With the number of children born through artificial insemination increasing, many young people are discovering that they have several or even dozens of half-siblings around the world. The New York Times has reported the case of one sperm donor who fathered 150 children.
As more women choose to have children on their own, the demand for sperm donors has increased. But Americans are now concerned about the implications of having many children fathered by the same man.
According to The New York Times, the son of a donor found that he has 150 half-siblings: all of whom were children of the same donor.
The primary concern raised by this trend is that genes for rare diseases will now spread more quickly through the population. Experts are also concerned that accidental incest might occur between children fathered by the same donor.
Doctors and parents are pushing for the fertility industry to have greater regulations.
Even sperm donors are surprised by how many children they have fathered. A few of the donors say that having so many children from one donor is unfair to the children and their families.
Critics say that fertility clinics and sperm banks are earning huge profits by allowing too many children to be conceived with sperm from popular donors. The idea of nearly 150 children with the same genetic father amassed inside similar social circles and relatively close proximity can raise alarms.
There are advocates who believe that legal limits must be placed on the number of children a clinic can produce from the same donor's sperm. Advocates for sperm donor laws and regulations say donors are protected by an anonymity that appears eerily familiar to the internet's earliest days when public users signed on with fictitious monikers.
The thought of 150 children fathered by a single source can be overwhelming. It is difficult to believe that a sperm donor, despite the impersonal, clinical process involved, feels no moral and ethical responsibility or concern for the children's he's fathered.
Many parents are calling for tighter regulation so that donor children can know more about their donors, and the number of kids from each donor can be limited.