Many couples, infertile and otherwise, will turn to sperm or egg donors, to have the family they want, when their efforts to do so themselves, have failed them.
These donors remain anonymous and so does most of their information, including pertinent genetic information, as recipient families are not legally entitled to such information.
Recently on ABC, a 15 year old young man (Tyler) and his mother was featured. Tyler was conceived using a sperm donor and when he made contact with his biological aunt recently, it was discovered that his sperm donor father had died at the age of 43 due to a genetic heart condition (genetic connective tissue disorder). After a quick trip to Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore for a baseline screening of his heart, Tyler discovered that he had the same life-threatening heart condition, too. Luckily for Tyler, he is able to get treatment before it is too late. Tyler’s mom said that this gentleman should never have allowed to be a sperm donor. He has fathered twenty plus children via three sperm banks.
It is for reasons like this that a law will be passed in Washington State soon requiring that sperm and egg donors provide fertility clinics with their identifying information and medical history. Under the new law, offspring age 18 and older can seek out their donors, as long as the donors haven't signed an affidavit of nondisclosure. The aim is to give people conceived via donated tissue a chance to solve a future medical emergency, just as people who have been adopted currently can.
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