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Donor-Conceived People Demand More Transparency, Regulation

[Note to Editor: Hi Editor! Please put a picture of the protests above or a stock image of scientists. It’s hard to put a picture up here, thank you!]

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What could go wrong with anonymous sperm and egg donations? A lot of terrible things, and many donor-conceived people suffer the consequences because of state protections around the anonymity of donors.

The world is shifting its stance towards the rights of egg and sperm donors’ anonymity, and the same is true in other parts of the world including various states in the U.S. The very first Donor Conceived Protest in New Orleans had people gathered from all over the United States, and many have raised their concerns regarding serial donors, their right to know their parentage, and their right to access their donor’s family medical history.

Other protestors also had other terrible revelations about sexual abuse committed by gynecologists and fertility doctors.

A quick 23&Me test and search might be able to help donor-conceived people understand some things about their genetics and their roots, but they shouldn’t have to. Many of these donor-conceived people are in jeopardy for having no clear family medical history to go by, and they are unable to prepare for genetically passed diseases and conditions that could later come up in older age.

The worst part is that they’re likely to pass it on to their own children, without those children ever knowing that they might have a deadly disease to fend against. Nightmares of half-siblings dating each other have been a reality for some donor-conceived people in the protest because there are people who donate sperm frequently. This is all because most donor-conceived people and their parents don’t have names or paper trails to go by.

But the worst among these revelations are donor-conceived children conceived through the sexual abuse of their mothers by fertility doctors. Women are often subject to having doctors replace anonymous sperm with their own without the woman’s consent. Egg stealing is also another frequent crime that takes place, and women’s eggs get switched with another woman’s, making them conceive a child that is not biologically theirs. This veil of anonymity places donor-conceived children and families who choose to go through IVF in precarious situations, and this makes their demand for regulation and transparency extremely justified.

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.