A study published in Europes leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction today (Thursday 11 November), should help allay fears that removing anonymity from sperm donors might lead to problems for the children or for their biological fathers.
In the worlds first study to examine the feelings and experiences of adolescents who had been conceived through open-identity sperm donors, US researchers found that all but one of the 29 young people involved in the study had a neutral or positive response to their origins. More than 4 out of 5 said they were likely to ask for the donors identity and try to contact him, but few saw him as being an important person in their lives and not one reported wanting any money from him.
The top question the young people wanted answered was whats he like? Of the 83% who wanted to know their donors identity and to contact him, the motive for the majority was curiosity about him and, for many, the chance to see if it would help them to learn more about themselves.
Said Dr Scheib: "A growing number of DI programmes offer the option, as in the US, of open-identity donors – that is donors who allow their identities to be given to adult offspring. In Sweden, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, the law actually requires open identity and the UK will also require it from April 2005, so it is important that research is undertaken to see what the effects are on the young people, their parents and the donors. Although this is a small study, its findings are reassuring in relation to the youths well-being and also reassuring for the donors."
 Adolescents with open-identity sperm donors: reports from 12–17 year olds. Human Reproduction. Doi:10.1093/humrep/deh581.
Margaret Willson | alfa
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