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Need an Excel Spreadsheet to Track Sperm Donor Children? Law Prof Sees Need for Regulations

Posted Sep 6, 2011 8:51 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Some sperm donors have fathered as many as 150 children, a statistic that is leading to calls for more regulation of artificial insemination.

The numbers can be tracked through a website where families list children born through artificial insemination and the identifying number given their sperm donor fathers, the New York Times reports. Social worker Cynthia Daily searched the registry and found that her child was among 150 brothers and sisters conceived by a single donor, the story says. A sperm donor keeping track of his children through the website learned he had 70 children and now keeps track of them on an Excel spreadsheet.

Britain, France and Sweden limit the number of children that can be fathered by a sperm donor, but there is no cap in the United States, the story says.

Some experts fear the explosion in half siblings could spread genes for rare diseases throughout the population, the story says. There is also a fear of accidental incest, according to George Washington University law professor Naomi Cahn. She has written a book, Test Tube Families: Why the Fertility Markets Need Legal Regulation.

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