Should Anonymous Sperm Donation Be Banned?

Is anyone not thinking about sperm donation right now, given the ubiquitous billboards for the movie THE SWITCH featuring Jason Bateman sniffing a cup of jizz?

Anonymous sperm donation is now banned in Britain and several other European countries, and some people are pushing for the same to happen here in the U.S. Proponents of the ban point to a recent study by the Commission on Parenthood’s Future, titled “My Daddy’s Name is Donor,” which surveyed 485 sperm donor offspring (all now adults) and found that they were more prone to depression and other emotional troubles compared to other young adults in control groups. The authors of the study recommended an end to anonymous sperm donation.

What do you think? Why does egg donation seem such a weighty, consequential decision for women, more so than sperm donation is for men? And what would be the consequences of banning anonymous sperm donation?

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  1. Yes- commercial sperm donation should be banned- as the rights and the needs of the child are last on the list of priorities.
    Even if children dont want to know of their biological origins- or meet him- they deserve to at least have that information.
    Many are now turning their backs on this- and instead creating arrangements that focus on the child- and on the biological father (‘donor dad’) being known to the child from the beginning even if not actively involved in the parenting. DIY Baby (FSDW) is the leading site promoting this. (http://www.free-sperm-donations.com)
    Please see http://www.childrendeservetoknow.com There is a free ‘Donor Dad’ questionnaire there to use as a starting point.
    But dont set out not allowing a child to now where they come from. Biology matters. And it isnt our right to decide it shouldnt matter to the child.

  2. One thing anonymous sperm donation lacks is history. Cryokid mentioned that the child can have problems that the parents never had to go through, or don’t have any concept of, and thus don’t necessarily have the skills to help the child. It has been well documented that most characteristics are genetic (some are caused by the environment). Things like neurological conditions (AD/HD, schizophrenia, etc.) where there is a predisposition based upon the genetic information we receive, and when the receiver and the parents raising them do not know about them it can make it very hard on both parties. At least with adoption a history comes along, and the birth parents and the adoptive parents can communicate on whether there are genetic conditions that the adoptive parents need to be aware of possibly existing so that they can prepare themselves to help the child deal with them.

  3. I am donor offspring, and think it should be without a doubt banned. People who can’t have kids shouldn’t. It is one of the fundamentals for the survival of every species on the planet. I am something different from my parents. They never had the skills to cope with what my biology brought to the table. A parent should know how to cope with a child’s problems from their own experience, but they are unable to teach the child what it needs to know when the child has to deal with things they have never seen. The worst bit is that the parents, a doctor, and a donor all get a say in what the child gets to know about itself, while no one actually considers the child. Painful and wrong.

  4. I was conceived with the sperm of a donor and it doesn’t really matter to me that I cannot find my biological father. I think it would lead more to disappointement.

    Also, I think that if donors had to disclose their full identities it would be the end of sperm banks. I mean, who would want to donate when there’s a possibility the person conceived knocks on their door a couple of years later? Sperm banks can help couples realize their dream of being parents, but if it’s not anonymous I think it would be the end of that.

  5. Yes, I think it should be banned. It should be like adoption where you can find out about the donor when you are an adult.

    The other big issue that is regulated outside the US is how many babies an individual donor can make. It would be best for everyone if the number were limited (the kids, species diversity, etc.).

  6. Egg donation is a more invasive procedure that requires taking hormones to induce ovulation, whereas sperm donation requires no preplanning. Also women have a finite number of eggs while men continuously make new sperm. Many women don’t even know they can donate their eggs.

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