How anonymous is an anonymous sperm or egg donor – Joyce Harper

In recent years, we now know that about 26 million people globally have been using genealogy databases to trace their family trees and what can happen is that donors can now be traced. So even if they haven’t put their DNA in a database but one of their relatives have there is a possibility that any of their offspring could put their DNA in one of the main four companies that offer these services, and the donor could possibly be traced. The most important thing for these challenges is that parents need to be honest with their children. I think starting a family with half truths and not being totally honest with your children and having the secret within your family – such a fundamental secret – has never been an option that people should do. But we also need to inform all donors that even if they donated 20, 30, 40 years ago it may be revealed that their children find them. I really hope that people are being more open with the removal of anonymity in many countries I think that shows that we are heading that way. I think we need to encourage everyone that uses this treatment but especially the clinics to really inform the patients about this. That they should be honest with their children. And start their family with everyone being fully informed of this important information.

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