Secretly connected? Perceptions about anonymous semen donation and genetic fatherhood
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The use of anonymously-donated semen (DI) as a strategy for circumventing human male infertility and for helping couples to avoid passing on a genetic problem has been practiced in the UK for over seventy years. The development of the practice arose from the response of infertility doctors and scientists to the growing recognition of male infertility and the social pressure on married couples to become parents. DI is now also used to enable a woman without a male partner to conceive and bear a child. This research briefing provides an overview of findings from doctoral research on the perceptions of semen donors in the UK who had donated anonymously, and often for material gain, in the 1960s-1980s. Information was also gathered from other stakeholders in the field of donor-assisted conception, including past and current infertility treatment providers, and donor-conceived people and their parents.