By admin on February 13, 2008

I will be attending the industry meeting to discuss a “national registry” next month, where not one donor conceived person is invited to speak. I therefore would like to assemble a hand out of quotes from you all, to give you a voice. Please email me privately with a paragraph or two summarizing your thoughts as a donor conceived person. This is an opportunity to address the industry that will be making decisions regarding the future of sperm donation.

Your experiences, thoughts and feelings- and how you would like to see the industry progress would be extremely valuable.

Sean Tipton, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s spokesperson, (who will be attending) has said this, “I don’t draw any conclusions from the Donor Sibling Registry. I don’t know if there is any counterpart organization for happy children of sperm donors”. Clearly there is a huge disconnect between the industry and the donor families. Let’s address it!

By admin on February 13, 2008

Some recent comments on the DSR Yahoo message board about various sperm banks: (Note: a search on both of the DSR Yahoo groups will bear many comments from members on their sperm bank experiences. These are just a few from this week.

A donor conceived person who’s mom used NYU in the 1970’s was told by them, as well as Idant, that,

“there were only about 3 or 4 places that were even in “business” and serving as sperm donors in NY in the early 1970s. CLI (yes, formerly known as Genetic Labs) was one of them. I spoke to someone at CLI as well, and they confirmed for me that they indeed were shipping specimens to NY in the early 1970s and that they still do maintain
records from the 1970s.”

If any of you were born in the 70’s via NYU, you now have a bit of a trail.

“CLI refused to take my daughters birth information too, stating it could only be reported by the doctor’s office.”

From a Fairfax Donor:
“…my experience at Fairfax about 2000-03, was that they tried to prevent donors from discovering their donor # as well. I happened to see some of my paperwork when I was hanging out in the lab with the techs, which is how I learned mine. (And subsequently, they put the donor info online for customers, so any donor could theoretically search for his characteristics and find his donor #.) I have heard from other people who have donated (California Cryobank and New England Cryogenic Center, and some tiny place in Carolina) that they too were not “allowed” to receive donor #s either. Perhaps things have changed as of late… don’t know.”

“Frankly, CLI has not been a positive experience for me. They won’t allow anyone but the Dr. Office report a birth. Beyond that however, when I was ready to try to conceive again from the same donor of my daughter, I called to have them send two of my already purchased samples to the Drs. Office and was informed after a bunch of phone calls that they had sold my vials to someone else. My donor was out of the program and had no more vials available. After getting my attorney involved, they finally had the donor come in and donate some more. Much to my dismay, they wanted me to pay for
his transportation. I did not. Although he came back into the program specifically because of my lost Vials, they only offered to replace my lost ones and wouldn’t let me purchase more until they exhausted the waiting list
for this donor. Except for my beautiful daughter, the CLI experience was not a great one.”
CLI mom (not registered on DSR) tried to register her 2 kids with CLI. They refused her saying that she didn’t have a “order number”. She tried on line, same thing – could not report without an order number. She ordered from them directly too. So, her kids are therefore not registered with CLI.

And another:

“CLI refused to take my children’s birth information when I called to check in with them. I tried to push it with them as it had been over 6 mos since the twins were born and my Dr had not updated them but they insisted they receive the information from the Dr. Needless to say, the counts that CLI has for births from my donor will not be accurate which leads me to believe that other things might not be accurate either!”

“I’m not sure why other people are getting this information. You can report a pregnancy and live birth on CLI through their website. I called to give them the info and they told me where to go on the website. No-one suggested it had
to be done through the MDs office, and they were pleasant and thanked me for the info….”

Note from Wendy: CLI and Repromed refuse to give donors their numbers. (Some donors forget or never received their numbers). This makes it extremely hard to make themselves available for contact. I spoke with a California Cryobank donor over the weekend who said he has tried several times to call California Cryobank to update his medical history, and no one will return his phone calls. I have many parents-to-be writing me to ask my opinions of sperm banks
(more than 50 this past weekend). Issues like these are very important to pass along.

Note from Wendy: I mailed out more than 400 letters a few weeks ago to sperm banks, clinics, Reproductive Endocrinologists, and infertility doctors asking them if the would include a DSR information sheet in their “new
client” packets.

I only have ONE respondent- Xytex, who asked for 500 of the info sheets, to include in every new patient packet that they hand out or mail out. This information sheet tells people about the DSR and a child’s possible curiosities in a very non threatening and friendly manner.

There is an industry meeting on March 28th, in Chicago, for further discussion on the “Feasibility of a National Donor Registry”. There is not one donor conceived person that has been asked to speak or participate in any manner at this event.

By admin on February 09, 2008

For those of you who are donor conceived and new to the site, please click on the Cambridge Research box to participate in the Cambridge study.

This study forms part of the first large-scale study looking at the experiences of donor offspring, parents and donors searching for donor relations.

The information we collect from this questionnaire will provide us with new and valuable insights into the lives of donor offspring, and will help inform the development of policies concerned with assisted conception.

The research findings will also be used to plan a more detailed study of children born by donor conception, as it is important to develop a greater understanding of the feelings and experiences of those directly involved.