In a remarkable leap forward for family planning, Australia has taken a significant step by launching its first-ever free public egg and sperm bank in Victoria.

This groundbreaking initiative combines science and compassion to provide greater accessibility to reproductive options. On July 3, 2023, the Royal Women’s Hospital unveiled this pioneering facility, opening doors for generous Australians to donate eggs and sperm, ultimately contributing to the fulfillment of others’ dreams of starting a family.

This program is part of a comprehensive $120 million initiative that encompasses various public fertility services. These services included essential provisions such as IVF treatments, diagnostic tests and procedures, and counseling support.

Additionally, the program specifically targets Australians undergoing medical treatments that may compromise their fertility, such as those battling conditions like cancer. These individuals are provided with the opportunity to safeguard their reproductive potential through the freezing process, thereby preserving the chance for future family-building endeavors.

The hospital further emphasized that eligible egg donors must be Australian citizens aged between 23 and 38 years, while eligible sperm donors should be Australian citizens aged between 23 and 45 years at the commencement of their donation.

Doctors and researchers have hailed this progressive initiative, recognizing the profound impact that donated eggs and sperm can have on individuals struggling to conceive. However, the initiative received mixed reactions from netizens, which led Real Research, an online survey app, to conduct a survey on Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank.

Read on to learn what people think about the first public egg and sperm bank in Australia:

Key Highlight

  • 40.65% believe the public egg and sperm bank will fulfill all Australians’ parenthood dreams.
  • Nearly 38% expressed concerns about donor anonymity and its impact on a child’s identity.
  • Almost four in ten people are likely to opt for public fertility services as an alternative.

Considering Egg and Sperm Banks for Parenthood

Based on the survey results, a majority of 48.27% claimed to be aware of Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank, while 34.27% confessed to having only vague awareness of it. Those who were unaware accounted for 17.46% of the sample size.

Fig 1: Awareness of the first-ever public egg and sperm bank

In a generic context, when the participants were inquired if they would consider using an egg or sperm bank to start a family, in case they were unable to do so through conventional means, nearly 73% of the respondents showed a positive response. To be precise, 38.49% said they were very likely to opt for this option, while 33.78% stated they were somewhat likely to try the same.

On the other hand, some skeptics showed pessimism towards opting for such a solution if conventional means failed to get them parenthood. For instance, 4.89% acknowledged that they were unlikely to go for this option, while 4.28% strongly opposed taking this route. However, 18.56% were on the fence about this decision.

Attitudes Towards Donated Eggs and Sperm

When it comes to using donated eggs or sperm from an anonymous donor, more than half of the sample size was open to the idea. Specifically, 26.16% claimed that they were very comfortable, and 24.70% were somewhat comfortable.

Meanwhile, 10.59% showed some discomfort in adopting the idea, and 5% said they were very uncomfortable about it. Although a large portion of the population, 33.55%, to be accurate, were neutral about it.

Increased accessibility to help more Victorians achieve their dream of becoming parents is one of the biggest benefits of running a public egg and sperm bank, as cited by 40.65% of the surveyed participants when asked about the perks of this initiative. Another 32.49% pointed out that this initiative will ensure health and safety by using cryopreserved egg/sperm and reducing the risk of congenital conditions among Australians.

11.14% opined that it offers emotional and psychological support to individuals and couples undergoing fertility treatments, while 10.65% were of the idea that this will provide an opportunity for people to fulfill their desire to help others by becoming donors. The remaining 5.08% mentioned other benefits.

Fig 2: The benefits of running a public egg and sperm bank

Factors Influencing Decision-Making

Later on, the survey asked respondents about the potential disadvantages of running a public egg and sperm bank, to which 37.81% argued that the anonymity of sperm/egg donors could cause problems with a child’s identity as they grow up. Another 35.93% emphasized that donor anonymity may lead to litigation, such as disputes over rights to trace donor identity or inheritance claims.

Furthermore, 14.44% highlighted that the sperm and egg bank could potentially impact genetic diversity in the community, leading to negative health outcomes. Along the same lines, 7.34% brought up how these banks might be stigmatized, leading to judgment or ostracization of individuals who use its services. 4.48% of the respondents had other concerns regarding the disadvantages of this bank.

After understanding the pros and cons of this initiative, the survey went on to ask the respondents about the factors that might influence their decision to use Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank, to which 31.98% attributed the cause to the affordability and cost of fertility treatments. 27.06% attributed it to the availability of a diverse and extensive donor pool.

Receiving supportive services, such as counseling and guidance throughout the process, was the primary factor to consider for the bank, stated 16.95%, while 9.91% held the opinion that transparency and access to genetic information about donors would influence their decision-making. 9.3% insisted the reason was the reputation and trustworthiness of the institution. The remaining 4.80% stated other factors.

Legal Complexities in Donor-Conceived Individuals’ Rights

Respondents were further asked if they believed that potential legal complexities or disputes related to the rights of donor-conceived individuals could arise as a result of an initiative like Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank. While answering this, 31.17% reckoned that it is highly likely, while 28.63% stated that it might be somewhat likely.

In contrast, 9.04% of respondents thought it was somewhat unlikely to lead to potential legal complexities, and 3.86% believed it to be absolutely unlikely. Interestingly, 27.30% of the respondents were undecided and couldn’t take a definitive stance.

Fig 3: Stance on public fertility services

A fertility expert described this initiative as an “ambitious” endeavor aimed at reducing barriers to starting a family. To gain insights into public opinion regarding such fertility services, including Australia’s first public egg and sperm bank, respondents were asked to share their views. Surprisingly, the majority of respondents, approximately 40.86%, remained neutral and refrained from choosing a definitive opinion. However, 30.84% expressed support for the initiative, while 28.30% expressed opposition.


Survey TitleSurvey on Australia’s First Public Egg and Sperm Bank
DurationJul 7, 2023 to Jun 13, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.