When it comes to the movie box office, this could be called the summer of the sperm donor. Movies just released like "The Kids are All Right" and "The Switch" focus on mothers who use sperm donation to have their children. The technology has created new bonds for kids born from the technology. They are seeking out their half-brother and half-sisters who share the same sperm donor. CNN's Tom Foreman spoke with two sets of twins - Jesse & Jayme Clapoff of California and Hilit & Jonah Jacobson of Georgia - who are bound by Donor 1096, the anonymous man who donated his sperm.
I think it is great that these bright young people found each other thru the donor registry. It's good to know your half-siblings, as you are likely to have shared characteristics. To me, that is a plus. Every kid I have ever known has at one time or another felt that he or she is not understood. Finding a sib, albeit half-sib, can put one's quirks (if there are any) in perspective.
My greatest concern is that half-sibs might at some time unwittingly become romantically involved with each other. Face it, the process is most likely to involve parents of certain economic & intellectual back-grounds. If they live in the same geographic area, it would not be that unusual for their children to meet or interact with one another at school, sports, or other events common to teens. The two sets of twins in this interview met by going on-line & they were from opposite sides of the country.
We are a mobile society. There are at least 15 half-sibs in this group. Who's to say there aren't more? Do the donor clinics endeavor to keep track of the successful pregnancies? What if there are kids who don't know they are donor children? Or don't bother to register or track one another through the registry?
I can only imagine the possibility for legal ramifications should the bio-father be introduced in this mix. None of the kids seemed to be that interested in actually meeting their donor parent. Still the possible scenarios present both interesting and troubling outcomes.
My thanks to Tom Foreman for a sensitive set of interviews. I think he used compassionate understanding as he narrated, also during his questioning of the four teens.