Open-Identity Sperm Donation: How Does Offering Donor-Identifying Information Relate to Donor-Conceived Offspring’s Wishes and Needs?

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 12 (3):503-509 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Over the past years, a growing number of countries have legislated open-identity donation, in which donor-conceived offspring are given access to the donor’s identity once the child has reached maturity. It is held that donor anonymity creates identity problems for such children similar to the “genealogical bewilderment” described within the adoption context. The study of the social and psychological effects of open-identity donation is still very much in its infancy, but what has been left unquestioned is whether offering access to the donor’s name and address is an adequate response to such effects. This study has two goals: First, we aim to provide a systematic review of the reasons why donor-conceived offspring want to know the identity of their sperm donor. Second, we examine to what extent the provision of donor-identifying information can satisfy the reasons mentioned. The most important motivations appear to be: to avoid medical risks and consanguineous relationships; to satisfy curiosity; to learn more about the self or to complete one’s identity; to learn more about what kind of person the donor is ; to form a relationship with the donor and/or his family; and to learn about one’s ancestry/genealogy. Our analysis shows that for nearly all of these reasons access to the donor’s identity is not necessary. In those cases where it is, moreover, donor identification is not sufficient. What is really needed is contact with the donor, rather than the mere provision of his name



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,953

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Improving the organ donor card system in Switzerland.David Shaw - 2013 - Swiss Medical Weekly 143:w13835.
The making and breaking of paternity secrets in donor insemination.L. Turney - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (7):401-406.
The Case for Kidney Donation Before End-of-Life Care.Paul E. Morrissey - 2012 - American Journal of Bioethics 12 (6):1-8.
What Should a Not-For-Profit Do When a Clean Donor Becomes Tainted?Paul Dunn - 2006 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 17:248-250.


Added to PP

71 (#236,315)

6 months
13 (#220,183)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Veerle Provoost
University of Ghent
Guido Pennings
University of Ghent

References found in this work

Family History.J. David Velleman - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (3):357-378.
The Identity Problem.J. David Velleman - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (3):221 - 244.
I. The Identity Problem.J. David Velleman - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (3):221-244.

Add more references