Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Children of Sperm and Egg Donors Seek Information

An article by Cheryl Miller posted today at www.reason.com raised questions on how the information should be handled, by whom and how much. In "Who's Your Daddy?" Cheryl discusses the plight of one young woman who has a rare stomach disorder. She is in her 20s when records were either destroyed or not kept at all. All she knows is that the sperm donor is of Scandinavian descent. She doesn't want to meet him, but she would desperately like medical information.

Today, most agencies and IVF centers that have their own in-house donor program keep detailed medical and biographical information on their donors. However, the industry is pressing for a national donor registry. I am a member of the American Bar Association's section on Reproduction and the Law and I can tell you that at the last meeting this issue was discussed. It is not going to go away, but I do believe that rather than have the government control and run it, those in the industry should create and control the registry, as the article proposed, with a board of directors as well as guidelines.

If not, we could have a situation like the UK, where couples wait two years, or longer, for a sperm or egg donor because donors cannot receive compensation and cannot be anonymous. One UK woman was able to work with a donor from the United States, but only on apeal from the government and only because her husband has ties to the United States.

I encourage you to read the article as it is in-depth, well-researched and proposes some solutions to this issue.

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