Should sperm donors’ offspring be limited?

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.

From Discover Magazine:

“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?

19 comments Add your comment


September 7th, 2011
12:49 pm

Sounds like a script for a bad Lifetime movie — “Forbidden Love”, where a couple fall in love and find out that they’re actually brother and sister . . .

Aren’t the donors screened for genetic diseases? I thought they were, but apparently not?


September 7th, 2011
12:53 pm

This is what I call most single mom baby’ daddies…sperm donors. That is all they provide, sperm, and the woman willingly accepts the “donation”. In fact, many of them request the “donation” right before/after sperm donor goes to jail.

How else do you even hope to explain the 5 kids by 5 different males, at 23 years of age…that YOU and I pay for…because these people don’t have (never had or attempted to) jobs, they have “entitlements”?

This is generational…passed to the next, next, next, next…


September 7th, 2011
1:15 pm

Eewww. Everything about this is gross, particularly the inference that these, ahem, specimens are divvied up like watermelon at a church picnic.


September 7th, 2011
1:28 pm

That’s what my family and I refer to my ex husband as…….The Sperm Donor.


September 7th, 2011
2:11 pm

LOL @ JJ- we call my ex just “The Donor”..sperm would wrongly infer he was a REAL man!


September 7th, 2011
2:31 pm

150 children is a lot, but against the entire country it’s not. We’re getting over 3 million births a year here now. The 150 is approximately .003% of children born in the United States in a year.

Don’t reuse the baby batter in close proximity, and I think we’ll avoid the downfalls of Oedipus.


September 7th, 2011
2:44 pm

Wow! I really don’t believe in this practice anyway, but if one does decide to do it they shouldn’t expect that there are another 149 siblings out there. That’s insane. It should be controlled. Just another reason to adopt.


September 7th, 2011
2:51 pm

Actually, DB, I’m pretty sure this was already the basis of a Law and Order plot line.


September 7th, 2011
2:57 pm

Jerry Springer here we come!


September 7th, 2011
3:05 pm

@justmy2cents and JJ, we call my buddy’s ex-wife the “Day Laboror” cause it was the last thing she ever did for their son.


September 7th, 2011
3:13 pm

HB you are right. The fertility doctor was using his own sperm to inseminate his patients–it was cheaper than the lab work on the other donors. As I recall, he was found guilty of something.


September 7th, 2011
3:36 pm

@Jarvis – that’s funny!!!!!


September 7th, 2011
3:40 pm

Yeah, and all the kids had red hair and green eyes or something. I don’t remember who caught him, either Benson and Stabler or Goren and Eames.


September 7th, 2011
5:13 pm

If all of the children are coming from one guy, I assume that’s one he77 of a profile.


September 7th, 2011
5:53 pm

I remember that show — but I don’t think there was anything to do with two kids falling in love and finding out they were really brother and sister. I think it was more a case of eggs that got misplaced in the wrong mom, and then they realized that the DNA was wrong for the fathers . . .


September 7th, 2011
6:20 pm

LOL @ Jarvis…I like it!!! I know a few women like that too!


September 7th, 2011
10:46 pm

it would be interesting if these were done via love making and then slogged on


September 8th, 2011
2:23 pm

@Scooby, I think it was L&O the original. Jerry Orbach and Chris Noth caught him.

Why, yes, I have seen too many L&O episodes. :-)


September 9th, 2011
1:53 pm

Actually “Liar’s Moon” from 1982 pretty much did this plot…..Matt Dillion plays the lead (Jack) and his character elopes with a girl whose father has forbidden her to see him.

Jack being from “a trouble youth” type thinks it is his background that is the issue…..uh no apprears the girls father and Jack’s mom had an affair resulting in Jack. Nobody has ever spoken of it.

Well the parents find out Jack and the girl are married and in a different town. Hello SON! You married your SISTER!