Wendy Kramer has a son conceived through sperm donation. She wrote a book and started a website to inform and support families like hers.

Author argues for regulation of sperm banks

A Canadian couple is suing a U.S. sperm bank alleging they were misled about the donor’s personal information.  Sperm banks in Canada are not allowed to pay donors, so there is not much incentive for donation. That leads to shortages that force Canadian women to turn to sperm banks in the U.S. which are not regulated.

In this case, Angela Collins and Margaret Elizabeth Hanson said they thought the sperm they bought from Xytec Corp. in Atlanta came from a healthy donor with a high IQ and multiple degrees. They profess to have been shocked to learn the donor was in fact schizophrenic, had a criminal background and dropped out of college.

‘Not an uncommon story’

“Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story,” says Wendy Kramer, director and co-founder  of the website Donor Sibling Registry.com and mother of a child conceived through sperm donation.

“Here’s the problem,” she says. “There’s no oversight and no regulation of the sperm banking industry in the U.S. And because the U.S. ships to 50, 60 countries  around the world including Canada, even countries like Canada who have regulations, none of those are in effect when you use U.S. sperm.”


Kramer says she frequently hears stories about parents who do not know how many children have been born to a single donor or who don’t know about medical issues that the donor may have tried to report to the sperm bank.

Wendy Kramer co-worte a book designed to support children born through donor conception and their families.

Lack of updated medical info

“When they donate they fill out a medical form but it’s really just a snapshot of one day in the life of a healthy 20-year old. We don’t know what happens the next year. A lot of diseases like this case—schizophrenia—are adult-onset. So without the sharing and updating of medical information, many families are left in the dark,” says Kramer.

She adds that the combination of DNA testing and Google searches it is often easy for children to discover the identity of their donor parent, as her own son did. So she advises any donor who wants to remain anonymous to simply not donate.

‘Decisions are profit-based’

When people do discover problems and complain to the sperm bank they may get an apology. Kramer says that if they go to court there is usually an out-of- court settlement. In her opinion, this is not good enough.

“There’s no oversight. There’s no regulation. This is a multi-billion dollar industry of selling sperm. And these sperm banks are in it for money. The decisions they make are profit-based, not asking what is in the best interest of the child to be born. And until somebody steps in with some oversight and some regulation, we’re going to see stories like this continue to happen.”

Categories: Health, International, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *