Artificial insemination finding my biological father

The state of sperm donation today is far different. Even many heterosexual couples are sharing with their children that they are donor-conceived, much like adoptive families that let kids know they were adopted early on. By the late s, by contrast, some , children—of all ages—were adopted in the U.

In one study , psychologists found virtually no difference in the psychological wellbeing or mother-child relationship quality of 7-year-olds who were told about their donor-conceived origins and 7-year-olds who were naturally conceived; the researchers found only a slightly less strong mother-child bond among 7-year-olds who were donor-conceived but not aware that was the case. It is, however, worth noting that the study made no distinction between donor-conceived kids who grow up knowing their origins and donor-conceived kids who discover suddenly that their parents have been concealing the truth.

The point is that the data are inconclusive, and at the very least don't definitively show that anonymity is preferable.

Sperm donor dad bonds with the kids he never knew he had

And in the absence of a compelling argument against finding out, curiosity is going to win. Indeed, there is a widespread curiosity among offspring of sperm donors about where exactly they come from. A similar study found that 92 percent of the donor-conceived offspring surveyed were actively searching for their donor, their donor siblings, or both.


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This view, shared by Crockin and others, has in recent years animated the policies that govern sperm donation as well as adoption , moving it toward openness. Today, parents worldwide are strongly advised to inform their kids as early as possible of their donor-conceived origins.

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Sperm-donor children: Finding your biological father | SBS News

Egg donation also falls under the purview of a lot of this legislation, though it is worth noting that the process is much more demanding on the donor—meaning donated eggs are in shorter supply than donated sperm. In the U. Identifying information such as full name and last known address can be requested and granted by the government-run Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority when a child reaches age 18; donors can even write a message of goodwill to their future offspring that can be accessed when they reach age 16, provided it contains no identifying information.

Still, some countries, such as Spain, only allow anonymous sperm donations; in these places, known donors are illegal, and medical teams choose anonymous donors based on the blood type and phenotypical features of the prospective parent or parents. Washington remains the only state with such a law.

Finding the Lost Generation of Sperm Donors

In the absence of a comprehensive legal framework, many sperm banks impose their own rules and regulations. Some, like the Fairfax Cryobank which has seven locations throughout the United States , offer multiple levels of privacy for donors. Others, however, like the California Cryobank CCB , where Scott Brown works, have policies that do away with the possibility of a donor remaining shadowy and unreachable forever. For as long as the CCB has operated, it has guaranteed that if someone age 18 or over contacts the bank requesting to be put in touch with their donor, the bank will contact the donor.

And if both parties consent, the bank itself will facilitate nonidentifying communications between them until either both parties agree to either identify themselves and communicate freely or one party decides to terminate their communication. Sanchez had only become curious about the other half of her biological family fairly recently: Neither she nor her husband had known their fathers, and when the couple began talking about starting a family, she wondered whether their future children would take after people no one in the family knew.

For McKinney, however, meeting Sanchez was a long-awaited breakthrough. McKinney wanted to know the man in the catalog, so when she was 19, she asked the California Cryobank for information. A caseworker phoned her donor, but no luck. She tried again at age 22, after she graduated from Yale. Maybe that would make him change his mind. Understandably, McKinney wanted more. Before , there was no central archive of donor information so it will be much more difficult to get details of the donor, and any possible brothers and sisters - other children conceived from the same donor.

From the birth of the first test-tube baby in up until , about 8, babies were born in the UK as a result of fertility treatment. For those people, one of the best hopes is to sign up to the Donor Conceived Register, which helps children and donors get in touch. But if the centre does still exist, they may hold records of the donor and could give you some anonymous information. Or they may have details of the clinic where the sperm donation took place - and if that still stands today, it may be able to help. For those conceived up to March The HFEA urges people to contact counselling and support groups before applying for details of their donor.

Related Child Support Issues

Anyone conceived on or after this date can apply for full information about their donor and any donor-conceived siblings they may have. This is because of amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act - the law on fertility treatments in the UK. The changes were made because it was recognised that donor-conceived children had a right to find out where they came from. When anyone born on or after April 1, , reaches the age of 16, they can apply for all those details except the identifying information.

Any goodwill messages that identify the donor will have his name redacted blacked out.

When you reach the age of 18, you can apply for all the donor information, including donor identity. Although donors could not give sperm anonymously after April 1, , it was still possible for another year for women to use anonymous sperm that had already been stored before that date, or embryos which had already been created in IVF treatment. So anyone conceived between April 1, , and April 1, , might have an anonymous donor. What that means is that anonymously-donated sperm can be used much later on, after the law changed.

So even a more recently conceived child may not be able to find out who their father is. The HFEA recommends counselling or similar support for anyone applying for details - in case you are disappointed or upset with the information you get. Anyone 16 or over can get anonymous information about anyone else born using sperm or eggs or embryos from the same donor - you can find out how many siblings exist, their gender and year of birth.

Once you reach 18, you can try to make contact with your brothers and sisters by sharing your contact details on a register called the Donor Sibling Link. If your siblings are on there as well, you can get in touch with each other. Also, you could make contact with a brother or sister who is on the register but get no response from them at all.

If you think you need further help thinking through the issues, we can provide professional support. The organisation launched a new professional support service in June , with two free sessions for children of donors, and for donors themselves. Peter Thompson, chief executive of the HFEA, said: "Being a donor is a selfless and generous act that offers people the chance for a family they may not otherwise have had. You can start the process of applying for donor information at the HFEA website. For further information, call the organisation on or email them at openingtheregister hfea.

What's On. By David Bentley.