Confessions of a Sperm Donor

"That is what I think is the problem with total anonymity," Maxey said. "It's that I have a son that lives in the area and most of the patients came from a 100- or 150-mile radius of the area. If you do math, again, there may be 100 young women that are basically my son's age that are his half-siblings. I have to tell him there is an awful lot of your brothers and sisters that you don't know and I don't know."

Unlike many other developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, there is currently no official government registry for either sperm or egg donors in the United States. Web sites like are trying to fill the gap, allowing donors to post their details for any offspring who may wish to connect with their biological parents.

Maxey says this issue of secrecy should be addressed by the federal government. He wants sperm banks to have to disclose all relevant information to both donors and their offspring.

"It's access to the information. I think the kids should be told and I think the donors should be told," he said. "Not precisely, here's the name and address of your kid, but that they exist and whether they are healthy or not. And that there is a meeting point, an information exchange point where, if you want to know about each other, you can go there. Becoming connected with your genetic relatives should be facilitated and not blocked."


Since our report first aired on Nightline, Dr. Maxey has made contact with one of his donor inseminated children. He hopes for a reunion with this child - now a teenager. He is also working on creating an inventory for genetic material. On the Donor Sibling Registry he is now encouraging donor inseminated mothers simply to save their used donor vial. He says that as medical questions arise, as new tests for new conditions are developed, parents will be very glad that they have this archived specimen that documents exactly what genes were present in the sperm that gave life to their child.

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