By admin on August 31, 2011

We hit 8,499 this morning. Any one out there who has been waiting to post on the DSR want to be the 8500th match?*

Our 11th anniversary is on September 3rd- so it’s a nice anniversary milestone!

*We do estimate that there are at least 25% more matches between half siblings and donors that do not post on the DSR, but who do contact their matches.

By admin on August 05, 2011

4 Things You Need to Consider Before Donating Sperm

1)  Do you already have children?
Have you considered the possibility that your children will have half-siblings?  Sperm banks are not required to keep records of live births from a single donor nor limit the number of children conceived.  There are donors who have aided in the conception of
over 100 children.  Do you want your offspring unwittingly meeting one another?

2)  Do you know your family medical history?
If you donate sperm this year, the sperm may be sold for many years to come and potential mothers keep sperm for many years after purchase in an attempt to create biologically full-siblings.  Countless inherited genetic illnesses have been passed on to the donor conceived. Many require early intervention to ensure the health and survival of the children.  It is of the utmost importance to give a full and accurate medical history and to update the sperm bank, or families on the DSR, of any illnesses that arise within your family after your date(s) of donation.

3)  Are you planning to donate anonymously?
It is important to understand that because of advances in DNA testing and internet databases, the likelihood of your remaining “anonymous” in the future is growing smaller.  Have you considered the possibility that even though you have donated anonymously, their is still a chance that your offspring will contact you in the future?  By
registering on, you can slightly lift the veil of anonymity even if you do decide to remain anonymous.  You could post updated medical records which are tremendously important  to families that have no other means of obtaining them.  We do ask that you at least consider being a “willing to be known” donor.

4)  How would you respond if you were asked, one day in the future,
to meet your biological offspring and their parents?

Your donation is much more than a transaction at a sperm bank. It is likely that more than one child will come to exist as a result of your donation.  These children are genetically yours and will go on to have your genetic grandchildren!  These children will be curious and want to seek out their genetic “roots.”  They will want to know what you look like, if they have inherited any personality traits, and may seek out a family medical
history.  You must prepare yourself for this eventuality and understand
that it is human nature to seek out our ancestral heritage.  Would this disrupt
your established family?

By admin on August 03, 2011

In the Council for Responsible Genetics Article from yesterday (, I read this: “The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which represents fertility clinics across the country, thinks Washington is intruding on donors’ privacy. “Most people, both donors and recipients, still prefer anonymous donation,” says ASRM spokesman Sean Tipton.”

I do wonder if Sean Tipton, has been reading any of the research that has been published over the past few years. I wonder if he has read any of the 14,000 messages posted on the DSR’s message board since 2000. Any of the other websites and blogs written by donor offspring? News articles about donors, offspring and parents? Wouldn’t you think the ASRM would want listen to these folks, those whose lives are directly affected by the policies that the ASRM puts into place?  It does appear that they are operating under, and still advising upon, the system that they set up decades ago, without listening to the lessons that all of us in donor families have learned over the past couple of decades.

The journal Human Reproduction recently published research on 751 donor offspring. 77% of the surveyed offspring recommend that parents use a known or willing-to-be known donor.  In resent research presented at the ASRM meeting last October, 164 surveyed sperm donors were overwhelmingly open to contact with their offspring, challenging Mr. Tipton’s outdated idea that most donors wish anonymity. What we have found is that the young donors who are not properly counseled and educated do tend to choose anonymity. 61.2% of surveyed sperm donor recipients who chose anonymous donors, say that they wish they had chosen open donors instead. Again, no proper counseling and education at the front door of the clinics and sperm banks. 49.3% of surveyed egg donor parents who used anonymous donors now wish they would have used an open donor.  And remember, many of these children are still young and just have not started asking their parents the unanswerable questions yet.

Mr. Tipton then goes on to say, “We think families and donors ought to be allowed to make decisions in terms of anonymous vs. non-anonymous donation.” Sure, but what about requiring education and counseling at the front door so that donors and recipients can make fully educated decisions.  The DSR has more than 31,000 members now, and many of the donors and recipients come to us with the same sentiment, “I wish I would have known.”

For years, you dismissed us calling the information “anecdotal”. You asked for the research. Now that there is research coming out on a regular basis, won’t you read it? (Many of our research participants come from outside of the DSR, and outside of the US, so the response reaches far and wide.)  Won’t you invite the donors, parents and offspring to participate at one of your meetings? Instead of debating anonymity amongst yourselves, maybe open up the conversation to include us?