Make sure to report all births to your sperm bank!
Approximately 75% of all surveyed donor offspring would recommend that parents use a known or willing-to-be-known donor!
April 2018 Guest Blog from Marilyn Drake, a former egg donor: Parent: A Noun and a Verb
Donor Mike with 13 of his 19 known donor children
"Sibs from different cribs"
All DSR Media Videos are on the DSR Video Library Page (for members only).
- 2016: CBC: Many Canadian Donor Conceived Kids Turn to the Donor Sibling Registry to Connect With Half Siblings
"Website has helped connect 13K siblings, donors. Now the online resource boasts more than 51,000 members and claims to have helped unite more than 13,000 half-siblings and donors.
Kramer said the website has become an essential resource for children conceived through sperm donation around the world. The site is managed and operated with the help of membership fees.
"For Canadians, I think it's really important to be on the Donor Sibling Registry, as that's the one point of contact," Kramer said. "U.S. sperm banks ... claim on their websites that they ship to 40, 50, 60 countries around the world."
Kramer said she's tried to get government agencies to pay attention.
"We've gone everywhere and asked for help. We've gone to senators, legislators, the National Institutes of Health. We've gone to the Surgeon General, U.S. Federal Drug Administration, everywhere. And nobody wants to help."
- 2016 CBS Sunday Morning Show: Watch a donor connect with several donor children!
- 2014 Watch the video webinar we did for the Family Equality Council! Wendy talks about the DSR, who we are and why we do what we do, and what we have learned over the years. Also, issues in regards to moving the industry forward in a more ethical and responsible manner, and how to create healthy and happy families.
- 2013 An MTV six part series documenting the journey of Breeanna, a 17-year-old only child, connecting with many of the 15 half-siblings she met on the Donor Sibling Registry. Watch the DSR's Ryan Kramer walk Bree and half-brother Jesse through the steps to possibly locate their biological father.
- 2011 Documentary aired in Fall of 2011 on the Style Network: We worked very hard to make this a thoughtful and thought provoking show. We hope that viewers will be able to consider the perspectives of the offspring, the donors, the parents, the grandparents and the partners of the donors. We hope that people can understand why meeting a half-sister might be important to a donor conceived person. As we all redefine family on the DSR, it's important that those embarking on creating their family in this way, as well the industry, and the public, consider and ponder the issues about how families are redefined through using donor conception. This show was nominated for an Emmy in 2011. Click here to watch!
- A mother's video: When my son met his first half-sibling
Both boys inherited a potentially fatal aortic defect from their donor. This video is a photo montage of their meeting and subsequent photo shoot for a new article.
- University of Manchester research project: What happens when donor agreements break down?
Carol Smart from the University of Manchester informs viewers about her research on lesbians who have conceived using a known donor. She discusses the sociological and (British) legal factors that come into play.
- TVNZ: Embryo donors warn of lack of rights
A New Zealand couple donated their frozen embryo to another couple and have now been denied contact with the child.
Articles on disclosure and a child's right to know the truth about his/her conception
March 2017 New York Post: How I never met your father
"...child psychologists agree that while keeping quiet may eliminate a problem in the short term, it creates far greater and longer-lasting ones later."
“It can damage trust between family members,” explains Wendy Kramer, director of Donor Sibling Registry, a worldwide nonprofit organization that supports and educates donor-conceived people."
‘In the studies that have been completed with donor-conceived children, many reported a powerful sense that some valuable information was being withheld from them.’
“Some donor-conceived people who found out (or who were told) later in life say that they always felt different within their families. Not only in regard to physical characteristics, but also with academics, talents, interests, temperament, and even with some personality traits, like being outgoing, funny, or introverted."
“In the studies that have been completed with donor-conceived children, many reported a powerful sense that some valuable information was being withheld from them.”
- Mom Marcia says, "It never occurred to me NOT to tell Bryan (I practiced the "script" with him from the first day home from the hospital)."
- Jan 2014 Guest Blog: An Adoptee's Reaction to MTV's Generation Cryo
- Dec 2013 Slate: Let's Get Rid of the Secrecy in Donor Conceived Families
- Nov/Dec 2013 Issue of Psychology Today: A Conception Conundrum
- Adoptive Families: Third Party Reproduction: Explaining Donor Conception By Kris Probasco, LCSW, LSCSW and Megan Fabian, B.A.
