Also Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvQP7JSydMw
THE CENTER FOR BIOETHICS AND CULTURE presents “ANONYMOUS FATHER’S DAY”
Directed by JENNIFER LAHL Written by JENNIFER LAHL & MATTHEW EPPINETTE
Edited by BRENDAN KRUSE Directory of Photography JASON JOSEFFER and ANDREW SIMS
Executive Producer JENNIFER LAHL Associate Producer MATTHEW EPPINETTE
Music by ALANA S.
About Anonymous Father’s Day
Thousands of donor-conceived people have a deep longing to know who they belong to, where they come from, and who they look like. What is it like to grow up not knowing who your biological father is or if you have any siblings? What is it like to find out that the man you thought was your dad is not your biological father, that your true biological father donated his sperm and is known only by a number? How does it impact your self-perception, the choices you make, and your view of life and the world? Donor-conceived people are demanding answers to these basic questions about their origins, their lives, and their identities.
From The Center for Bioethics and Culture, producers of Lines That Divide (2009) and the award-winning Eggsploitation (2010), Anonymous Father’s Day explores the stories of women and men who are the children of sperm donors. Written, directed and produced by Jennifer Lahl, Matthew Eppinette (producer and writer), and Evan C. Rosa (graphic designer).
What Others are Saying
The great virtue of Anonymous Father’s Day is that it asks us to examine a practice many simply take for granted. Focusing on the thoughtful and thought-provoking comments of three people who were themselves conceived by means of anonymous sperm donation, this documentary invites us to think about the well-being of those who had no say in the process—the children conceived as part of someone else’s reproductive project. Because they should not and cannot be taken for granted, neither can the practice that helped to produce them.
Gilbert Meilaender, Ph.D., Duesenberg Professor in Christian Ethics, Valparaiso University
Anonymous Father’s Day gives a voice to those adult children of Third Party Reproduction (TPR) who have a fundamental human right to information about their genetic history for their health and medical care, to their identity and family history, and to siblings they may have all over the world. The U.S. obsession with capitalist profit-generation has resulted in a major human rights violation of the children of TPR. It is a damning indictment that the U.S. is the only country in the world besides Somalia to have failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Jennifer Lahl’s film sheds much needed light on an ever-growing population ignored and too often silenced by society.
Kathleen Sloan, Feminist, human rights advocate, and author, National Organization for Women (NOW)
So absorbing I watched it twice . . . a profound documentary.
Jill Stanek, nurse turned speaker, columnist, and blogger, a national figure in the effort to protect innocent human life
Anonymous Father’s Day should be required viewing for anyone considering donating or selling their sperm, as well as for anyone contemplating using this method of conceiving a child. The film beautifully reveals the stories of three donor-conceived adults whose needs have been entirely ignored by an industry that only considers the desires, money and frequent dishonesty of adults desperate to have a baby.
Kevin D., a sperm donor who has been denied a relationship with his biological child
It is easy for anyone to sympathize with the plight of infertile couples and their desire to have a baby. What is often left out (and what is covered so well by the film) is that the babies become adults who have been denied half their heritage. Seeing and hearing the donor-conceived offspring in the film has so much impact. They are speaking for thousands of others.
Bill, a former sperm donor
Anonymous Father’s Day is so refreshingly honest and so ‘human.’ It is so so good to see a documentary from the viewpoint of the people that this directly affects the most — the children we have created. This is the first I have seen from this perspective, focused on their views and feelings and the rights they so rightly deserve to have. What an inspiration to human rights.
Sue H., mother of a donor-conceived child
Thank you so much for making Anonymous Father’s Day. I am 55. Two years ago, I learned from my father on his death bed that I was conceived using sperm from an anonymous donor. The only thing that my father knew was that the donor was a doctor.
There were so many things in your film that rang exactly true with my own experience. To give an example, just like Stephanie, I had both wondered if I had been adopted and knew that I couldn’t have been. Like the other people presented in the film, I have searched (without success so far) for my biological father.
Learning that I was donor-conceived was a real shock. It literally felt like the bottom was dropping out of my life. It made me try to reconstruct my earlier life, which I am doing. If I had been able to see this film when I first learned about my conception would have been tremendously helpful.
I am very actively engaged in trying to find out who biological father might have been. All that I knew was that my parents’ doctor in New York City had told them that the donor was a doctor.
Although I have figured some things out – he must have been Jewish (based on my results from FamilyTreeDNA.com) and probably associated with NYU (my mother’s OB/GYN was associated with NYU and there was a fertility doctor there), I have yet to determine who the donor was. But I’m still looking.”
Think Again: A Study Guide on the Legal, Medical, and Ethical Questions of Third Party Reproduction is intended for a wide audience as we aim to meet the needs of high school groups, university students, law groups, church groups, and any other group interested in the issues of third party reproduction. Most importantly, the study guide is available for FREE in order to maximize distribution and use. You can download it here.
Here is a two-page fact sheet highlighting and providing references to medical and scientific literature on issues that arise in third-party reproduction. The information is divided into three sections that address (1) health and psychological risks to women serving as egg vendors or surrogates, (2) health and psychological risks to the children born via third party reproductive arrangements, and (3) serious problems associated with the commercialization of conception.
Testimonies, Interviews, and Stories
We are currently scheduling additional showings. If you are interested in hosting a showing, please contact email@example.com.
You may also be interested in screenings of our award-winning 2010 documentary Eggsploitation.
Host a Screening
We welcome small home and community showings of Anonymous Father’s Day. Here are a few guidelines to help you get your screening set up:
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tell us about yourself and/or your organization and your screening plans. Who is your audience? When and where you will hold your showing?
- Confirm details with us so we have the option to make your showing information available on our website.
- Let us know if you would like one of the filmmakers present at your showing to discuss the film. Travel costs and honorarium must be covered.
- Community showings must be free and open to the public (you may not charge an entrance fee, or make a profit of any kind from the screening).
- Broadcasting over television or internet—including audio/video recordings, live web streaming, and posting to the web—is strictly prohibited.