Getting donor sperm from US to Canada? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-17-2010, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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A friend suggested I come to this board and see if anyone has experience with this. My partner and I had our first child in the US. Since then we've immigrated to Canada, and are considering trying for a second baby. Of course, we'd like to use the same donor, who is still available, but the sperm bank does not ship to Canada, nor is it one of the few that seem to have arrangements with Canadian clinics.

I understand that Health Canada can give you exemptions from the sperm importation guidelines, and suspect that our situation is exactly the kind of one this loophole was made for. But figuring out the details is rather tricky -- the HC website is not the most helpful and all the links to clinics/professional associations are not aimed at us (but rather at serious fertility services - we just want to be allowed to either ship the stuff to us or ship it to friends near the border and carry it across).

Has anyone done this? Or, does anyone have advice on where to get advice on it? Thanks!
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#2 of 5 Old 08-17-2010, 02:40 PM
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Hi Egbdf!

I don't have any experience with what you're suggestion, but just thought I'd throw something out there (and maybe you've already thought of this). Would it be possible to avoid all the hassle with HC and just use the sperm stateside? Otherwise, I'd check to see if there's a number that you can call to get advice.

Good luck!
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#3 of 5 Old 08-17-2010, 07:08 PM
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Hello !

Sorry ! No help... We used a canadian compliant bank (xytex) and even then, they can only ship to clinics in Canada, we are not allowed to own frozen sperm at home in case we want to experiment with human cloning (no joke... grrr).

I was going to suggest using a fertility clinic in northern USA... and travelling for insems.


Celebrating the arrival of our twins twins.gifCharlie & Chloe, born Jan 28th 2011 !



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#4 of 5 Old 08-18-2010, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your responses. In theory we could ship from the bank to friends not far from the border and travel down, but it's kind of logistically wonky.

Timing isn't a perfectly exact science, you know? Our friends would have to receive it and then we'd go down with the existing kid for an overnight (or more?) and insem at a hotel. We'd have to do this again (taking off from work for at least a day, presumably) each month we tried. And, under that plan we'd have to ask our friends to care for it from delivery time until the ovaries are ready (in past experience this could be a week), meaning buying and refreshing the dry ice, keeping it in their freezer. I don't think they're quite *that* close friends! (Plus I think they have been TTC without luck so asking them to care for our sperm might be extra weird.)

I'd rather not involve a clinic because that seems both expensive and kind of privacy-invasive. I do think my GP would receive it for me if I could just figure out how to get it here.

I would really like to find a way to get a HC exception/waiver to import it myself for personal use. If I needed to ship to a clinic here I guess I could do that too (although I'll be pretty cheesed if they charge an arm & a leg for that). I guess I will try calling HC some day when I can spend a lot of time on hold and see what I can find out.

I had no idea this would be such a stupid process! Last time I just went to the health dept and had them run STI tests and then ordered the stuff, and everything turned out fine.
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#5 of 5 Old 08-25-2010, 10:03 PM
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We lived in Canada when I started trying to get pregnant for the second time. We were in Toronto, and I ended up using a clinic in Buffalo since I found the process of getting a waiver too daunting. (Though my understanding is that it is meant for people like us who already had a kid by the same donor.) I'm pretty sure you'd have to involve a clinic in Canada anyway, as the recipient, so that might be a source of information. At least for the clinics I looked at, the US clinic was cheaper--the driving was no fun and took a lot of time, but I had a schedule that allowed it then.
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