One man's sperm bank donations spawn more than 70 kids
Children of the 33 year-old sperm donor from Boston are concerned that they could unknowingly have relations with their brother or sister.
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Ben Seisler, a 33 year-old lawyer from Boston discovered he has spawned more than 70 kids after donating to a sperm bank during his three years of law school.
Some of his offspring tracked him down through a website that allows children to find their biological parents. Some of those children have voiced concern that they could unknowingly have relations with their brother or sister.
So how does the reproductive industry work? Who monitors it? And is anyone keeping track?
Rene Almeling, Yale University assistant professor of sociology and author of “Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm," says there is currently very little regulation over the sperm market. "There is no regulatory body in the United States that actually tracks how many donors there are, how many donations they produced, how many children are produced from sperm donations," she said.
A website called Donor Sibling Registry, launched ten years ago, now has tens of thousands of members who have joined to get information on their biological parent.
"Donors are finding that website, the offspring are finding that website, and so that's where we start to hear stories of groups of half siblings that number between 70, 100, 150," said Almeling.
Compared to the US, Europe and other industrialized countries have much more stringent regulations for the sperm market. In the UK, the Human Fertilization and Embryo Authority is a government licensing and regulation authority for sperm clinics.
Americans are much more reluctant to regulate reproduction, according to Almeling, and this translates to a more "laissez faire" attitude around regulating the industry.
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