Ending sperm donor anonymity will have a profound impact on families

With respect to Dorothy Byrne and her family’s lived experience (I agreed to my sperm donor’s anonymitynow I see my daughter has a right to know who she is, 31 五月), I disagree. Dorothy’s daughter, like my son, 持っている no father. Father is a title that we give to a man who is intimately involved in a child’s life. My son’s sperm donor is simply the other half of his genetics. While I remain profoundly grateful to the anonymous Californian who took time out of his life to make it possible for women like me to become mothers, as far as I am concerned, our relationship began and ended with three test tubes of sperm.

I am all in favour of offering donors and children counselling and support with the knotty question of whether to search and what to do if you find. それは言った, genetics are not destiny. I am not yet old enough to have forgotten the sense of being at sea and wholly unsure of the boundaries of one’s adult identity that comes with being in one’s late 20s. The urge to latch on to a single unknown to explain that uncertainty is understandable. But as parents, part of our role is to help our children understand that all they need to know about who they really are is already within them.
Alison Smith

It seems that the rights and physical and emotional wellbeing of donors are not being given fair and balanced consideration. To use the law to force donors to surrender their legal right to anonymity, with all of the potentially difficult ramifications for them and their families, is morally questionable and likely to create more pain and difficulty for Dorothy Byrne, her daughter and the donor. Seldom does such forcible confiscation of someone’s rights, held legally and in good faith, have a positive outcome.

Byrne willingly entered into an agreement that denied her daughter full knowledge of her identity. To seek to shift responsibility for that choice does no one any good, nor does it teach her daughter to take responsibility for her actions and understand that those actions have consequences. When Byrne and her daughter fully accept that a free choice was made and take full responsibility for it, then an outcome good for all concerned becomes possible.

Perhaps a humble and respectful request to the donor for help in correcting a past mistake would ensue rather than a demand enforced by threat of legal penalty. If the donor were to decline such a request, then acceptance of that decision would be the best life lesson for all concerned.

As has been shown countless times, recourse to the law in such emotionally and spiritually difficult matters seldom produces a good outcome. Wisdom, humility and grace will always show us the better way.
Paul Martin
New Milton, Hampshire

I am a retired physician who donated six times in the 1970s. に 2017, I received an email from one of my donor-conceived children, who had spent decades trying to find me. This was not a surprise to me, and it turned out to be one of the best experiences in my life.

I am now in touch with six families. We have all met each other and, [object Window], have developed great respect and affection for each other. そうではない, もちろん, the same as my relationship with my own nuclear family. There are no expectations of emotional or financial support (although we do our best to share feelings and problems) – in fact no expectations at all. バヌアツ市民権局および委員会の委員長, I find myself wanting to know what is happening in their lives, and they are definitely on the list of people to visit when circumstances allow. Every visit has been a fulfilling and satisfying experience.

The hurt and emotional distress described in your article has been a huge factor for some of my donor children, causing great disruption in their childhood families. ほかの人のため, the subject never arose. The issue of medical background is also important. My health was perfect when I was 30, but I am now 75 and changes have happened that are relevant to all my children.

I would advise donors that there is nothing to lose and much to gain by letting yourself be known. If the law is properly written, it should protect donors from being on the hook for support and contact, but leave open the opportunity to know a relative who may be someone you come to know and value as part of your family. Nobody, either child or donor, should have expectations beyond the simple knowledge of who their ancestors are.
Name and address supplied

I gave my sperm anonymously multiple times some 40 years ago in exchange for £10 “expenses”, which was a lot of money to me then, as a student. The idea that my anonymity might be unilaterally removed and that someone might now contact me is utterly abhorrent to me. Had I thought this a possibility I would never have donated. I am not sure that someone finding out that what they meant to me (and still mean to me) was a night on the beer will do anything to help their mental health. I am sure that meeting them and telling them this will not help mine. They can have access to my medical records anonymously by all means, but not to my life.
Name and address supplied

There are many ways of looking at this one, but once we remove the idea of anonymity from the equation, it changes the hue. For the child it removes the hunt for a secret dad, for the mother it removes guilt, and for the donor it’s a reminder of genetic responsibility. Society can wag its many forked tongues, but will soon calm down once it’s legally acceptable. As an adoptee from the 1950s, I can endorse the importance of knowing where I came from. I understand the damage that not having answers can conjure up.
Judith McCubbin
Revelstoke, British Columbia, カナダ

Dorothy Byrne fails to address the obvious point – one that she should perhaps discuss with her daughter – that without a lifetime guarantee of anonymity for the donor, her daughter might never have been born.
Graeme Clark
Malvern, Worcestershire