While anonymous sperm donation has been scrapped in the UK and Australia, it is still practiced in other countries including France and Spain. However, as a recent article in Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper shows, maintaining anonymity may not actually be possible anymore. The reason: the rise of genetic testing companies.
According to Israeli law, sperm donors’ identities are supposed to be kept secret, but women who had their children’s DNA tested in order to prevent accidental consanguinity in the future were able to obtain donors’ personal information. This happened because the company they turned to notifies blood relatives when a match has been found in its database (customers sign a consent form to this extent).
It is important to note that the donor’s identity can be uncovered even if he himself had not signed up for such service; it is enough that one of his relatives did. Considering that many genetic testing companies share DNA data with each other, the odds of a donor retaining his anonymity drop significantly.
Anonymous Sperm Donation: Pros and Cons
While in the past sperm (and egg) donation has been anonymous, and children had no way of tracing their biological father (and were often not told by their parents that they had been born from a donation), attitudes began to shift a few decades ago. As a result, many countries have recognized the importance of donor-conceived people knowing their genetic origins and banned anonymous donation. Normally, children can find out their donor’s identifying information (such as name and address) once they’ve turned 18.
ManorIVF fully supports this practice and believes that is in the best interest of all parties. Research has shown that donors too are often interested in learning whatever details they can about the outcome of their donation. As such, expert counselling is mandatory for all our donors in order to alleviate any concerns they may have involving identity disclosure.