A survey conducted by the BBC has found that sperm donors in the UK would like to retain the right to donate anonymously. It also suggests that some donors would not continue to donate if anonymity was not guaranteed.
The BBC asked 82 donors at three different sperm banks what they thought about the possibility that the government may change the law to allow children born through donor insemination to find out the identity of their biological father. Of these, 53 said that they would not continue to donate if the law was changed.
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has recently finished a consultation exercise about donor anonymity, The government is expected to say next year whether it wants to change the existing law, which does not allow children conceived using donor sperm to find out the identity of the donor, but only to find out small amounts of non-identifying information about him at the age of 18.
Ann Furedi, spokesperson for the HFEA, was not surprised by the results of the BBC survey. She said 'men donating at the moment would feel differently if anonymity was not assured'. But, she added 'what we don't know is whether a different kind of bloke would want to donate if their details were made available to future generations'.