Victims of Sperm Donation

A recent study suggests what the Church could have told us:  many children of sperm donors are disturbed and unhappy about their origins.  They are, according to the study’s authors

 suffering more than those who were adopted: hurting more, feeling more confused, and feeling more isolated from their families. (And our study found that the adoptees on average are struggling more than those raised by their biological parents.) The donor offspring are more likely than the adopted to have struggled with addiction and delinquency and, similar to the adopted, a significant number have confronted depression or other mental illness.

 They report that

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nearly half of donor offspring, and more than half of adoptees, agree, ‘It is better to adopt than to use donated sperm or eggs to have a child’” and “about half of them have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even if parents tell their children the truth.

 Naturally, the secular reaction has been indignant.  The researchers, KJ Dell’Antonia huffs,

didn’t mention that they’d found that those same suffering, conflicted people were 20 times more likely to have donated sperm (or an egg or a womb) themselves.

Yes?  And adults who have been abused as children are more likely to abuse others.

Since when do we assume that someone who describes himself as “hurt, confused, and isolated” is making healthy and rational choices? 

My husband has been a crime reporter for many years, and has sat through many wrenching trials of criminals, including murderers.  He says, “You can tell someone’s telling the truth when their story doesn’t make sense.” The liars, he says, are the ones who have a clean, logical explanation for their actions.  The others?  They don’t know why they did what they did.  

Dell’Antonia accuses the study’s authors of having an agenda.  But what she displays, in her callous disregard of the testimony of the study’s subjects, is a breathtaking refusal to acknowledge that human nature sometimes speaks with a garbled and illogical voice.


  • Simcha Fisher

    Simcha Fisher is a cradle Hebrew Catholic, freelance writer, and mother of eight young kids. She received her BA in literature from Thomas More College in New Hampshire. She contributes to Crisis Magazine and Faith & Family Live!, and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She is sort of writing a book.

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