When New Zealander Kathryn Heape realised the fairy tale of marriage and kids was taking its sweet time she took out an insurance policy and applied for donated sperm.
“Since I was 10 years old, I just expected to have a baby when I grew up,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to be a mother, but the idea of going to a clinic for that never featured.”
With the encouragement of her family and friends, Heape registered with a clinic. What she didn’t realise was that the current waiting list was up to two years.
“I had no idea there was a shortage, that came as a real surprise. But it’s something out of my control, so I just tried to get on with life while I waited. I kept dating, still hoping to have a baby the traditional way.”
New Zealand is in the grip of a sperm drought, with fertility counsellors saying long waiting times are putting significant strain on already stressed prospective mothers. “Increasingly we are hearing of New Zealand women travelling overseas for reproductive tourism,” said Dr Mary Birdsall, a fertility specialist with Fertility Associates. Read more