Here is the link to the study I've been reading http://www.familyscholars.org/assets/Donor_FINAL.pdf. This study compares donor conceived children (both from single mother, heterosexual couple, and lesbian couple families) with adopted children and children raised by both biological parents. I have not finished reading it yet because it is long and I am also reading information on the DSR site (which I highly recommend doing). I've done a lot of research on adoption over the last few years and those studies and first hand experiences are paving the way for studying children conceived through donor insemination. Hiding the truth of their conception, not having access to information, and closed adoptions are detrimental to the well being of adopted children. Studies on donor children are just now starting to happen and they are finding that the children themselves want to know about their roots, where half of their genetics and traits come from, and are more prone to problems (like depression and breaking the law) throughout their lives than children who were raised with both biological parents. Believe me, I'd love to feel like I could use an anonymous donor, it is so much cheaper, but the implications for my future child are of major concern. It's not just about having a baby right now, the easiest way possible for me. It's about the the child. The possible ways they will feel about the process as a whole and themselves in the process. The fact that we call them donors while they get paid for their sperm, seems a inconsistent and misleading to me. On the TSBC site, some donors in the ID Release program stated they participated only because it got them more money. To me that does not seem like a compassionate act of donation to help people start families.
As for the cap on families, there are larger social implications for having genetic ties to that many people, and we have no idea how this will effect the future generations. There have been people who found out that the kid down the street that their kid played with was a half sibling. That's wonderful for the fact that they get to live so close to them and possibly grow up as close friends. But, what if they hadn't found out at a young age, became romantically involved and had a child together? There is no accurate record kept by any sperm bank (especially not when it all started in the 70s) of how many children are conceived by the help of any sperm donor. I read an article the other day that one donor from Fairfax had over 120 offspring and the doctors didn't have any idea, they just kept selling his sperm because they wanted to make money. 20-40% of births aren't reported to the sperm banks so even if they tried to keep track, they'd have to insist on accurate reporting from the parents. Then there are the medical implications, I've been reading articles about that as well. If a child gets sick with something passed down from the donor and the sperm bank has lost track of the donor and how many offspring there are, then how will everyone be alerted to watch for this condition? What about the sperm banks who continue to sell sperm from donors who have produced multiple children with the same illness? Then there is the reporting of family history in the first place. The donors are usually young and they might not have accurate information for their family members on the forms. I sure couldn't tell you my family medical history and would have to do a lot of digging to get all the accurate information.
As a single lesbian, my options for having children are limited, especially when my income is considered. I can't use a friend as a known donor because the state will not allow "fathers" to denounce their paternity. This would leave us in a legal limbo if I were to need assistance from the state or if I died. What if the friend changed their mind and wanted custody or visitation rights? The other option I found is to not have any contact with the friend for 3 years, then they could petition to give up their paternal rights, but that would defeat the purpose of the friendship. Not putting the name on the birth certificate would also be difficult if I ever need assistance, they could force me to name someone and then do a paternity test before allowing me to get help. Now, if I had a partner, it'd be a different story! Private adoption is pricey and adoption through the foster system can be heart wrenching. So, that leaves me at buying sperm as my only option because it allows me anonymity as a parent.
This is a very weighty subject and I do not admonish or disapprove of anyone who chose or chooses an anonymous donor. With the DSR, and hopefully turning tides in the way donor insemination and children conceived from it are treated and perceived, all children will be able to have the answers they need about their paternal backgrounds. The donors need to be held accountable for accurate information and the sperm banks for keeping track of births and medical information. It'd be nice to see donors who choose ID release programs getting the same amount of compensation as those who do not, taking away money as a factor in their decision. This would also drive down the cost of sperm from those donors, allowing more women access to it. Ahh, in a perfect world!