There has been a lot of talk about this article. When Ben Seisler was in law school, he became a sperm donor. Later, he registered with the Donor Sibling Registry and discovered that his sperm was used to create 70 children and counting.
As someone who has used an anonymous sperm donor to help create my family, I found this article interesting. I’m kind of addicted to internet comments, and I read nearly all of them associated with this story. A number of people expressed concern that 2 half siblings could meet each other and fall in love without realizing their biological link. In real life, I’ve had a few people ask me if this is something that I am concerned about.
Honestly, I think it’s a ridiculous concern. There are over 300,000,000 people in the United States. The chances of two of the 70 siblings accidentally meeting are incredibly small. And even if they do meet, what are chances of two people falling in love? Even if all 70 children resided in Boston, which has a population of 600,000, the chances of meeting one of your siblings is still miniscule.
I did find one story on the internet about siblings accidentally marrying. It happened in Britain. It did not involve sperm donors. They were twins and separated at birth. They met and fell in love without realizing they were twins. I’m sure this was a traumatic, but this case is really an outlier.
A few people have expressed what I think is a more reasonable concern. That is the sperm donor may not know their entire genetic health because sometimes problems turn up later in life. So if a guy has a proclivity towards heart disease, he might not know until he is in his fifties. Then it turns out he just passed down this genetic defect to a slew of people.
But the fact that people focus on the more remote possibility of two siblings falling in love makes me think that this is more of a culture shock than anything else. After all, other than kings and conquerors, who in human history has been able to pass on his genetic heritage in such a grandiose way? I do support limiting the number of children any one donor can help create because of the health issue. But I think most people are grappling with the staggering possibilities that modern science has given us.