Elias Gatos, M.D.
Surgeon Gynecologist – Obstetrician
Scientific Director emBIO Assisted Reproduction Unit

Egg and sperm donation

Strict requirements on egg/sperm donation have been applied in Greece.

Gamete donation

a) Requirements

Gamete donation requirements are specified in article 8 (7) of Law 3305/2005. Donors must be adults in full capacity to exercise their rights. To provide sperm, a donor must not have reached the age of 40, whereas to provide eggs, a donor must not have reached the age of 35. These age limits may be increased up to the age of 50 and 40 respectively in case of fertilised egg donation unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise, following a decision by the National Medically Assisted Reproduction Authority (IYA).

In the event where following a decision by the Authority, age limits are increased, the recipients should be specifically notified of the increased risk for genetic diseases and prenatal testing should be recommended. Donors mandatorily have clinical and laboratory testing performed specified by the Authority in its decision and they will not be eligible if suffering from hereditary, genetic, or infectious diseases.

b) How to make gametes available

It is prohibited to make gametes and fertilised eggs available by giving any considerations to the donor. However, it is allowed to make gametes and fertilised eggs available with a view to providing assistance to have a child using medically assisted reproduction performed with the donors’ consent. In the event where donors are married or living in free union, the wife’s or partner’s written consent is also required. Pursuant to article 8 (5) of Law 3305/2005, paying costs required to collect and cryopreserve gametes is not a consideration. These costs include: i) medical, laboratory, and hospital costs before, during, and after gamete collection, ii) donor travel and stay costs, iii) any direct damage sustained by the donor as a result from abstaining from work, as well as compensation of employee not paid due to absence in preparation of and during gamete collection. The amount of covered costs and compensation will be specified in a decision by the Authority.

Medical information about the third-party donor pursuant to article 1460 of the Civil Code will be kept in full confidence and coded form at the Cryopreservation Bank and the national donor and recipient record.

c) Using single donor gametes

Pursuant to article 9 of Law 3305/2005 it is prohibited to use gametes coming from more than one donor during a single treatment cycle. Children resulting from the gametes of a single third-party donor are not allowed to exceed ten, unless it is the case of a new child being born to a couple already having a child using such donor’s gametes. A decision by the Authority may specify the exact number of children resulting from the same donor depending on the population of a particular area and other particular conditions. Selection of the third-party donor, whose gametes will be used in each treatment cycle, is made by organised Medically Assisted Reproduction Units (MIYA). To select gametes, ABO and Rhesus blood typing, as well as the phenotypic characteristics of recipients with which family relations will be established, are taken under special consideration. These will also apply in making fertilised eggs available without any considerations.


Let's have a chat

Learn more about IVF.