Importance of Honesty in Donor-Conceived Families

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At the Denver Motherhood conference, I’m listening now to a talk by Wendy Kramer, co-founder and Director of the Donor Sibling Registry.  Here’s an excerpt from the organization’s “About Us” statement:

The Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) was founded in 2000 to assist individuals conceived as a result of sperm, egg or embryo donation that are seeking to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties.   Without any outside support, the DSR has single-handedly pioneered a national discussion about the donor conception industry and families, with it’s many media appearances and interviews. DSR advocates for the right to honesty and transparency for donor kids, and for social acceptance, legal rights and valuing the diversity of all families.

The DSR’s core value is honesty, with the conviction that people have the fundamental right to information about their biological origins and identities. The donor conception industry is largely a for-profit enterprise, and after the”product”has been purchased, most doctors, clinics and cryobanks have not engaged in discussions and activities acknowledging the humanity and rights of the donor-conceived. It is our mission to bring these concepts to the attention of the public arena for discussion, as has been done in many European countries.

More information is here.

Ms. Kramer predicts that anonymous sperm donation eventually will be eliminated in the United States.  She is also critical of the fertility industry’s failure to  study health histories of egg donors.

She referenced a study of 750 donor-conceived children (52% of those surveyed were not affiliated with the Donor Sibling Registry).  70% of respondents say they wished their known parent had used a non-anonymous donor.

-Bridget Crawford

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