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Donor conceived people

A donor offspring, or donor conceived person, is conceived via the donation of sperm (sperm donation) or ova (egg donation), or both, either from two separate donors or from a couple. In the case of embryo donation, the conceiving parents are a couple.

Donor conceived people may never learn of their true birth origins as information about their true biological parent(s) is not recorded on the birth certificate. This is compounded by the fact that only a small proportion (av. 10%) of donor conceived people will ever be informed of the nature of their conception by the recipient parent(s). Donor conceived people may have many half siblings as a result of the same person's donations.


Donor & sibling tracking

There are donor sibling registries matching genetic siblings and donors. However, with modern information technology, there are other ways of getting information.


Main article:

The Donor Sibling Registry is an online registry to facilitate donor conceived people, sperm donors and egg donors to establish contact with genetic kindreds. They are mostly used by donor conceived people to find genetic half-siblings from the same egg- or sperm donor. More than 15,500 people worldwide are currently registered on the site, with more than 4100 donor conceived being able to make contact with their half siblings and/or donors.

Some donors are non-anonymous, but most are anonymous, i.e. the donor conceived person doesn't know the true identity of the donor. Still, he/she may get the donor number from the fertility clinic. If that donor had donated before, then other donor conceived people with the same donor number are thus genetic half-siblings. In short, donor sibling registries matches people who type in the same donor number.

Alternatively, if the donor number isn't available, then known donor characteristics, e.g. hair, eye and skin color may be used in matching siblings.


However, even sperm donors who have not initiated contact through a registry are now increasingly being traced by their offspring. In the current era there can be no such thing as guaranteed anonymity. Through the advent of DNA testing and internet access to extensive databases of information, one sperm donor has recently been traced. In 2005 it was revealed (11/3/05 New Scientist Magazine) that an enterprising 15-year-old used information from a DNA test and the internet to identify and contact his genetic father, who was a sperm donor. This has brought into question the ability of sperm donors to stay anonymous.


The voices of donor conceived people are starting to be heard around the world. Most donor conceived people who are born from anonymous donation wish to have more information about their biological parent(s), so that they are able to complete their personal history. The majority of donor conceived people (those who know about their conception) disagree with anonymous donation of any sort.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child[1], Article 8 states that;

"1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.

2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity."

In this sense, donor conceived people may be seen as deprived of their identity.

See also


  1. ^ Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, (2003), Convention on the Rights of the Child Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989,, accessed 8 December 2005
  • We Are Donor Conceived People A journal for and about donor conceived people
  • Donor Sibling Registry (A non-profit organization which assists individuals conceived as a result of sperm, egg or embryo donation to make mutually desired contact with others with whom they share genetic ties -- donors, offspring & half-siblings)
  • Infertility Network (A registered Canadian charity which provides information & support to patients, parents & offspring)
  • Donor Conception Network (A non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom which provides information & support to patients, parents & offspring)
  • Donor Conception Support Group (A non-profit organization based in Australia which provides information & support to patients, parents & offspring)
  • PCVAI (A group for people who were conceived by sperm or egg donation)
  • Donor Offspring Health A non-profit organization which provides a way for donors and donor conceived individuals to share pertinent health information. Anyone considering donor conception can also search the database to see if health issues have been reported for a potential donor.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Donor_conceived_people". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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