Sperm Donation Needs Reform
If I had known I was donor-conceived, I would have had the legal right to non-identifying information about my donor collected during their screening process. Those records no longer exist, and it was only through a year of detective work by a dedicated journalist that I learned the truth. Meeting my father earlier could have helped me catch my mental illness earlier, and for other donor-conceived individuals, this may mean the difference between life or death.
Turns out all those "Family history" forms serve a function besides just filling time in a hospital waiting room.
I've since talked with other donor children. "Genetic bewilderment" is the best term I've heard to describe the confusion one feels when they know on some level that they are not related to the family members they live with, yet feel helpless as to what to do about that.
From what I've seen, about half end up with little to no interest in searching for more information. But the other half desperately wants to know more about where they come from for reasons usually related to needing an accurate family medical history or to fulfill a lost sense of identity.
That's why many are now pushing for reform in the way sperm donation works. Including this guy who had 400 donor babies and concludes the system needs more oversight ... that seems about as qualified as an opinion as you're going to get.
Can't get closer to the issue than a guy with more kids than a rural school district.
I've put together a petition laying out a few realistic steps we can take to respect the rights of future donor children. If you have an opinion on this, it's up for citizen comment until March 27.
As for me, I now have two children of my own and married my high school sweetheart. Oh, and she's Czech -- so at least I know I didn't accidentally wind up with one of Jeremy's many other offspring.
Ryan Menezes is an editor and interviewer here at Cracked. Follow him on Twitter for bits cut from this article and other stuff no one should see.
For more insider perspectives, check out I'm In History Books And I'm Only 28: 5 Weird Realities and Abortion On Request: 5 Facts Of Life As A Surrogate Mom.
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