I am born from a sperm donation

Arthur, 28 years old, was conceived through an anonymous sperm donation. Since he was refused access to information about its genetic origins, it’s displeasure is most ardent. He fights with rage, that the law and the doctors do longer prevent to find the donor.

Valérie Péronnet
– Updated February 11, 2019 at 15:18


“On the day of my 18th birthday, I told my parents : “Give me the folder.” They looked at me without understanding what I was talking about. I had never hidden my sisters and me had been designed “differently”, but, for years, I expected that they find me mature enough to give me access to the name of my donor. The more time that passed and the more I was angry : they had a key piece of information for me, but not daignaient not tell me. I did not dare to speak to them about it, but I couldn’t understand how they could live the situation with as much casualness as she hurt so deeply and my intimacy. I had decided that, once major, they should give me this folder, willingly or by force. They are fallen naked. They had not understood that it made me suffer so much and, most importantly, I discovered that they had not the case : they were unable to tell me who had donated the sperm with which they had been designed…

Need to know the identity of my donor

This period has been rough for the family. I have great parents, and my father is the man to whom I wish to be like the world. But I find it totally irresponsible that they have designed their children without taking the trouble to know who were the donors, and how we could find them. We are much disputed. My sisters were rather agreed with me, without understanding why it put me in such a state. Little by little, my anger is displaced. I ended by admitting that the problem was not a lack of trust between my parents and me, and that it was going to be more complicated than I imagined. I’ve decided to start a psychoanalysis.

One day, my psych said to me : “This question of the dealer is not ‘your’ problem, it is a problem of the society.” I was able to start sorting through what to me look at me – who I am, my relationships with my parents, my sisters – and look at the law. When I felt ready, I made an appointment at Cecos* and I met the great professor-in-charge. I asked him my folder and he is worried about the nature of my relationship with my parents. I explained that it didn’t look at him, and I just wanted to know the identity of my donor and understand his motivations ; he told me that his responsibility was to protect the anonymity of these men, great and generous. He had blue eyes, mine are black. I am told that the incompatibility of the colour of our eyes was the only tangible way to know that it was not my genetic father.

On the way out, I found with acuity this feeling of being different and alone in the world that filled my childhood. And this impression that nobody can, nor wants to hear my wrath : what can I complain, since I was so desired ?

*Centres for the study and conservation of eggs and sperm in humans (Cecos), created in France in 1973, govern the donation of oocytes and sperm.

The children, forgotten by the donation system

I returned to the Cecos two other times, but the professor has never wanted to know. Nobody wants to know anything about it. He only regretted that my parents had seen fit to inform me of the manner in which I was conceived, and has floated the idea that a psychological follow-up would make me the greatest good. When I asked what would happen if I needed to know my genetic origins for medical reasons, or if I wanted to be sure that the woman I would fall in love is not my half-sister, he replied : “Come and see us, we’ll see.”

Little by little, I discovered that while the system of assisted reproductive services is organized around the doctors, parents and donors. At any time there is a question of “children”. Me, I am the product of this system, but I am no longer a child. I am the first concerned, in my flesh, but the only one of which we do not consider the rights… My anger has increased tenfold, it has reinforced my fight. It is unbearable, for me, that the law protects the omnipotence of doctors, and we confine, parents and children, in a position infant of absolute dependence on their good will. Somewhere in the Cecos, there is a folder that contains important information about who I am, but I can’t have access to that if a doctor decides in my place, that it is necessary.

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