Scandi chic is the hot fashion trend du jour, but our love of all things Scandinavian has spread to another, rather more intimate, area of our lives – our children.
It’s not just a liking of their Nordic good looks (an added bonus!), but more a question of the availability of sperm in the UK, which has led to a boom in ‘Viking’ babies – according to a recent article in The Telegraph.
‘It’s a bit like the Viking invasion of 800AD,’ according to Dr Allan Pacey, a fertility expert from the University of Sheffield and current chairman of the British Fertility Society.
‘They’ve invaded us once by boat, and now they’re doing it by sperm.’
Clinics can’t recruit enough men to keep up with the growing demand for sperm, and as a result, are looking abroad, as journalist Kate Brian found when researching for an upcoming BBC Radio 4 documentary.
The percentage of new registered donors from overseas has more than doubled in recent years, from 11 to 24 per cent – and around a third of those imports are from Denmark.
Part of the issue seems to be down to the UK’s systems, which don’t recruit donors on a large scale. What's more, on average, just one in every 20 men who applies will be suitable to donate.
Those deemed suitable then need to go thorough tests and need to commit to regular visits to the clinic, usually during the working day.
Clinics find that it’s often easier to suggest their clients use a Danish donor, where a specialist sperm bank has the resources to devote to finding the five per cent who are suitable to donate.
Couples looking for a donor can also find far more detailed profiles of Danish donors, from education and medical history to hobbies and even photos of them as a baby.
"The New Viking Invasion" presented by Kate Brian and produced by Steve Urquhart will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 27th June at 11am.