private companies who run the sperm banks, and they have a good selection of both anonymous and open donors. We have been in contact with two sperm banks in Copenhagen who can deliver to us," says Mølstre. Not able to choose donor land
"In order to ensure enough sperm donors, we recommend that the sperm banks organize the import of sperm from Denmark or other countries. One of the requirements is that good routines are established for the identification of sperm donors," says Ragnhild Castberg, department director for the Department of Health and Social Services to bt.no.
A couple who wants assisted fertilization must be informed of the country that the sperm comes from, but cannot choose freely.
"The doctor tries to find as good a match as possible based on the father's height, eye-colour and hair-colour," says Mølstre.
She doesn't think that the import will pose any problems.
"This was done before we got our own sperm bank in Norway. The difference now is that the donor isn't anonymous." No service for minorities
Today there are 17 donors to choose from in Haugesund. Trade on the European market will ensure a greater variety of sperm. Today there is a lack of sperms from ethnic minorities.
"At present we can only offer Nordic donors. We would like to have a greater variety when it comes to ethnicity, height, eye colour and hair-colour," says Mølstre.
The other sperm bank in the country, Rikshospitalet in Oslo, is also considering seeking help from abroad.
"Right now, the availability of donors is satisfactory, but in half a year the need will most likely be greater. We will continue advertising for Norwegian donors. If the need is very great, we will import," says Peter Fedorcsak, section leader for the Women's Clinic at Rikshospitalet.