Sperm donor offspring seek more respect and rights

Katrina Clark found her biological fatherKatrina Clark, 21, and Lindsay Greenawalt, 25, were both conceived with donor sperm and raised by single mothers. Katrina succeeded in finding her biological fathers and Lindsay failed. According to a report from Associated Press, they are part of an increasingly outspoken generation of sperm donor offspring. Speaking from experience, they have advocated publically for the rights of sperm donor children, in particular their right to know their biological fathers.

“The loss associated with being donor conceived is something that I will carry for the rest of my life, and that to deliberately create a human being with that loss is unethical,” Ms Greenwalt wrote recently on her blog, Confessions of a Cryokid.

All she knows about her father is that he is 49, attended college, and has brown hair and greenish eyes. She knows a few medical details, thanks to a recent update sent by her father to the Xytex sperm bank in Augusta, Georgia. “He knows I'm looking for him — and he doesn't want to make contact,” Greenawalt said.

Ms Clark found her father fairly quickly. However, their communication “has been pretty much nonexistent”, and they have not met face-to-face. "I still wonder about him," she added. "There's so much about him I still don't know."

US sperm banks are increasingly offering identity-release policies, in which donors agree to allow their offspring to contact them once they reach age 18. However, many donors still choose to remain anonymous. A past president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Dr Jamie Grifo of New York University's Fertility Center, told AP that it is not a good idea. "It may not be a popular point of view, but when these decisions are made by donor and a parent, the child doesn't have a say," he said. "If the contract is for it to be anonymous, it should remain anonymous, and the child just has to deal with that." ~ AP, Aug 16

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