Our History and Mission
The Donor Sibling Registry's goal is to educate, connect, and support donor families. Learn about the DSR's history, mission, and future goals.
History and Mission
The Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) was founded in 2000 to assist individuals conceived as a result of sperm, egg, or embryo donation who are seeking to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties. Without any outside support, the DSR has pioneered an international discussion about the donor conception industry and donor families, through research, media appearances, speaking engagements, and interviews. The DSR advocates for the right to honesty and transparency for donor-conceived people, promotes social acceptance and legal rights, and values the diversity of all families.
The DSR's core value is honesty, with the conviction that people have the fundamental right to information about their biological origins and identities.
The donor conception industry is largely a for-profit enterprise, and after the “product” has been purchased, most doctors, clinics, egg donation agencies, and cryobanks do not engage in discussions or activities that acknowledge the humanity and rights of the donor-conceived. It is our mission to bring these concepts to the public arena for discussion, as has been done in many European countries, as well as New Zealand and Australia.
Since 2000, we have provided support and connection to families that have been developed via donor conception, advocated for the rights of the donor-conceived, and educated the general public through national media interviews and appearances about the issues, challenges, and rights of the donor-conceived community.
Parents are sometimes not prepared for their children's curiosity and desire to know more about their genetic background. In order to move out of the secrecy and shame that has for so long shrouded donor conception, the DSR will continue to educate parents and the general public on the importance of honoring and supporting children's natural drive to know more about their identity.
The DSR also ensures that donor-conceived people have a safe place to search for their biological identities and to make these connections with their half-siblings, and where possible, their donors as well. When matching on the DSR, make sure to ask a few pieces of information from the donor profile that have not been posted, and that only the donor or someone with the donor's profile would know.
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, what we have learned over the years, moving the industry forward in a more ethical and responsible manner, and how to create healthy and happy families.
Looking Ahead: Our Goals for 2020-2021
- Launch our new DSR website in 2020 [Done! The new DSR website launched on July 13, 2020!]
Continue facilitating donor family connections
Further expand media coverage of the donor-conceived community's issues
Initiate and continue academic partnerships for research
Continue outreach programs to the reproductive medicine industry, universities, legal organizations, LGBTQ organizations, mental health professionals, and the public
Reach the milestones of 70,000 DSR members and 18,000 people matched by the end of 2020 [We hit 70,000 members on August 25, 2020, and have more than 19,300 people matched!]
Continue to encourage oversight and regulation of the infertility industry
We will continue to think and dialog deeply, rigorously, and critically about how to move this industry forward in a more ethical and responsible manner — considering the needs and rights of all stakeholders, but most importantly the needs and rights of donor-conceived people.
DSR 20-Year Timeline
Thank you so much for everything that you’ve done. Your work has opened doors for my family. It’s incredible.
Thank you so much for all your hard work and thank you for connecting my families together! What a blessing this site is.
Thank you for having an awesome idea, and then doing all the work to make it a huge benefit for all of us who didn’t even know we needed it!
So grateful for the DSR! Thanks to you, my 7-year-old DC son will be meeting more of his half-siblings this October!
You guys are life-changing (for me) and inspiring. You have my eternal gratitude.
Thanks to you, my 19-year-old son knows his 20-year-old sister and his 18-year-old brother. In fact, my son and his sister are now in college in the same city! Thank you for expanding our family!
The DSR is such a valuable resource, source of support, and safe place to explore our diverse family structures, trials, conflicts, joy, and sorrow inherent to pioneering these human relations.
- Connie, in Massachusetts
I have been deeply moved by Wendy and Ryan’s vision of greater openness regarding gamete donation, and the ingenuity of the new pathways they have developed for donor-conceived offspring, gamete donors, and their family members to find each other. I have seen ample evidence of the profound impact of their work on many individuals and families. Their work has been both a catalyst and a foundation for a growing social movement to recognize the human right of donor-conceived offspring to knowledge about their origins. This is a movement that is changing norms, social policies, and laws related to gamete donation in jurisdictions around the globe and made a major contribution to raising the ethical standards guiding the expansion of the fertility industry.
The Kramers’ work on this issue will continue to inspire others for decades to come because of the organization they have built and the many families they have brought together. In advocating for greater transparency in assisted reproduction they have not only increased people’s options, they have helped to create conditions that are central to ensuring that as the fertility industry continues to expand, human values and human rights are placed front and center.
- Diane Beeson, PhD, Professor Emerita, Department of Sociology and Social Services, California State University, East Bay