The reality of sperm donation is hitting home Two sets of documents provide insight into the extraordinary number of siblings donor conceived people can have, and the strange and, at times, heartbreaking experience of charms online australia not knowing who they are.
Sarah Dingle writes. The handwriting is clear and quite precise. Mostly capitals. A curious way of forming the letter "Y", with a rounded v. But it's the numbers, not the letters, which matter. Set out on two pieces of pink notepaper are the personal records of how many times a single man donated sperm around Sydney. For the record: 318 times. These rows on rows of handwritten dates, carefully annotated with all the obsessiveness of a trainspotter, are staggering. So staggering, in fact, that we've decided to make a graph. Here's what this man got up to in the 13 years to 1992: Let's call this man John. John made his sperm donations under the condition of anonymity. What that means is his own biological children would never know who he was, or (far worse in this particular situation) they wouldn't know who all their half siblings were. They may not even be aware that they're donor conceived at all. Studies have shown that up to 90 per cent of recipient parents never tell their children the truth about their origins. Many prefer to let them think that their social parents are also their biological ones. And how many half siblings could there be, all born in Sydney, as a result of number charms for pandora bracelets John's activity? Thousands. Damien Adams is a medical research scientist, and he's also donor conceived. "You could have something as little as dozens," he says. (To most people, "dozens" of brothers and sisters is still a lot.) "But it could be hundreds, and it could be thousands, depending on the quality of sperm he had, how many straws were made, how many times it was used. It's indeterminable." That means possibly thousands of half siblings growing up in Sydney, maybe in the same suburbs, of the same age, perhaps going to the same schools, maybe even dating each other. Horrifically, some may even be marrying each other, and trying to have children of their own completely unaware they are half siblings. (Indeed, John appears to have hit a purple patch in the year 1990, donating sperm on average once a week.) He donated not at backyard joints, but at large Sydney public hospitals, and with well known fertility specialists. Damien Adams says these days, there are now limits on the numbers of times a single man's sperm is supposed to be used. But only half Australia's states and territories have laws governing donor conception and there are no national laws at all. Clinics weren't (and still aren't) supposed to pay donors for their sperm, because it's human tissue. What they were (and are) allowed to do was reimburse sperm donors for unspecified out of pocket expenses, like "travel costs". The fact that John apparently made more than 200 sperm donations to just two locations alone (Crown St Women's Hospital, now closed, and a clinic in Macquarie St) is shocking. But on top of that he also donated at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Paddington Women's Hospital, King George V Hospital for Mothers and Babies (now closed) and at Westmead. None of these hospitals would have had any idea where else this man was donating, or how many times he had already done so. This is because for more than 30 years there was no central register in New South Wales recording who donors were, who their children were, or even how many donor conceived babies were born. There's also to this sell pandora charms day no national register of donors or donor conceived people, so John could also have gone interstate and gone to town, so to speak. Who knows. I was given John's handwritten notes by one contact while conducting a Background Briefing investigation into how DNA tests are shattering sperm donor anonymity. I've also been shown a second, private set of documents from someone else. They're the bookend to John's meticulous account of masturbation. They're the consequences of actions like his. This second set of documents is the property pandora jewelry cost of 25 year old Hannah, from Melbourne, and they're also covered with dates. They are heartbreaking. Hannah was conceived under anonymous donor conception. These two pages are all the information she's currently allowed to have about her many half siblings. Her brothers and sisters are listed clinically as "Male, January, 1988", or "Female, September, 1989". There are 20 babies now adults on these pages. Together with however many other children her sperm donor has fathered at different clinics, or with women actually in his life, the true list of Hannah's half siblings could be much longer. For now, though, all Hannah has are these 20 cold little lines about flesh and blood. These pages are Hannah's family. "My eldest sibling is only a year older than me, and my youngest half sibling is just under four years younger than me," Hannah says, "but that youngest one is a bit of an outlier." What most people don't realise is that donor conception creates batches of babies. Many half siblings are of very similar ages. Hannah and her brothers and sisters are no exception. "There's almost 10 of us who are born in '88, '89 or '90, so there's a real clump," she says. "I've got one male, born in the same month and year as me. Then a female, also born in the same month and year as me.
Then quite a few others in the same year I was born." Let's just take the first one: a half brother for Hannah, born in the same month, same year, maybe even same day (days of the month are not disclosed). If it were the same day, what would you call him? A half twin.
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