Adoption In The News: Sperm Donation Regulations

CBS News and the New York Times recently did an interesting report on sperm donations and the CBS News report asks “are lax U.S. sperm donation policies setting the stage for accidental incest?”

The New York Times found a case where 150 children may have the same sperm donor father, and according to the CBS News report there are similar situations across the country.

While incest is a main concern of the lax regulations, the CBS News report also points out “the revelations also raise fears that children from the same donor could share disease-causing genes that can spread through the population.”

According to the New York Times, England France and Sweden all have laws limiting the amount of times a sperm donation can be used, with England capping the number at 10. However the times reports that there are no such regulations in America.

“We have more rules that go into place when you buy a used car then when you buy sperm,” Debora L. Spar, who is the author of “The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception,” told the New York Times.

According to the CBS Report, Dr. Robert G. Brzyski, who is the chairman of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, told the New York Times that the standards of the industry need to be reassessed.

The CBS News report said that Brzyski told the times that “decisions were based on estimates of unintended circumstances when brothers and sisters might meet and marry.” He now believes that those policies are out of date and thinks “there needs to be a reassessment of the criteria and the policies regarding the appropriate number of offspring.”