A Victorian man who donated sperm for research 30 years ago has discovered that he now has eight children he never knew existed.
A report from the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA) analysed sperm donor records that were kept by the Queen Victoria, Prince Henry’s and Royal Women’s Hospitals prior to the introduction of industry regulations in 1988, shares 7 news.
The records were assumed lost but were rediscovered by the report’s researchers – enabling those who thought they would never find their biological parent to get in contact with them.
The report revealed how one participant, who made six months’ worth of sperm donation at Prince Henry’s Hospital in 1987, later learnt that his samples were used for a little more than just research.
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The man said he had not given much thought to the donations until he saw an advertisement in a newspaper asking men who had donated to get in contact with VARTA.
He said neither he or his wife had ever considered that there was going to be a child conceived from the donations, let alone eight.
“It was an absolute stunner when we got that letter,” he said as part of a case study in the report.
“We’d never thought about that … It took a great bit of getting used to that because it came right out of the blue.”
Legislation introduced in 2017 meant all donor conceived adults in Victoria can now acquire identifying information about their donor, even without their consent.
VARTA CEO Louise Johnson encouraged parents to reveal their children’s donor status to them, rather than them discovering it through an ancestry or DNA-testing site.
“We think there is still a large majority of people conceived (by donor sperm) prior to the introduction of the legislation in 1988 that still don’t know they were donor conceived,” she told News Corp.
What a big shock for that man and his wife!
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