Why Anonynous Sperm Donation is Over, and Why That Matters by Emily Bazelon

Posted On December 5th, 2023

I have directed an egg donation and surrogacy program for many years. A law requiring disclosure of identifying information many years post-donation will have real (and perhaps unintended) negative practical consequences. To be sure, the number of willing sperm and egg donors will plummet and this will mean far fewer choices for parents and more pressure on New York clinics to accept candidates who may be on the margins of medical qualification (but who are open to releasing identity). We have seen in England the ramifications of forced identity release – lengthy waiting periods for donor gametes and egg donors who are still able to participate well into their 30s (which means more medical risk). Few intended parents appreciate the flip side of identity release. A donor who is required to share his or her name and contact information and who will then need to always know that because of a sperm or egg donation, a child or children could well appear years later to “reunite” might want some shared information in return. Donors are not birth parents providing children for adoption; they view their role as more of a DNA provider (not that they are giving a child away). How many intended parents are going to be OK with sharing their names and addresses with their sperm or egg donor?

Sanford Benardo


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