German sperm donor children gain right to know fathers


A German court has ruled that sperm donor children have a right to know the identity of their biological fathers. "The interest of the plaintiff in ascertaining her parentage is assessed to be higher than the interests of the defence and the right to a nondisclosure of donor information," the court ruled in the case of a 21-year-old woman known as Sarah P.

The Federal Association of Reproductive Medical Centres was pleased with the decision. It said that doctors would also benefit, as they could not be deemed culpable of breaching patient-doctor confidentiality when they informed the children of sperm donors.

"The government has to introduce a register in which all the sperm donors and the children are kept permanently. At the moment these documents are kept by the doctors who are responsible for the treatment," said Dr Andreas Hammel, who runs a sperm bank in Cologne. About 100,000 children have been born in Germany through sperm donation. 

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