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Though websites like the Donor Sibling Registry are helping children find answers, Matthew says it's time for the fertility industry to step up and do the same. "You know, 30,000 children a year being born this way with a lot of unresolved issues in an industry that after 30 [or] 40 years is still kind of a wild, wild West in terms of its regulation," he says.

Matthew says fertility clinics that pay men for sperm donations need to be held to a higher standard. "While I think most of the time that people participating in this are well-intending individuals doing good things and helpful things ... I have to wonder if it's really on the up and up every time," he says. "You've got different fertility clinics on different street corners, and the better your donor portfolio looks, you'll be able to recruit a stronger clientele. How does the family or individual using donated gametes confirm, in fact, that the donor had these credentials?"

Many clinics promise to limit the number of times a donor's sperm can be sold, but Wendy says that doesn't always happen. "On our website, there are groups of families with 40 kids, 60 kids, all from one donor," she says. "There's no tracking. There's no accountability."

Wendy says there's one donor on her website who has fathered 66 children—the highest number she's seen. "It's completely out of control," she says. "Nobody's watching."



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FROM: The Ultimate Reunion: When Dad Is a Sperm Donor
Published on March 14, 2008

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