Thank you Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society, for shining a light on an issue that has been in the shadows or too many years. In her blog subtitled, "donor kids are growing up and speaking out," she writes about the importance of donor-conceived children having access to information about their sperm source.
"Donor-conceived children," writes Damovksy, "have been working for years to make the case that they, like adopted people in many jurisdictions, have a right to this information."
Damovsky makes a great point comparing children conceived with donor sperm to adopted children. And while for many children, it may just be a look-see, for others it is about retrieving medical information.
Our fresh and frozen gametes are checked extensively for several infectious and some genetic diseases. But beyond that, record keeping is piecemeal. What's more, the last time anyone in the U.S. tallied the number of ampules of sperm sold or babies born from them was in 1988 by the now defunct Office of Technology Assessment. It estimated 30,000 babies were born from donor sperm between 1986 and 1987. Since then no one has counted how much sperm is bought and sold nationally and how many babies are born from donor sperm or, most importantly, how many babies are born from each donor. There is no way to know whether your sperm donor baby has one or 50 half siblings. There is no way to know if the babies born from a particular donor suffer from the same genetically linked disease because no one is keeping track.