Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lack of Sperm Donor Regulation Poses Problems for Offspring

The United State's largely unregulated sperm donation industry poses serious risks for children born through IVF using donated sperm, reports the New York Times. Not only do children often lack half of their medical histories, but there is also a real risk of accidental incest between genetic half-siblings and also an increased risk of spreading genes for rare diseases through the population at an artificially high rate. For these reasons, other countries such as Britain, France, and Sweden limit the number of conceptions permitted for the sperm of any one donor, but the U.S. has no such restrictions.

An excerpt: “We have more rules that go into place when you buy a used car than when you buy sperm,” said Debora L. Spar, president of Barnard College and author of “The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception.” “It’s very clear that the dealer can’t sell you a lemon, and there’s information about the history of the car. There are no such rules in the fertility industry right now.”

Read the full article here.

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