Victims of Sperm Donation

A recent study suggests what the Church could have told us:  many children of sperm donors are disturbed and unhappy about their origins.  They are, according to the study’s authors

 suffering more than those who were adopted: hurting more, feeling more confused, and feeling more isolated from their families. (And our study found that the adoptees on average are struggling more than those raised by their biological parents.) The donor offspring are more likely than the adopted to have struggled with addiction and delinquency and, similar to the adopted, a significant number have confronted depression or other mental illness.

 They report that

nearly half of donor offspring, and more than half of adoptees, agree, ‘It is better to adopt than to use donated sperm or eggs to have a child'” and “about half of them have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even if parents tell their children the truth.

 Naturally, the secular reaction has been indignant.  The researchers, KJ Dell’Antonia huffs,

didn’t mention that they’d found that those same suffering, conflicted people were 20 times more likely to have donated sperm (or an egg or a womb) themselves.

Yes?  And adults who have been abused as children are more likely to abuse others.

Since when do we assume that someone who describes himself as “hurt, confused, and isolated” is making healthy and rational choices? 

My husband has been a crime reporter for many years, and has sat through many wrenching trials of criminals, including murderers.  He says, “You can tell someone’s telling the truth when their story doesn’t make sense.” The liars, he says, are the ones who have a clean, logical explanation for their actions.  The others?  They don’t know why they did what they did.  

Dell’Antonia accuses the study’s authors of having an agenda.  But what she displays, in her callous disregard of the testimony of the study’s subjects, is a breathtaking refusal to acknowledge that human nature sometimes speaks with a garbled and illogical voice.

Simcha Fisher


Simcha Fisher is a cradle Hebrew Catholic, freelance writer, and mother of eight young kids. She received her BA in literature from Thomas More College in New Hampshire. She contributes to Crisis Magazine and Faith & Family Live!, and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She is sort of writing a book.

Crisis Magazine Comments Policy

This is a Catholic forum. As such:

  1. All comments must directly address the article. “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.” (Matthew 12:36)
  2. No profanity, ad hominems, hot tempers, or racial or religious invectives. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  3. We will not tolerate heresy, calumny, or attacks upon our Holy Mother Church or Holy Father. “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
  4. Keep it brief. No lengthy rants or block quotes. “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
  5. If you see a comment that doesn’t meet our standards, please flag it so a moderator may remove it. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)
  6. All comments may be removed at the moderators’ discretion. “But of that day and hour no one knows…” (Matthew 24:36)
  7. Crisis isn’t responsible for the content of the comments box. Comments do not represent the views of Crisis magazine, its editors, authors, or publishers. “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God… So each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12)