Ethical Issues with Sperm Donation

What are some of the ethical issues to think about before using donor sperm to create your family? How many times should a man be allowed to donate? How much screening should be done on donors? Host Dawn Davenport interviewed Ole Schou, founder and CEO of Cryos International – the largest sperm bank in the world according to Guinness Book of Records. Cryos’ simple mission and vision is to help childless people to become parents. Ole Schou’s special interest over almost 30 years is ethics & law and the impact on the market mechanisms and the use of donor sperm.

Hit the Highlights
  • How big of a concern is consanguinity—the accidental partnering of half siblings through donor conception. How many children should be allowed per donor or how many donations should be allowed? How do we track?
  • How have the voices of donor conceived people who are now adults changed the practice of using donor sperm and also by extension donor egg?
  • Do children have the right to know the identity of their donor? Medical history? Genetic history?
  • Do we need to support donor conceived young adults and donor contact? And if so, who should provide this support?
  • How do people choose a donor? What type of counseling should be automatically included?
  • We hear people outside of this field express concern about designer babies. What are your thoughts on this?
  • Telling children about their donor conception.
  • What are some of the ethical issues with anonymous vs. identified donors
  • How much screening and testing should be done on potential donors?
  • There is a trend towards centralization in sperm banks. Fewer smaller local banks towards a smaller # but larger and more centralized banks.
  • How has the demand changed in the last 20 years for donor sperm?
  • Do you see a difference in what the different segments of people using donor sperm are looking for?
  • Should we take the money out of sperm donation or egg donation and move to a purely altruistic donation model?
  • Are there ethical issues associated with a combined donor egg and donor sperm IVF cycle?
  • Should home insemination be allowed?
  • Should donors be required to be parents themselves before they donate such as is required in France?
  • Is it ethical to buy sperm over the internet?

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Image Credit: zen Sutherland