What do ART industry professionals need to know?
Selected short answers from the 2020 We Are Donor Conceived survey
“First do no harm”. Intended parents may be your “customers”, but what you are creating are not “successful pregnancies” or even “babies”, these are human beings who will grow up, be affected by their experiences, and often go on to have their own children. You are affecting outcomes for generations to come, and there is a significant responsibility that comes with that.
Sperm donor conceived person from USA, age 46
Take a longer view. Your moral obligation extends to the children. They are not just a product to satisfy your client. Consider whether your practices would be considered ethical if they applied to adoptees. Take the time to find out what donor conceived adults have to say.
Sperm donor conceived person from USA, age 43
DC people have special needs. The industry needs to be regulated with the same standards as adoptees and children subject to divorcing parents: the best interest of the child should be paramount.
Sperm donor conceived person from USA, age 62
I despise having over 30 known siblings, all the while knowing there are like 100+ out there. It’s so dehumanizing. I will likely be finding new siblings for the rest of my life and will probably never know or meet many of them. Please set limits—this is inhumane.
Sperm donor conceived person from USA, age 28
The products of your work are human beings who deserve to know everything about where they come from. The industry is so focused on getting the parents what they want, they don’t think about the ramifications for the children later on. Openness, transparency, thorough screening, and a lifetime commitment to helping children access the information and people they want are the least that can be done. Self-regulation is a joke; there needs to be external oversight, restrictions on the number of offspring, mandatory counseling of all parties involved, and a robust database of donor-conceived individuals so the size of our population can no longer be denied or obfuscated.
Sperm donor conceived person from USA, age 42
We are not commodities and your industry continues to fail the children they are creating. Anonymous donors, poor record keeping, fertility fraud, and medical mistakes should not be happening. It is time to be on the right side of history and work with the donor conceived community to put forward meaningful regulations that reflect our basic dignity as people and our human rights. History will judge you harshly should you continue down this path that ignores our agency as people.
Sperm donor conceived person from Canada, age 33
You are helping to create humans. Most of us want to know our origins, medical history, and true identity. Act like it. Be an active part in creating U.S. regulations even if it means your business model has to change. It’s morally and ethically the right thing to do.
Sperm donor conceived person from USA, age 50