Crawshaw, Marilyn, Blyth, Eric and Daniels, Ken (2007) Past semen donors’ views about the use of a voluntary contact register. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 14 (4). pp. 411-417.

This paper reports on qualitative data from a UK Department of Health funded telephone interview study of 32 men who donated sperm samples at King’s College Hospital, London between 1988 and 2002. The study considers the donors’ attitudes and views about a proposed voluntary information exchange and contact register. The results suggest that semen donors continue to manage thoughts and feelings that arise from donation throughout their lifetimes, linked to their philosophical beliefs and/or evolving personal and social experiences. Some donors supported the register proposal even if they anticipated that there may might be a personal cost to themselves. Several saw contact with donor offspring and/or knowledge about the outcome of their donation as potentially satisfying, indicating that it is possible to retain an interest in those to whom one is genetically related regardless of social contact. There was strong support among donors to have (i) some control over information release and contact and (ii) access to ongoing information, advice or support from professionals skilled and experienced in search and reunion services. Some donors would be willing to be approached for information or contact even if they did not register. The findings indicate important policy and practice messages about the ongoing needs of donors.

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