Although sperm donors know that there’s a high chance they’ll never discover how many children were brought into the world thanks to their ‘donation,’ a former Toronto sperm donor was shocked to realize just how many children he’d fathered.
The businessman, who’s not revealed his full name to the media, came forward after discovering that at least 50 babies had been born using his sperm. He explained he visited the same Toronto sperm bank regularly for five years, though it was over twenty years ago.
At first, he did it to “help people.” Speaking to the Ottawa Citizen, he said that he had friends who were struggling to conceived, and when he and his wife decided not to have biological children, that’s when he decided to donate. After doing it a few times, the anonymous donor admitted that it later became about the money, as each visit earned him $75. “That was, in hindsight, my biggest motivation,” he said, adding that he likely earned around $25,000 in total.
According to him, however, the agency he went through assured him they’d only use his sample in 10 to 15 cases. Clearly, they under-exaggerated that number by quite a bit.
The donor said he began realizing the number was much higher than he ever anticipated after some of his biological children began reaching out to him. “It is probably approaching 50,” he told The Ottawa Citizen. “I would never have agreed to it if they had told me it was going to be 50 to 100. It keeps me awake at night. I am in therapy.”
View this post on Instagram
Today I want to express my gratitude to all of the midwives out there. When my daughter was born, I decided to use an independent midwife so I could have someone who knew what they were doing advocate for me. And Kelly Langford @mama_melbourne was outstanding. My obstetrician pushed and pushed for for me to come in to the hospital for an induction, to have my waters broken, and many other interventions (probably had a dinner engagement), and Kelly very gently, yet very strongly, pushed and pushed back. My daughter's birth would have been extremely different had it not been for Kelly, the person who was not 'on the clock', who knew my birth plan intimately and helped say 'No' when I kept being offered various unwanted solutions. If you're a solo parent (and even if you're not), I cannot recommend an independent midwife highly enough when it's your time. Thank you Kelly! And check out MAMA (Midwives and Mothers Australia). They do amazing things for mamas and babies. 💝
Several of his biological children’s parents were former patients of Ottawa’s Dr. Norman Barwin who infamously lost this medical license in 2013 after admitting to inseminating women with the wrong sperm on various occasions. He was also found guilty of using his own sperm on patients without their knowledge.
However, what is even more interesting is that there may not be anything technically illegal with what the sperm bank did. This is because there are no formal laws in Canada limiting the number of times a donor’s sperm can be used. So, even if they claim the donation will be used on only 10 to 15 cases, there is nothing legally requiring them to stick to that average.
One thing the anonymous donor finds extremely troubling is that some of his biological children were intended to be related to their fathers, but clearly his sperm got used instead. He added that at least 11 of his biological children were conceived through the help of Dr. Barwin.
View this post on Instagram
In my arms is my biological son Samir at exactly one month old. I donated sperm to his mother earlier in 2018 and she thanked me by using the letters of my first name and last initial for his name. I try to live my life to do good and spread joy. When I was approached to be a donor, I could think of no better way to offer what I have in order to bring the utmost joy to someone else. It was a no brainer for me. My mother wasn’t exactly a fan though. She believes that one day my heart will ache to be with him. Perhaps she’s right. I have always wanted children of my own. It fills my heart just to know that he is in this world. I was offered as much or little contact as I wanted with him though I’m wary of intruding or becoming too attached. It’s also up to me if and when I reveal myself to be the father. Whether I’ll be in his life as a friend, mentor, or kickass babysitter until then I haven’t decided yet. If I know you like I know myself Samir, I know you’ll do just fine without me. But I look forward to a day when we can lock eyes father and son and I can tell you stories. By then I’ll have traveled the world and met many interesting people. I can show you my life and hopefully inspire you in ways that inspired me when I was young. Even when I’m not with you, I think about you. I think about the man you will become. And though I may not be there to teach the things that fathers should teach, I’ll leave my life here for you to see where I’ve been, what I’ve learned, and the things that kept me going. If this silly feed of photos and words means anything to anyone, I hope it’s something for you. Because I make it with you in mind beautiful boy. You are my inspiration. • • • • • • • • #spermdonor #spermdonors #babyboynames #babyboylove #biologicalfather #giveback #spreadjoy #fatherlikeson #myinspiration #bymyside #partofme #helivesinyou #sperm #creatinglife #bringingjoy #oneandonly #firstbornchild #firstbornson #lovingfromadistance #sendingyoulove #hereforyou #partofyou #bloodofmyblood #littleangel #dreamingofyou #beautifulboy #byyourside #iamhere #lovingyoualways #tilwemeetagain
The donor explains he’s been trying to reach out to his children to discuss his health history with them. “I felt like I was complicit,” he said. “It mortifies me to think there are health issues (among these children), some that it is likely I passed along. I am struggling with this.”
Donor advocates have been calling for better records regarding sperm donor information- some want such records to be kept for 100 years. The anonymous donor, too, agrees that changes need to be made. “The big issue is that this industry is broken,” he said. He added that he's currently in therapy trying to work through this overall shock.