There are new concerns that there are too many offspring coming from some U.S. sperm donors that could result in the increases or genetic diseases and increased odds of incest between genetic brothers and sisters who have never met.
“But something very strange has been going on over the last couple decades, and the New York Times covers it in a recent piece: some donors’ sperm has been used many, many times—so many times, in fact, that people are starting to get alarmed.”
“Up to 150 children each have been born from the sperm of popular donors, far more than donors and mothers had anticipated. American sperm banks don’t keep rigorous records of children born from donor sperm, nor do they limit the number of children born from a particular donor (a chance, some might say, for sexual selection to run out of control—those green-eyed geniuses can be mighty sought-after). Parents only find out that their child has dozens of half-siblings when they look up their donor’s number on the Donor Sibling Registry, Jaqueline Mroz writes at the NYT. And this isn’t a trivial issue:
” ‘Now, there is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors, including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Some experts are even calling attention to the increased odds of accidental incest between half sisters and half brothers, who often live close to one another.’ “
The article points out that in the United Kingdom sperm donors are limited to 10 children, but I’m not sure how you would police that. What’s to keep a man from donating at one sperm bank and then another? How would they regulate how many places he drops off deposits? Maybe a national data base but then you could get into people faking identifications to donate more.
Should sperm donors be limited to the number of children they can produce? Does the possibility of increases of genetic diseases being passed or increased concern you? What about the possibility of incest between unknown siblings? Should this be regulated? But how?