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Mon May 05 2003 22:39:35 ET

A cyberspace sperm-for-sale clinic which targets lesbians and single women was today claiming to be the first British fertility organisation to accept gay donors.

ManNotIncluded.Com has come under fire from religious and family campaigners for offering women the chance to have babies without needing a male partner.

Instead, they are charged around �1,000 to be matched with anonymous sperm donors and are then sent kits which allow customers to inseminate themselves.

Critics have branded the scheme as DIY pregnancy, and claim it will lead children to be treated like commodities.

Clinic founder John Gonzales has previously claimed his company will stop women using Internet and newspaper adverts to find sperm donors.

Now the firm, which bills itself as the first online service dedicated to matching sperm donors, claims it has decided to accept gay donors in response to customer demand.

As donors supply fresh samples, the company falls outside the remit of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, meaning it is unlicensed.

The current HFEA code of practice - which acts as a good practice guide - does not advise fertility clinics to reject potential donors because of their sexuality.

But Mr Gonzalez said: "Every single clinic or sperm bank I have looked at, said they would not accept gay donors."

He claimed to have looked at the donor acceptance policies of 25 clinics in Britain, which represents more than two thirds of the total number in the country.

Mr Gonzalez said: "We have listened to the demands of women coming to us for help and to the concerns of the wider lesbian, gay bisexual public. Unlike other fertility centres we will not be discriminating against gay donors.

"Lesbians hook up with gay men all the time - either friends or guys they've met through personal ads. We are now simply allowing them to do so safely and without discrimination."

All MNI donors will continue to undergo rigorous health checks, including HIV tests, and must sign assurances that they have never engaged in unsafe sexual activity, the company claimed.

But customers wishing to have gay donors must also sign a disclaimer accepting any additional risks, MNI added.

Furthermore, the company has announced support for those who wish to use a known donor.

The firm said it would assist women in the processes of donor testing and insemination logistics.

Once again, both recipients and known donors will have to sign disclaimers accepting full liability for any potential future legal disputes over access, paternity or finance which may arise.

MNI launched in July last year and has over 3,000 donors and 2,000 recipients registered.


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