Sperm donor children can sometimes track down their once-anonymous dads using consumer DNA tests

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There was a time when a man could anonymously donate sperm to a couple or woman trying to conceive and everyone could be reasonably sure it would remain a secret. But thanks to home DNA test kits and the internet, those days are over.

Men and women who didn’t know they were conceived with a sperm donor are unexpectedly turning up the family secret when they take DNA tests for fun, for genealogy research or other reasons.

And donors who were promised anonymity decades ago are now being contacted by offspring who have tracked them down with the help of consumer DNA tests from companies such as 23andme and Ancestry and Facebook groups such as DNA Detectives.


It’s the type of scenario sperm donors and recipients now need to be aware of, say those who work in the fertility industry.

“I think it’s folly to be promising anonymity to any kind of donor,” said Sherry Levitan, a Toronto lawyer specializing in assisted reproductive technology.

Dr. Alfonso Del Valle, [sperm bank] Repromed’s medical director, says about 75 per cent of Canadian donors now have agreed to let their donor offspring to learn their identity when they turn 18.


But for the others, he said, “We do respect their wishes.”

Read full, original post: Donor-conceived people are tracking down their biological fathers, even if they want to hide

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