Fertility donors used to be able to donate eggs or sperm with complete anonymity but that was before the advent of ancestry DNA testing. Today even if a donor donates anonymously if any of their family members happen get a genetic test, they could be found and many of them are.
The urge to know who your biological parents are is very irresistible to many people and with the vast popularity of DNA testing and genealogy websites that abound these days the connections and interconnections and puzzles of relatedness and family histories are quickly being put together.
DNA testing companies are getting better at warning potential customers that they might find relatives they didn’t know they had and that the test results “have the potential to alter your life and worldview.” But just as creepy as it is that Facebook and Google suggest connections they couldn’t possibly know without accessing your private information, ancestry DNA companies are putting together suggestions based on genetic profiles of their customers that they make available to anyone who joins their site.
Donor conceived children are finding connections that fertility donors never meant for them to find. Not every fertility donor is looking to meet their biological offspring or to be a parent. And the opposite is sometimes true as well. Some donors wonder about who their biological children are and regret not knowing them. This is all pretty uncharted territory with ethical questions that don’t have easy clear cut answers.
People just getting an ancestry test for entertainment purposes can sometimes find out relations they didn’t know they had or that their parents are not their biological parents that they thought they were. This can be life changing information which can also be somewhat upsetting to find out your parents aren’t who you thought they were.
Anonymous fertility donors are now being outed unintentionally by ancestry sites and tracked down by biological children with greater frequency. If you are considering being a fertility donor you must consider being found by a biological child as a real possibility and understand that the probability of remaining anonymous is decreasing daily as more and more people get ancestry DNA tests.
Knowing all the possibilities and consequences of being a fertility donor is imperative before donating. How would you handle a biological offspring contacting you because they wanted to know their biological parent? If you wouldn’t handle that well then you should reconsider becoming a donor.