While they require sperm donors to be tested for communicable diseases, the FDA does not mandate testing donors for genetic diseases or disorders. Consequently, there are hundreds of known cases of children born to mothers who used a sperm donor who suffer from genetic illnesses, many severe. The New York Times speculates there could really be thousands that are undocumented.
Considering that parents conceiving children the old-fashioned way often still roll the genetic dice, do you think that the FDA should require genetic testing of sperm donors and their sperm before they are allowed to donate?
On one hand, I almost want to say, "Why shouldn't folks using sperm or egg donors have the same roll of the dice as the rest of us potential parents?"
But, I can definitely see the argument that a donor's sperm may be used many times and therefore be adding quite a lot of genetic disorder into the gene pool that otherwise may not have happened. For that reason, I do think it makes sense to make it mandatory to test for genetic disorders before allowing the sperm to be used.
Given the vast array of potential genetic disorders, I really don't see how it would be possible to ensure that a sperm donor would not be a carrier of any of them. Any additional testing is also likely to inflate the cost of using donor sperm to a level that might make it prohibitive, too.
As a mother of a child born with the help of an egg donor, my response is no. I fail to see where there is governmental interest in this. If there was, then all prospective familes, natural and ART, should be required to be tested. Donor, at least egg donors, are required to provide information on family medical history to the prospective parents. Whether to test is an issue between the prospective parents and the donor and not the donor and the goverment.
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