The Importance of Reporting Your Child’s Birth and Any Medical Issues
In addition to posting on the DSR, it is very important you report all pregnancies and births to your clinic and/or sperm bank. Banks need to be aware of any adverse outcome such as birth defects and suspected/confirmed genetic disorders. Sometimes, the first indication that the donor may be a carrier of a previously unsuspected genetic disease is from a report of a birth defect. Reporting all births also plays a important part in some sperm bank’s efforts to limit the number of pregnancies and or births for any one donor.
Please research these policies before choosing a sperm bank. (Not on the sperm bank’s website, but rather from DSR families’ experiences). For example, parents reported to us that Fairfax Cryobank continued to sell the sperm of the donor with the reported 150+ children, even after being notified by several of the mothers that their half-sibling group was getting too large (when it was at about 60). California Cryobank says that they have implemented some recent policies that are helping them to better follow up with recipients. But reporting births and illness is not the end of the story. Sperm banks desperately need to initiate policies to regularly update all donors’ medical files (even those from ten or twenty years ago) and have both the information, and the ability to then share it, with the families.
And donors, in addition to posting on the DSR, please report any illness or genetic issues that you have found out about since donating to your sperm bank or egg clinic! Our research showed that most donors (96% of egg donors and 84% of sperm donors) have never been contacted for medical updates, yet between a quarter to a third of them said that they (or close family members) did indeed have medical issues that would be of interest to families. Chances are slim that you will hear from your sperm bank or egg clinic, so please take it upon yourself to report any medical issues. Think of the children that you may have helped to create, and how this information could greatly benefit them and their families.