Document Detail

Semen donors who are open to contact with their offspring: issues and implications for them and their families.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23063814     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
This study investigates the motivations, views and experiences of semen donors willing to have contact with their offspring. An online questionnaire for semen donors was posted by the US-based Donor Sibling Registry in 2009. A total of 164 respondents who had previously been donors completed the questionnaire, which consisted of 45 open and closed questions covering motivations for donating, health and medical information, experiences of donating, contact with offspring and implications of donating and contact for their families. The donors' primary motivation was to help other families, although payment was also a factor. Almost all donors were open to contact with their offspring and, where donors were partnered, three-quarters of the partners also supported possible contact. Almost one-third, however, had reservations about contact or were opposed. Two-thirds of donors' own children were interested in meeting the offspring. Contact between a donor and his offspring is often seen as a coming together of these two people only. The results of this study suggest that there are important ramifications for both of the families who become linked. Understanding gamete donation in this broader family context is crucial to the contribution that health professionals can make in this area. Donor insemination has traditionally been shrouded in secrecy. This has meant that donors have been anonymous and not available to be contacted by the offspring they helped create. Equally, donors have not been able to have contact with the offspring. This traditional position is being increasingly challenged. This study reports the views of 164 semen donors, most of whom are resident in the USA, who were recruited as anonymous donors, but who are now open to or have had contact with their offspring. When the donors had partners, three-quarters of the partners also supported actual or possible contact; a third, however, had reservations about or were opposed to contact. Similarly, of those donors who had children in their own families, two-thirds were interested in meeting the offspring. Contact in donor insemination has usually been thought of and seen as a coming together of the donor and the offspring - just two people. The results of this study show that there is a need to think of offspring and donor linking as a coming together of two families. Understanding gamete donation and donor linking in this broader family context has important implications for the way which health professionals work with all the parties involved in gamete donation.
K R Daniels; W Kramer; M V Perez-Y-Perez
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-9-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Reproductive biomedicine online     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1472-6491     ISO Abbreviation:  Reprod. Biomed. Online     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101122473     Medline TA:  Reprod Biomed Online     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Electronic address:
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