Sperm and egg donor anonymity rights could be removed in Spain

LEGISLATION CHANGE: Spain’s laws could be updated to withdraw anonymity for donors. File image. Photo credit: Shutterstock

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A BIOETHICS committee has announced plans to potentially remove anonymity rights from sperm and egg donors.

The body, which is attached to Spain’s Ministry of Health, said it intends to raise a debate over whether children born using donations have a right to know their biological parents.

According to Spanish media, the move could see Spain update its legislation in line with other European countries, including Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Portugal.

Spain has one of the highest levels of assisted reproduction clinics in the world at around 400. In 2015, 2,801 babies were conceived through donations, and 0.7 per cent of all babies were born using sperm donations, according to the Spanish Fertility Society.

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  1. Great news! The donor-conceived, rather than the parents, clinics, or donors, are the people most directly affected by donor conception, and they are the ones who have to live with the consequences the longest. They also seem to be mostly against donor anonymity, and secrecy surrounding donor conception. Some don’t care, but there’s no way for anyone to tell whether their child will want to know who the donor is or not, so they should always have the choice. Why should anyone’s desire to have a child override a donor-conceived person’s desire to know the identity of their genetic father?

    If a sperm donor wants to be anonymous, then he simply shouldn’t be a sperm donor. I was a sperm donor over 30 years ago, and if I have any genetic children looking for me, I’ve made it as easy as possible for them to find me. Over a thousand other donors have registered at the Donor Sibling Registry and the UK Donor Conceived Register.

    Countries that have already ended donor anonymity include the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, and New Zealand. Why not Spain?

    According to HFEA figures, the numbers of UK sperm donors went *up* eight years in a row since the ending of anonymity, thus reversing a three year decline. The 631 donors in 2012 was the highest figure since they started keeping records, and well over double the figure in 2004 (237) just before anonymity ended.

    Several “anonymous” donors have been identified using DNA and genealogical databases, so it`s no longer possible for anyone to guarantee a donor that they will remain anonymous anyway.

    • I agree with Mark Lyndon. I really hope other countries follow suit. I don’t think it’s such a terrible thing if at 18 years old, every single person can know everything they want to about their origins. Honestly, this should offend no one. If a child does not wish to know more, they will still have the option not to find out anything at all so it’s not being forced on them. It is time that donor-conceived people were given the choice to find out anything they wish to.


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