An egg donor nightmare in Southern California gets our attention. Highlights possible need for egg and sperm donor registry.

The Los Angeles Times reports a disturbing story coming from San Diego. It involves an egg donor who carries a rare genetic mutation that can lead to an early death of her offspring. This particular neurological disease usually kills its victims before age 5.

According to the Times, a child can develop the disease only if both parents carry the genetic mutation. In this case, the donor did not know she was a carrier until she was contacted by the fertility agency that matched her with the parents. Before discovering her genetic link to the disease, she donated to at least four infertile couples.

In the U.S., nothing ensures that recipients of donated eggs or sperm are warned about defects that may be later discovered in the donor’s genetics.

Sixteen years ago, the U.K. government created a registry for egg and sperm donors. Names, contact information and detailed personal histories are kept. Donors and recipients have access to the registry, as do children once they turn 18. The system helps families stay current with genetic information that may be discovered – and relevant – at any time.

Photo: Los Angeles Times

2 thoughts on “An egg donor nightmare in Southern California gets our attention. Highlights possible need for egg and sperm donor registry.

  • December 13, 2007 at 8:54 pm
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    I’m sure this is an isolated incident, which happened against incredible odds. Egg and sperm donation still seem to be safe – effective ways for us to grow our families.

    Let’s not over-react.

  • March 3, 2008 at 10:27 pm
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    I also think this is not something to just freak out about. There are registries. one is free and new and called donoroffspringmatches.com. Anyone can register. There is also a great place for people to post health issues in donor offspring. It is called donoroffspringhealth.com. Both are newer sites.

    I know you can register at both and both are free. Thankfully my donor conceived child is healthy but there are places where you can connect and find out this info.

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