Hi PRS, Repro Lab and Fertility Ctr. of CA Families,
I want to forward a letter that I sent to Sherron at PRS last week. I wanted to make sure that you were aware that PRS sells sperm through a Mexican clinic and that it looks like there are several PRS donors on the Mexican clinic’s list. The link: http://www.centrodefertilidad.com/catalogo.html. There are several different pages of donor lists, so make sure to look at them all. Also, just because your donor may not appear on the current list, does not mean that he hasn’t been listed in the past.Â Archive.org can show you lists from prior years. For example, here is the link to a 2008 list:
Given the difficulty that the sperm banking industry has had in keeping track and updating medical records of children born from donors, I see this as worrisome. Just last month a PRS donor was reported to have passed along a fatal heart condition to many of the 22 (known!) offspring he helped to conceive.
We at the DSR believe that it does matter where the sperm you buy originates from. We feel that everyone has the right to know the truth about the origins of their sperm so that they may have a chance of connecting with their half siblings and/or donors. As we have never had anyone from this Mexican clinic register on the DSR, I doubt that these families have any idea that their donors are from PRS. I also doubt that they are adequately counseled and educated about the importance of allowing children the right to be curious and search for half siblings. From what I have been told, donor conception is a closed, secretive business in Mexico . If there were to be a medical issue, or if the children wished to connect with yours as half-siblings, they would most likely be out of luck.
We know that other clinics also ship their sperm around the world. Xytex ships to Canada and Australia , but the clinics they ship to have become much better at advising people about the origins of the sperm they are purchasing. Many people from these clinics are connecting with their half siblings here in the US. Some of these clinics are actually handing out DSR brochures to their recipients. My guess is that no Mexican sperm recipients are walking out of that clinic with a DSR brochure in their hand.
This Mexican clinic was started by Repro Lab and the Fertility Ctr. of CA and we found their donors on the list too (these two banks share donors already). I have written both of these labs too, but not received a reply. PRS did reply, “For international sales, we have processes in place for the required reporting of pregnancies and their outcomes as well as informing parents of any medical issues that may arise.”
I wonder if these international “processes” are similar to the (inadequate and ineffective) ones currently in place by sperm banks in the US?
My letter to Pacific Reproductive Services:
I just came across the website for the Center of Human Fertility in Mexico and am very surprised to see PRS donors listed in their catalog.
Do you notify PRS donors that their sperm is being exported to Mexico ? Are PRS families aware that there might be unknown matches in other places around the world? Considering that claim to keep careful tabs on offspring and recipients, are you then also keeping track of the Mexican births? How does this tie in with your limitations on the numbers of families to conceive with any one donor? Are there other countries that you export to, that we haven’t uncovered yet?
Apparently Reprolab and The Fertility Center of California also have donors listed in the Mexican catalog. How are DSR members to know who their children are related to if this type of practice takes place? How is urgent medical information to be shared?
So far, I have identified 8 of the donors on the Mexican list as PRS donors, with a total of 40 families and 72 children on our site who have used these donors. In addition, I see that one of these donors also donated at TSBC.
I look forward to your reply.