Some practical tips for talking to your child about the nature of his/her conception.
- Donor Sibling Registry: Donor Disclosure: when telling the truth to your child isn’t easy, and what to do about it
A guide from the DSR “designed to help take the shame, secrecy and fear out of talking to your child” about his/her origins.
- The Center for Adoption Support and Education, Inc.: Should I Tell, and When to Tell? by Ellen Singer, LCSW-C
An article drawing parallels between the evolution in what has been considered best practice for disclosure regarding adoption, and the process for parents talking to their donor-conceived children.
- Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Donor gametes: anonymous or identiﬁed? by Ken Daniels
This piece discusses the research looking at the evolution of attitudes (especially of secrecy and shame) towards talking about donor-conception from the point of view of doctors, donors, recipient families, and offspring.
- Donor Sibling Registry: Non-Bio Parent Issues by Wendy Kramer
A note from Wendy summarizing the reports she gets from the non-biological parent about his or her reluctance in disclosing the facts of donor-conception to their children.
- Concurring Opinions: What’s in a Name, Part 2: Consider “half-siblings” by Naomi Cahn
This article argues for the creation of a gamete database in the United States, to track the donations and resulting offspring, and to end anonymity in the process.
- The Human Life Review: “Donor Offspring” Redefining Family by John Burger
This article approaches the redefinition of family largely from the offspring perspective. In addition, there is discussion about the Church’s perspective, and the future of Assisted Reproductive Technology.
Wendy's Huffington Post/DSR Blog!
Experiences and voices of those in donor families
September 2017: words of wisdom from a DSR mom:
"My daughter has always had some curiosity about her donor, but not having knowledge has not affected her life as a child. But now, as a young adult, she has been more than curious. With 2 half-sisters coming into her life, she is more interested in knowing where they all came from....what ties them together. And she wants to know if those parts of her that are decidedly not ME are from him. THE MAN who donated.
IF you have the important talk with your donor-conceived child early enough, you might tell them there was "a nice man" who helped mommy have a baby. So there's always the idea of a nice man somewhere who has something to do with your being born.
I am sure most donors back in the 90s did not imagine a DNA path to their identity. Without that key, they was only a tiny chance of finding anyone. But they had to realize that there would be children out there with questions, who only existed because of their donation. Maybe they only donated knowing they would never be contacted. Maybe they had no picture in their mind of their donation becoming flesh and blood. THEIR blood.
I have thought a lot in the past 19 years, about the mind of the donor. As a mother, I DID see his specimen as more than a vial. I saw it as a person, and knew there was more to him than what was written on the papers, or said on the audiotape. Maybe the whole industry has to focus on the personal aspect of donating, and make it less of a clinical scientific solution to a medical need. We might lose some donors, but we may gain a lot more in the way of honesty, acceptance, openness and recognition."
- May 2017: People Magazine One Sperm Donor: 18 Kids. From sperm donor to part of the family.
- March 2016: Advice for parents from Dan, a donor conceived adult: "My advice: tell them as early as possible and make it normal for them. There are a lot of nontraditional families and there always have been. This is just one more. Don't make it out to be something strange or shameful. Telling them later, in my opinion, is more damaging because of a long established sense of identity. Finding out at 29 really turned my world upside down. I think, for some, there's an idea that the sperm that was donated is an irrelevant part of the family's tapestry but that's really just denial of the truth. It's not just a single cell. It's medical history, ancestry, appearance, mannerisms, disconnected and unknown family. That cell carries a lot of baggage with it. The simple fact is that genes matter to a lot of people. They don't matter exclusively but they matter. This might be tough for non-bio parents to hear but I think the non-bio parents need to accept the choice they entered into and be open and honest with the child. In the end, it will lead to a closer relationship. By not saying anything you risk deep resentment from the child if/when they find out. It also allows you to control the narrative."
- July 2016: Five half-siblings meet up with donor, Todd Whitehurst. He was a sperm donor while in graduate school at Stanford and now many of his kids are college-age themselves.
"People who are ultimately desperate to go to sperm bank, want kids badly. They've gone through a lot of trouble, a lot of effort, a lot of paper work and expense, and you know they are going love those kids and take care of them. And I thought, 'why wouldn't I want to help families like that'," said donor Whitehurst.
