“Could one man really father 533 children?”

Slate Article on upcoming “Delivery Man” Movie

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/07/09/delivery_man_fact_checked_how_much_sperm_would_you_have_to_donate_to_father.html

Wow, this reporter sure got a lot of things wrong!

1. “Most sperm banks and fertility clinics cap the number of donations that even the most generous donors can make.” No they most certainly do not. In addition, sperm banks are not required to, and therefore do not, keep accurate records of how many children are born from any one donor. Therefore, there are no limits in place for the number of children that can be born to any one donor.
2. “In the United States, for example, most fertility clinics and sperm banks adhere to guidelines issued by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which recommends restricting conceptions by individual donors to 25 births per population area of 800,000.” Again, because there is no accurate record keeping, “guidelines” are not followed. Most sperm banks have no idea about how many children are born to any one donor, so how can they possibly enforce limits?
3. “…each ejaculation provides three to four vials of semen…”. Again, nope. We have donors listed on the DSR that have reported more than 20-25 vials resulting from one single donation. (One of these donors donated for many years, and currently has more than 75 donor offspring.)
4. “…it would take almost seven years to provide sufficient semen. Donors never participate for that long..” Wrong again. From a research paper on 164 sperm donors, currently In Press: “Just over two thirds (112- 70%) of donors had donated for 1-4 years, with 22 (13.7%) donating for less than a year and 19 (22.5%) donating for between 4-10 years. Seven (4.4%) reported that they had donated for over 10 years.”
5. “…and some have begun keeping registries to prevent donors from participating in multiple banks.” No, there is nothing currently in place to keep donors from donating at more than one place. The sperm banks have talked about such a “registry” for years, but it has not ever happened. Two separate studies showed that between 22-27% of donors donate to multiple clinics. Some donating to more than ten and even up to 17 clinics.
6. The Donor Sibling Registry has many large groups of half siblings, the largest approaching 200. (This is the group reported in the September 2011 NY Times Article).
So this is not merely ”fanciful storytelling”. It may also reveal the realities of an industry run without any oversight or regulation.

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