Finally some data coming out on this from the United Kingdom, which has moved to take the anonymity out of sperm and egg donation (there we go again with euphemisms). Now, it is the right of the child, created by egg or sperm donation, to find out who their biological parents are once they reach adulthood.
A recent survey of DI (donor insemination)services by the British Fertility Society found that:
37 per cent of clinics are finding it harder to recruit donors
94 per cent of clinics are finding it harder to buy in donor sperm
74 per cent of clinics have increased their waiting lists for DI treatment
86 per cent of clinics are able to offer less choice of donor. Most are now only able to match for racial group alone.
60 per cent have introduced rationing of treatment cycles
9 per cent have closed their DI service
89 per cent charge more for treatment because of the increased cost of the sperm they are able to purchase.
It’s no wonder these facts present. Donors and purchasers of donated sperm and eggs want all of this kept anonymous. Thankfully though, the children’s interest are being considered. I did find it odd that sperm donation was considered a treatment. Naturally, the IVF industry is concerned about these trends and is wanting new policies which would allow for ‘non-identifying’ information to be given out. That would mean you couldn’t find out who your daddy is, but you could find out that your daddy had blue eyes and blond hair. How personal!
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.