End of anonymity: stepping into the dawn of communication and a new paradigm in gamete donor counseling


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Volume 111, Issue 6, Pages 1102–1104


Andrea M. Braverman, Ph.D., William D. Schlaff, M.D.


Donor anonymity appears to be going the way of the slide rule and the dodo bird. As early as 2010 professionals in our field began to recognize that the rise of increasingly sophisticated internet technology, facial recognition, and direct to consumer DNA testing would inevitably erode if not eliminate the possibility of donor anonymity (1). With growing appreciation of these trends, many commercial donor banks began to offer an increasing variety of open arrangements between gamete donors and intended parents. While many practitioners and leaders in the field continue to engage in professional discussion and debate about how best to restructure gamete donation policies, their efforts are in many ways being superseded and rendered moot by the increasingly determined efforts of those who are seeking (often successfully) to identify donors independent of the gamete bank or the assisted reproductive technology (ART) program (23). These developments have led to a significant gap in our appreciation of the implications and unexpected consequences between those considering how best to responsibly address these concerns and those who are plunging ahead without counsel or clarity of the complex issues. A recent highly publicized example illustrates the significant issues which we must address as we consider the best options for protecting the privacy and interests of all those involved in gamete donation.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.