Monday, June 7, 2010

My Daddy's name is "donor"

A major comparative study of adults conceived by means of ‘donor’ shows how they are affected by the implications of their conception.

The study, entitled My Daddy’s name is Donor: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation, is published under the auspices of the Commission on Parenthood’s Future in New York. The study, co-investigated by Elizabeth Marquardt, Norval D. Glenn and Karen Clark, ‘reveals stunning findings about the lives of adult offspring of sperm donation, one of the most common reproductive technologies and one that has been practiced widely in the U.S. and around the world for decades.’ Elizabeth Marquardt is one of those scheduled to speak at the ‘Fertility, Infertility and Gender’ conference that will take place at Maynooth, Ireland, from 16 to 18 June (see my blog for
15 February 2010)
. Commenting on the study, she said:
‘Many people think that because these young people resulted from wanted pregnancies, how they were conceived doesn’t matter to them.’
But, she says,
‘[T]his study reveals that when they are adults, sperm donor offspring struggle with serious losses from being purposefully denied knowledge of, or a relationship with, their sperm donor biological fathers.’

Some of the points made by participants in the study include that ‘Nearly half say they have feared being attracted to or having sexual relations with someone to whom they are unknowingly related’, ‘Two-thirds affirm the right of donor offspring to know the truth about their origins’, and ‘About half of donor offspring have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even when parents tell their children the truth’. These children are human beings – they are not commodities.

I wonder if the Irish Government will take note of the important findings of this study. One of the proposals put forward for discussion by the Irish Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction in 2001 concerns the issue of ‘donors’.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?