Men are permitted to deposit sperm in a sperm bank for purposes of fertility preservation if there is concern that the sperm will be damaged or that the reproductive system may be damaged as the result of a malignant disease, radiation, prolonged illness, medical treatments or any other reason.
- Sperm which is deposited is only intended for the future use of the depositor, as opposed to a sperm donation, which is given anonymously and for which the donor may not decide how it will be used.
Who is Eligible?
- Men who would like to preserve their sperm in a sperm bank for purposes of fertility preservation.
How to Claim It?
- At the time of preservation, the depositor must provide details regarding the conditions for use of the sperm and what will be done with it if he dies.
- The depositor must fill out these details and his special instructions on a sperm depositor form.
- Among other things, the depositor must also declare on this form that he knows that the sperm will be preserved according to the technological knowledge currently available in the hospitals, that complete information regarding potential change in terms of the sperm's quality over a long period of time is unknown, and that it is possible that the sperm's quality and effectiveness may be damaged over the years.
- The depositor must also agree to pay all fees and costs charged by the sperm bank. If he does not pay the required costs, the sperm bank will not be required to preserve the sperm that was deposited.
- Sperm will be preserved in the sperm bank for a period of time to be defined after considering the depositor's age, medical information and family status.
- After ten years from the date the sperm was deposited, if there has been no contact with the depositor, and with consideration given to his age, the sperm may be unfrozen after the sperm bank director receives approval from the committee responsible for approving destruction of stored sperm. The committee is appointed by the director of the hospital and is composed of the director of the sperm bank, a jurist and a risk management professional.
Death of the Depositor
- If the depositor dies, actions must be taken in accordance with the instructions he provided on the sperm depositor form described above.
- If the depositor left instructions to destroy the sperm upon his death, this must be done.
- If the depositor left instructions permitting the sperm to be used for fertility purposes by his partner, she may use the sperm as part of fertility treatment if both of the following conditions are met:
- Six months have passed since the date of death.
- A social worker has provided a professional opinion clarifying that the treatment is being performed according to the complete free will of the partner, and not due to any emotional, financial or other pressures.
- If the partner requests to continue storing the sperm, this must be done (as long as it is in accordance with the depositor's instructions as indicated on the sperm depositor form).
- If a year has passed since the date of death and the partner has not requested to use the sperm or continue storing it, the sperm bank is permitted to unfreeze and destroy it. This will be done after one year has passed since the date of death and after receiving approval from a special committee appointed by the director of the hospital, which is composed of the director of the sperm bank, a jurist and a risk management professional.
- Depositing and storing sperm in a sperm bank requires payment.
- Cancer patients are entitled to receive financial assistance from the health plans towards the costs of storing sperm in a sperm bank. The assistance is limited to five years.
- For more information, see the Israel Cancer Association's website.
- Cancer patients insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services who are about to undergo oncological treatment, chemotherapy or radiation, are entitled to freeze 5 units of sperm per year and store 5 units of sperm in a sperm bank for up to five years without a co-payment. Eligibility is only for the first and second children with the current partner. The taking of sperm samples and cryo-preservation are performed in public hospitals. For more information, see the Maccabi website.
Laws and Regulations
- Ministry of Health Director Circular 20/07 from 08.11.2007 - Rules regarding the management of sperm banks and guidelines for performing artificial insemination
- Attorney General Directive 1.2202 from 27.10.2003 - Use of sperm after the depositor's death
- Sheba Hospital Sperm Bank
- List of hospitals that have facilities to perform sperm freezing from the Israel Cancer Association website
- Original information provided by the IMA.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.