Monday, February 13, 2012

Children of Gamete Donors Struggle More

But nobody saw this coming at all:

We are now learning more than ever before about the experience of an arguably similar class of children, those deliberately denied their biological fathers via sperm donation. In studies such as "My Daddy's Name is Donor: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation," which I co-investigated with University of Texas sociology professor Norval Glenn and donor-conceived adult Karen Clark; or in stories posted at the popular website; or found in a newly-released documentary, Anonymous Father's Day, we are hearing that being deliberately denied your father can be both painful and bewildering, especially in a society that says your loss should not matter.

Based on a representative sample, in "My Daddy's Name is Donor" we reported that most sperm donor-conceived persons strongly object to anonymous donation of sperm. Nearly half feel troubled by the role of money in their conception. Most want to know about their biological father's family, and they wonder if that family would want to know about them. Compared to their peers raised by biological parents, sperm donor-conceived persons are more likely to struggle with delinquency, addiction, and depression.

Clearly, at least some of these kids are not really all right. It seems entirely plausible that at least some conceived never to know their mothers might share the feelings of the sample in our study. For decades we have debated whether fathers matter. Must we now debate whether mothers matter, too?

That's Reproductive Choice for you.

It's all about the adults, not about the child.