Fairfax Cryobank and CLI Cryobank

By admin on July 25, 2008

This information was taken from both the CLI and Fairfax websites. It
was sent to me by a member. I question a few things….4-5,000
children born each year from DI? All other estimates hover around
30,000-40,000. How in the world is anyone getting any numbers that
they then present as truth?! And they think it’s rare to have more
than 20 siblings for any given donor? As the DSR is a small sampling
of donor families, I think we’ve shown that to not be the case. Also,
we have heard several times of women meeting up in a park, or party
and discovering that their kids were half siblings. It does indeed
happen. Donor siblings can connect from “various sites that third
parties set up…”? If you knew how many times I have called these
sperm bank directors to have them please tell their clients about the
DSR. Also, when an anonymous donor changes his mind about connecting
with families, he is not allowed to know his donor number. Fairfax and
CLI will not release donor numbers to their former donors. So if a
donor wanted to share important medical information (or just connect)
with their offspring listed on the DSR, the bank would prohibit this
from happening. “Protecting families”? I think not. Protecting themselves…I
think so.

From the sites:

“The typical family who uses donor sperm is changing. Originally donor
insemination was offered exclusively to married couples who were
experiencing infertility. Today, infertile couples are still helped by
donor sperm but other types of families are as well. Single women are
increasingly choosing to have children on their own with the help of
donor sperm. Same sex couples are, too. Where 20 years ago it was
easier to keep the donor sperm story a secret, it is now much more
obvious when a father is not around while a child is growing up.
Children born from donor sperm are learning about the circumstances of
their conception in ever increasing numbers. We estimate that now
about 4,000 to 5,000 children a year are born in the US as the result
of anonymous donor insemination.

Today, we ask all new donors if they want to be known. If they agree,
they become an ID Consent donor. If they decline, they will remain
anonymous. All donors who began donating prior to 2005 signed an
agreement with us in which we agreed to keep their identifying
information private. Many families were created with the understanding
that their specific donor would be anonymous forever, and they very
much want this information to stay private. We have very specific
understandings with donors and families that we will protect the
information of not only the donor’s identity but also the identity of
the families who used that sperm donor. Our policy is that once a
donor is designated as an anonymous donor or an ID Consent donor, his
status cannot be changed, e.g. from an anonymous donor to an ID
Consent donor, or vice versa. Therefore, for our anonymous donors, we
are not mediating contact between families and their donors.

There is a considerable amount of information we do have on our
donors, both anonymous and ID consent, that is extremely valuable in
learning about the donor as a person rather than a cold statistic.
Donors today have audio interviews recorded, childhood photos, some
have adult photos, and all have detailed medical and personal
histories. Their ethnicity, talents, interests, and even their
favorite color and song are presented. Donors who are no longer
donating also have information saved. (See more about donor
information at this webpage about donor information.) In addition,
half siblings who are interested are able to connect with each other
via various sites third parties set up for this purpose on the web.
Although the donor may be unknown, half siblings often find shared
traits that they determine are likely from their biological fathers.
This discovery of sibling relationships, along with the extensive
information already available on the donor, may help some children as
they seek to learn more about their genetic heritage.

Donor sperm from one donor usually results in several pregnancies over
many years. Some families store units from the same donor in order to
have biologically full siblings, so the age range of all the children
from the same donor may be considerable. In accordance with the
guidelines set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine
(ASRM), we strictly limit the number of donor units sent to the same
geographic area. But since donor sperm is shipped all over the US and
several other countries, the donor usually sells out before he reaches
our distribution limit. It is highly unlikely you would ever meet
another one of your half siblings randomly, (i.e., someone who was
conceived with the exact same donor). It is rare for one of our donors
to have more than 20 reported offspring.”