Proposed Database Would Track Sperm Donors To Prevent ‘Accidental Incest’

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Paul Aubert Contributor
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Concerned activists are calling for a national sperm donation database to be established in Australia amidst fears that “prolific donors” could lead to “accidental incest” across the country.

While the country has multiple different sperm donation databases, there is no unified national database that could track “prolific donors,” The Guardian reported. Concerned citizens are worried donor-conceived individuals could be traumatized if they find out they have dozens of half-siblings across Australia’s six states and two territories.

“When donor-conceived people find out they have that many siblings, it is very distressing,” Aimee Shackleton, the director of the activist group Donor Conceived Australia, said. “Sperm was transferred across states in Australia and, once it leaves a state, nobody keeps records of what happens to it.”

Currently, Australia’s states usually cap donors from donating sperm to more than “five or 10 families,” but there is no federal law preventing donors from going from state to state, the outlet noted. (RELATED: Sperm Donor Is Child’s Legal Father, Australia’s High Court Rules)

Rebecca Kerner, chair of the Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association, also issued a call for a national database. “We need a central register across Australia, and a central bank so that everyone operates out of the same one … and it’s not dependent on which doctor they go to,” Kerner said, the outlet reported.

La Trobe University’s law school dean Fiona Kelly stressed that the various state governments would have to work together to form such a database. “If all the state governments were willing to come together and agree on a uniform law that they each adopted, it could be administered and funded at a state level,” she said.