Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Study of Donor-Conceived People

Wendy Kramer and Professor Naomi Cahn recently published an interesting article in BioNews:

The largest study to date of donor-conceived people has just been published in Human Reproduction (1). Its findings show the need to address two different effects of anonymous donating: first, when should children find out that their parents used donor sperm or eggs; and second, should children ever find out the identity of their donors? The researchers, from California State University and the Donor Sibling Registry, provide definitive answers to these questions. The majority of the 751 respondents believed that early disclosure was important. Three quarters recommended that only 'known' or 'willing to be known' donors should be used.

Today, disclosure turns on the type of family. Study participants who grew up in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) or single-parent households were more likely to learn of their origins at an earlier age than those of heterosexual couples. They, in turn, had a healthier or more positive view of their means of conception. The study also found that children in LGBT households are more comfortable expressing curiosity about the donor than those of heterosexual parents, and that they are significantly more likely to express this interest at a younger age. For example, twice as many LGBT offspring expressed an interest in their donor by the age of 11.

Read more here.


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'Donor Conceived People'??? I've never thought of it in those terms. I've never thought that the inviduals who were conceived through non-traditional methods could be a class in and of themselves. You learn something new everyday I suppose...

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Attorneys | Aug 18, 2011 10:57:14 AM

That's a fascinating study - thank you for sharing.

Posted by: Oklahoma City Divorce Lawyers | Sep 20, 2011 7:09:49 PM

Do any of these studies disaggregate the results according to whether the donor gave sperm or eggs? I would think that being conceived with donor sperm ("DS") feels different than being conceived with donor eggs ("DE"), since with DS there is an actual biological father out there, whereas with DE, biological motherhood is split between the donor and the mother who carried and gave birth to the child. (In other words biological motherhood is more complex than biological fatherhood; an egg donor is not equivalent to a birth mother who gave a child up for adoption, whereas a sperm donor is equivalent to a guy who got the birth mother pregnant.)

Posted by: Ideagirl | May 4, 2013 6:57:46 PM

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