Since the law changed in April 2005 in UK, it is no longer possible for sperm donors to remain anonymous. This has resulted in a large decrease in the number of sperm donations, which has in turn led to a shortage of stock in sperm banks.
A Child’s Right to Know
Most donors are not looking to become parents when they take the decision to donate sperm. Whether it is for financial gain or to help couples that are infertile, it is clear they have no interest in being a part of a child’s life. New legislation, however, means that every child has the right to know its biological father, so the anonymity factor has been removed from the donor process.
This has resulted in a decrease in donor donation. There are many reasons for this, however, one of the main factors donors are now considering is the thought of being approached years later by someone claiming to be your child and demanding a paternity test.
There are now many factors to consider when becoming a sperm donor. Although many want to help infertile couples, the process now has far reaching effects, with many taking into consideration the fact that they could be contacted for a DNA paternity test many years later.
Genetics plays a huge part in today’s relationships, informing hospitals of medical history, proneness to diseases and illnesses, and organ transplant compatibility. Many children born from sperm donors now are able to trace their biological fathers using DNA paternity testsand other methods.
Nature vs. Nurture
The debate about what makes a good parent has raged on for years. Whether a child is reared by its biological father or not, what matters is the way the child is parented. Studies have shown that good fathering can, amongst other things, reduce the probability of being involved in criminal activity and gaining a criminal record, as well as result in children with better exam results, social skills, higher self-esteem and less trust issues.
Obviously, by assisting in the reproduction process, every donor now needs to be aware of the responsibilities that may fall on his shoulders. If a sperm donor did not intend to be a father but is contacted many years later by a child seeking a paternity test, this could have very drastic consequences. All sperm donors need to be aware of these possibilities before becoming involved in the process.
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