The Kansas City Star reports on five families who are connected by a sperm donor whose name they don’t know. They found each other on The Donor Sibling Registry.
According to the Star, thousands of people conceived from sperm or egg donations have found the relatives they had always figured were out there via DSR. About 1,000 sperm donors have registered with DSR – allowing curious families to make a connection with them.
They include an East Coast lawyer named Ben, 31, who asked not to be identified in this story, citing a confidentiality agreement with a clinic. Curious about what his sperm donations as a young man produced, he tapped into the registry his designated donor number and the clinic where he gave. The clinic had also provided Ben’s donor number to mothers who were artificially inseminated. And many of them had typed that number into the network, looking for Ben even before he began exploring.
What he discovered now fills a spreadsheet. Ben, who is single, has at least 60 children out there. All are 6 or younger, logged on by their parents to the registry. He was staggered by the number and unsure what to do with it.
Experts suggest that parents talk with children about how they were conceived, not because kids will understand, but so that parents can practice talking about the issue – and get used to the language they want to use. If parents are proactive, there is no big revelation. It just becomes one of the things a child knows about herself.