The Birds and the Bees (via the Fertility Clinic)

New York Times May 30 2010

If you want to adopt a child in the United States, you’ll face an array of bureaucratic roadblocks and invasive interrogations. Adoption agencies will assess your finances, your relationships, and your fitness as a potential guardian. The interests of the child, not the desires of the would-be parent, will be treated as paramount throughout.

If you want to procure sperm or eggs, the process is completely different. You can shop for gametes the way you’d go shopping for a house or a car — buying ova from an Ivy League undergraduate, or sperm from a 6-foot-8, athletic, blue-eyed Dane. The person selling you the right to bear and rear their biological offspring can do so anonymously, with no future strings attached at all….roughly 6,000 children are conceived through egg donation annually as well. About a million American adults, if not more, are the biological children of sperm donors.

Not surprisingly, these Americans have a complicated relationship to the reproductive marketplace that made their existence possible. Their inner lives are the subject of a fascinating study from the Institute for American Values, based on a survey of younger adults, ages 18 to 45, who were conceived through sperm donation. Large minorities report being troubled both by “the circumstances of my conception” and by the fact “that money was exchanged in order to conceive me.” The offspring of sperm donors are more likely to oppose payments for sperm and eggs than most Americans and to say that “it is wrong to deliberately conceive a fatherless/motherless child.” And a substantial minority said that if a friend were pondering having a baby by a sperm donor, they “would encourage her not to do it.” Americans conceived through sperm donation also are more likely to feel alienated from their immediate family than either biological or adopted children. They’re twice as likely as adoptees to report envying peers who knew their biological parents, twice as likely to worry that their parents “might have lied to me about important matters” and three times as likely to report feeling “confused about who is a member of my family and who is not.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/31/opinion/31douthat.html?scp=1&sq=Institute%20for%20American%20Values%20sperm%20donation&st=cse
READ the top 15 Findings http://www.familyscholars.org/assets/Donor_15findings.pdf
READ the full research http://www.familyscholars.org/assets/Donor_FINAL.pdf