Industry Issues

Where around the world is donor anonymity banned?

Austria, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, New South Wales, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Victoria and Western Australia.

There are frequent comments that ending donor anonymity will automatically
result in a drop in donor numbers.

The HFEA in the UK has updated its figures to include two more years showing
that the numbers of UK sperm donors have gone *up* six years in a row since the
ending of anonymity, thus reversing a three year decline. The 480 sperm donors
in 2010 was the highest figure since they started keeping records, and more than
double the figure in 2004 just before anonymity ended. The numbers of egg
donors have also gone up four years in a row, and the 1258 egg donors in 2010
was the second highest figure ever.

All new donors registered

Year Sperm donors Egg donors
1992 375 451
1993 426 528 
1994 417  732 
1995 414  749 
1996 419  806
1997 343  910
1998 256 943
1999 302 1,120
2000 323 1,241
2001 327 1,302
2002 288 1,174
2003 257 1,032
2004 239 1,107
2005 272 1,023
2006 303 803
2007 360 1,024
2008 405 1,167
2009 438 1,202
2010 480 1,258


4/14: Fox News: It's time for states to outlaw anonymous sperm, ova donations

1/14: More children born from sperm donors seeking out genetic family

1/14: Guest Blog: An Adoptee's Reaction to MTV's Generation Cryo

1/14: TX Family Discovers Switched Sperm Donor A family discovers that they were the victims of a sample switch at a Utah fertility clinic.

8/13: The Age, Victoria, AU:  State law change to help children find donor parent

8/13: CBC News:  4 women received wrong sperm. "In an agreed statement of facts, five women were involved in four artificial inseminations provided by Barwin between 1986 and 2007 and in all four cases DNA tests confirmed the women received the wrong sperm."

9/12 BBC News: Denmark tightens sperm donor law after NF1 transmissions (pdf)

9/12 Daily Mail: Danish sperm donor passes rare genetic disorder (pdf)
The BBC News and Daily Mail articles are referencing an earlier story, originally reported by DSR members (see the 5/11 Copenhagen Post article on our Medical Issues page).  The interesting thing about this story is that this donor is also a California Cryobank donor. We regularly hear stories about sperm donors passing along medical and genetic issues to children here in the US, but no regulation is ever initiated.

5/12 BioNews: A call by the Donor Sibling Registry to stop using the figures of 30,000-60,000 US sperm donor births (pdf)

3/12 The Sydney Morning Herald: We can't keep them in the dark (pdf)

10/11 Salon: Are Sperm Banks Unethical? (pdf)

10/11 NBC Dallas: Some Call for Regulation of Sperm Banks (pdf)

10/11 Colorado Public Radio: 'Donor Unknown': One Girl's Quest to Find Her Father (link to website)
Audio interview with Wendy Kramer 

10/11 New York Times: Getting to Know a Sperm-Donor Dad (pdf)

10/11 AlterNet: One Man Fathering 150 Children? Why Sperm Banks May Be Unethical (pdf)

8/11 USC Reporting on Health: The Secrets of Fertopolis: Should Sperm and Egg Donors Have to Disclose Their Identities? (pdf)

4/11 Infertility & Reproductive News: Impact of Egg, Sperm, and Embryo Donor Conception on Families (pdf)

3/11 The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity: Regulation (or Lack Thereof) of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the U.S. and Abroad (pdf)
Among developed nations, the U.S. assisted reproduction or fertility industry is one of the least regulated. This has led to a reproductive free-for-all. Any technological means, regardless of the medical and ethical consequences, can be utilized in the pursuit of parenthood if the price is right.

1/11 BioNews: Paying gamete and embryo donors: what are the right principles? (pdf)

10/10 The Guardian: Shortage? What shortage? How the sperm donor debate missed its mark (pdf)

2010 The Columbia Science and Technology Law Review: The Regulation of Genetic Aspects of Donated Reproductive Tissue--The Need for Federal Regulation (pdf

5/09 BioNews: The case for comprehensive medical testing of gamete donors (pdf)

4/09 International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family: Donor-Conceived People's Access to Genetic and Biographical History: An Analysis of Provisions in Different Jurisdictions Permitting Disclosure of Donor Identity (pdf)

4/09 Sperm Banks Can Be Sued Under Product Liability Laws, Federal Judge Rules (pdf)

Fall 08 Human Life Review: “Donor Offspring” Redefining Family (pdf)

3/08 Wendy Kramer's Speech: DONOR SIBLING REGISTRY: Educating, Connecting and Supporting Donor Families (pdf)
I believe that it is of paramount importance that this industry examine and address the issues of educating, connecting, and supporting donor families as well as the necessity of more accurate record keeping and accountability.

2/06 U.S. News & World Report: Who's Your Daddy? (pdf)

Marilyn Huff: What's the Limit of Offspring per Donor? (pdf)
A commentary on the ASRM's guidelines for the number of offspring per donor.

8/88 Princeton University: Artificial Insemination: Practice in the United States: Summary of a 1987 Survey (pdf)
This is the only survey on US sperm banks to date.  It erroneously stated that there were 30,000 donor-offspring born each year in the US. The same number that's used today, 25 years later.

Other Relevant Articles

We've included many articles on the law, the ethics, the comparisons to adoption, the need for regulation, and the nuts and bolts of donor conception. Issues we should all ponder!

12/11 BioNews: Of family and finance: Israeli citizens without rights and HFEA remuneration (pdf)

9/10 The Globe and Mail: Doctor sued over allegedly mixing up sperm samples (pdf)

7/10 BioNews: 'My Daddy's Name is Donor': Read with caution! (pdf)

2009 Medicine and Law: Donation of Eggs in Assisted Reproduction and Informed Consent (pdf

12/09 Genomics Law Report: Reproductive Genetic Screening: More Questions Than Answers (pdf)

11/09 BioNews: Children's human rights and assisted human reproduction (pdf)

6/09 National Review: Scrambled Ethics (pdf)

2/09 Adoption Institute: Old Lessons For a New World: Applying Adoption Research and Experience to Assisted Reproductive Technology (pdf)

1/09 ASRM Ethics Committee: Interests, obligations, and rights of the donor in gamete donation (pdf)

12/08 The Wall Street Journal: Ova Time: Women Line Up To Donate Eggs -- for Money (pdf)

6/08 Medical News Today: Donor Offspring May Feel Betrayal, Anger: Study (pdf)

6/08 ADVANCE: Conceivable Truths (pdf)

4/08 Naomi Cahn: Necessary Subjects:  The Need for a Mandatory National Donor Gamete Registry (pdf)

11/07 Center for Genetics and Society: It’s Time for an Egg Donor Registry and Long-term Follow-up (pdf)

2007 Thomas K. Sylvester, Yale Law School: The Case Against Sperm Donor Anonymity (pdf

2007 CNN: States urged to open adoption records (pdf)

2007 Best Practice & Research: Donor gametes: anonymous or identified? (pdf)

3/07 Manchester Evening News: Men still donating sperm (pdf)

4/07 American Fertility Association Newsletter: DNA And The Exploding Myth Of Donor Anonymity (pdf)

11/05 Anonymous sperm donor traced on internet (pdf)

The Sperm Bank of California: Research (link to research)

Please browse our "News" page as there have been many news stories over the past decade addressing the many issues within the reproductive medicine industry.