Sisters born out of one sperm donor connect…And they feel like meeting their own

People born with donated sperm & eggs are increasingly connecting with their genetic relatives in the US
Half-siblings from the same donor father are shown on July 12, 2018 in Boston. -Image courtesy Washington Post

The Hush Post: The United States (US) is facing a new phenomena nowadays. It is the trend of DNA-in-laws.

Now, people born with donated sperm and eggs are increasingly connecting with their genetic relatives. Thus they are forming a growing community with complex relationships. And show unique concerns about the fertility industry in the United States, a report said.

Several such born people have discovered dozens of donor siblings and one group has approached 200 members.

Take the example of Sophia and Arroyo. Both were conceived with sperm from Donor #2757. Over the years, Donor #2757 sired at least 29 girls and 16 boys. Now they age 1 to 21, living in eight states and four countries. Arroyo was on a quest to meet them all, chronicling her journey on Instagram. She had to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep them all straight.

“We have a connection. It’s hard to explain, but it’s there,” said Arroyo. “We have a connection. It’s hard to explain, but it’s there,” said Arroyo, the only child who is both comforted and weirded-out by her ever-expanding family tree, when she met her DNA-sister (birthed from the sperms of the same man).

A report in The Washinton Post says, as most of the donations are anonymous, such born children find it impossible to get crucial information. Medical journals have documented cases where clusters of offspring have found each other while seeking treatment for the same rare genetic disease.

The news gives nightmares to the sperm donors who had falsified their educational backgrounds. Many such donors often hide disease or turn out to be someone other than expected , the report said.

It raises fears that kids of prolific donors could fall in love without knowing they were closely related

While Britain, Norway, China and other countries have passed laws limiting the number of children conceived per donor, the US relies solely on voluntary guidelines. It has raised fears that children of prolific donors could fall in love without knowing they were closely related. Thus putting their kids at risk of genetic disorders.

With such fears, the donor-conceived community is starting to demand more government regulation – so far with mixed results. In 2018, Washington and Vermont became the first states to require clinics to collect donors’ medical history. And to provide that information to any resulting kid. Similar laws have been introduced in California and Rhode Island, the report said.

In August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US turned down a petition from a donor offspring group. The petition sought to limit the number of births per donor, mandate reporting of donor-conceived births and require donors to provide post-conception medical updates. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, wrote that such oversight exceeds the FDA’s mission, which is limited to screening donors for communicable diseases.

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