- My brother Jason and I have the same donor and were born 8 months apart. He found my DSR profile on New Year's Day of 2014, and we met each other in person shortly after. We felt an instant connection, and feel so lucky to have found each other. This picture is from my wedding in September 2015. You can see how close we've become! All thanks to you and the DSR :)
- I'm 43 and I just found out that I am donor conceived this past year. My sister is 42. This picture is from when we got to meet this past September.
- 2014 Kansas City Star: Donor 11 Gave me my son and changed my life (written by a DSR mom).
Excerpt: That was the day I learned about the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR), an online resource for donor offspring, parents of donor offspring and donors themselves. As soon as I finished reading the article, I walked toward my computer. Eddie was outside shoveling snow.
One tentative click, and I was on the site. I entered the name of the sperm bank and the number of our donor. Part of me hoped Number 11 had also read the article, had walked over to his computer, taken a great, trembling breath and revealed who he was.
“Happy Mother” had apparently just put down her copy of the New York Times and added Number 11 to the registry, sharing a donor profile that was identical to the one we had. She noted that her donor-conceived son was 12 years old, and she was looking for possible half-siblings.
I could hear the scraping of Eddie’s shovel on the sidewalk. I could hear a song by Phish drifting from Max’s bedroom. I tried to keep my hands from shaking as I began to type. Hello! I am Photo Mom.
- My daughter Kiana was was conceived with a donor. I have always told her about why she doesn't have a dad, as she noticed at around 3 that other kids had dads and she didn't. I explained that her dad was a special man who loved her, along way away in America (she thinks that's cool), and that she was made with "magical baby stuff" that got mixed with mummy's eggs to make her. She knows that 2 embryos were implanted and she was the result.
- 2015 Visiting with DSR family in San Francisco: Sophia, her grandma Connie, and us!
- 2016 Mom Lynnette and her two sons, and a picture of her sons with their half sister and the donor's picture - at the same age!
- 2013 The Hairpin: Interview with a Woman Who Had Two Kids by Anonymous Sperm Donor
Excerpt: "There's a thing called the Donor Sibling Registry, and you can register with your code and share notes and ask things like 'Anyone else suffering from hay fever?' Luckily, most of the other donor families are in the US—all except for one family, who I literally bumped into at the supermarket down the street from my house." "That's nuts. How'd you recognize them?" "You can put pictures on the website. But yeah, I'm 20 yards from my front door at Waitrose, and this woman comes up to me and says, 'Are you Maggie?' It turned out that she lived two blocks down from me, and at one point her child was scheduled to go to the same school as mine, in the same class even..."
- 2013 Dame Magazine: When a Sperm Donor Seeks out his Kids Donor Mike's DSR Connections including amazing portraits that he's created of his donor-kids.
- 2013 Daily Mail: Middle-class motherhood in crisis The single career women who wish their donor babies had fathers
- 2013 Dame Magazine: Eleni Mandell and the New Family One sperm donor, two grandparents, two toddlers and an ex-boyfriend/nanny/uncle. How one single mother redefined “family.”
- 2013 Yahoo Video and Mail Online: Sperm donor mum tracks down her son’s ‘global family.’
- Donor Siblings, A New Kind of Family
A narrative in the NY Times about the process of defining family, when donor-conception is involved.
- Voices of the Donor Conceived, Donors and Parents
A compilation of writings and quotes from parents, donors, and donor-conceived adults.
- John's Story
A 53-year-old donor-conceived man tells his story.
- Paul's Story
Paul gives an eloquent and heartwarming perspective from a former donor.
- David's Story
David tells about connecting with a donor-daughter.
- AFA Newsletter: Ryan and Anna, Two Half Siblings Meet
Wendy recounts Ryan’s (DSR Co-Founder) experience meeting Anna, his half-sibling.
- Anonymity, Disclosure and Contact with Donors: How Experiences of Donor Conceived Offspring Vary by Family Type
The DSR conducted the largest survey to date on donor-offspring. We presented this research as a poster to the The American Society of Reproductive Medicine in 2010, and as a talk to The British and Irish Fertility Societies in 2011. This research was also published in the journal Human Reproduction in 2011.
See our Research page for the link many more published articles.