The Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) was founded in 2000 to assist individuals conceived as a result of sperm, egg or embryo donation who are seeking to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties. Without any outside support, the DSR has pioneered an international discussion about the donor conception industry and the families, with its research and many media appearances, speaking engagements, and interviews. The DSR advocates for the right to honesty and transparency for donor-conceived people, for social acceptance and legal rights, and values 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, egg donation agencies, and cryobanks do not engage in discussions and activities which acknowledge the humanity and rights of the donor-conceived. It is our mission to bring these concepts to the public arena for discussion, as has been done in many European countries, as well as New Zealand and Australia.
Since 2000, we have provided support and connection to families which have been developed via donor conception, advocated for the rights of the donor-conceived, and educated the general public through national media interviews and appearances about the issues, challenges, and rights of the donor-conceived community.
Parents are sometimes not prepared for their children's curiosity and desire to know more about their genetic background. In order to move out of the secrecy and shame that has for so long shrouded donor conception, the DSR will continue to educate parents and the general public on the importance of honoring and supporting their children's natural drive to know more about their identity.
The DSR also ensures that the donor-conceived have a safe place to search for their biological identities and to make these connections with their half-siblings and where possible, their donors as well. When matching on the DSR, make sure to ask a few pieces of information from the donor profile that have not been posted, and that only the donor, or someone with the donor's profile would know.
Looking Ahead: Our goals for 2018:
- To continue facilitating donor family connections
- Further expand media coverage of the donor-conceived community's issues
- Initiate and continue academic partnerships for research and outreach
- Continue outreach programs to the reproductive medicine industry, universities, legal organizations, LGBTQ Organizations, mental health professionals, and the public
- Continue to encourage regulation of the fertility industry. We will continue to think and dialog deeply, rigorously, and critically, about how to move this industry forward in a more responsible manner- considering the needs and rights of all stakeholders, but most importantly, the needs and rights of donor-conceived people.
- Reach the milestone of 60,000 DSR members by the end of 2018.
The DSR is such a valuable resource, source of support and safe place to explore our diverse family structures, trials, conflicts, joy and sorrow inherent to pioneering these human relations
I have been deeply moved by Wendy and Ryan’s vision of greater openness regarding gamete donation, and the ingenuity of the new pathways they have developed for donor-conceived offspring, gamete donors and their family members to find each other. I have seen ample evidence of the profound impact of their work on many individuals and families. Their work has been both a catalyst and a foundation for a growing social movement to recognize the human right of donor-conceived offspring to knowledge about their origins. This is a movement that is changing norms, social policies and laws related to gamete donation in jurisdictions around the globe and made a major contribution to raising the ethical standards guiding the expansion of the fertility industry.
The Kramers’ work on this issue will continue to inspire others for decades to come because of the organization he has built and the many families they have brought together. In advocating for greater transparency in assisted reproduction they have not only increased people’s options, they have helped to create conditions that are central to ensuring that as the fertility industry continues to expand, human values and human rights are placed front and center.