There is a growing concern about psychological problems developing within children conceived through the use of donated sperm. The concern is focused on the child never knowing their biological father and family.
Currently, the sperm donor is protected by a secrecy clause that is legally binding. Sperm donor secrecy began in 1884 with the first known artificially inseminated pregnancy. The husband in that case requested the secrecy.
Psychological issues can arise in donor children as the child grows and begins to understand how they were conceived. Questions such as who is my father, do I have any siblings, who are my biological grandparents and relatives, and what is the medical history on my biological father’s side of the family.
A website was created by Wendy Kramer and her donor conceived son. The website, Donor Sibling Registry, was designed to help donor children find their biological siblings. The website also provides sperm donors the opportunity to register and get in contact with their sperm donated children. The registry was designed to help alleviate some of the concerns of donor children. Wendy is open to communication and questions concerning donor children. She can be e-mailed directly at Wendy.Kramer@yahoo.com.
There is no data available to show donor children have a higher risk of psychological concerns over normally conceived children. A donor child raised in a loving family with open and good communication will help to alleviate the anxiety concerning their unanswered questions. Listening is the key to helping any child avoid psychological problems. A parent needs to be pro-active and watch for signs of issues developing as a child ages.
Approximately 5000 births a year are the product of donor-inseminated children in the United States. Xytex Cryo released this figure. Xytex Cryo is one of the largest sperm banks in the United States.
There are 15 sperm banks and approximately 1500 donors in the United States. Great Britain has only 5 sperm banks with less than 307 donors. Their donations decreased drastically after they passed a law stating sperm donor offspring could find out the identity of their biological father in 2005. The Dutch had the same problem in 2004. Donor children from the United States are currently pushing to have the secrecy clause lifted. They feel it is their right to know their biological father and family.
The benefit of a sperm donor provides children to infertile couples. This is a beautiful benefit that has been developed through the use of science. All parents have to anticipate their children’s needs. There is no pattern to show that donor children will have a higher risk of developing pscyhological problems. Donor children parents have the added concern that their child may want to find their biological family. Locate a sperm bank that makes communication easier for the child if they desire biological contact.
Egg Donation: Psychological Experience of Recipients