They Want To Track People To Prevent Inappropriate Relationships

( — Activists in Australia are calling for a national database of sperm donors to prevent cases of accidental incest. The activists also want to tackle the “trauma” experienced by individuals who discover they have a large number of half-siblings. While there are registers of donors in each of Australia’s individual states, there is no national record. Aimee Shackleton, the director of the activist group Donor Conceived Australia, said, “Sperm is transferred across states in Australia and, once it leaves a state, nobody keeps records of what happens to it.”

The call has been echoed by the Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association.

Around 1 in every 18 births in Australia is the result of assisted conception, or in vitro fertilization (IVF). There were 16,439 IVF births in 2020, from a total of 295,976. The latest concerns involve “prolific donors” who travel from state to state and as such, there is no way of knowing how many babies are born from the same donor.

In the United States, IVF accounts for around 1.5% of births. Success rates vary depending on the age of the mother. The chances of successfully conceiving are relatively high at 55% for mothers under 35 but reduce incrementally after that age. Pew Research in 2018 revealed at around 1 in 3 Americans either underwent or know someone who underwent fertility treatment.

The first person to be born from IVF treatment was Louise Brown in 1978. Brown was born in Lancashire, England, at 5 pounds and 12 ounces. Her birth was hailed as one of the “most remarkable breakthroughs of the 20th century.” Known as the “first test-tube baby” she celebrated her 30th birthday in 2008 and reflected on her childhood. “When I was growing up they would ask things like how do you fit in a test tube and things like that,” she said.

Louise gave birth to her first son Cameron a few days before Christmas in 2007. “He’s tiny, just under 6 lbs., but he’s perfect,” the proud mother said.

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