For couples in California and around the country who are having trouble conceiving, using an anonymous sperm donor could be a viable option to have a baby. However, this choice could have serious emotional and physical consequences for the children of unknown fathers.
The problem with confidentiality
In most every medical procedure, confidentiality is necessary to protect patients, and sperm donation is no exception. For years, men have been able to donate sperm, father children and never be known to the recipient or the child. The issue with egg/sperm/embryo donors and donations is the children may never be aware of hereditary health issues. Recipients do not receive a transparent donor history and can feel as though they are essentially rolling the dice with their children’s medical future.
Fraud in sperm donation
Because of the lack of transparency in sperm donation, it is easier to commit fraud. Several physicians donated their own sperm hundreds of times to recipients who thought they were purchasing sperm from other donors.
The lack of regulation also makes it easier for sperm donors and facilities to be less than truthful about their donors. Clients could be told they are purchasing sperm from a successful intellectual. There is no verification process to determine if what the donors are saying is true. Many times, clients discover they have been deceived.
Mental health issues for children of anonymous sperm donors
Children of anonymous sperm donors are more likely to have problems with identity formation, substance abuse and to require the help of mental health professionals. Many also report general anxiety about simply not knowing the identity of a parent.
Help is available by those who have been misled by a donor or a facility. However, the process is complex. Thorough due diligence with a clinic and donors can go a long way in protecting you and your children in the future.