In South Africa, current law states that egg and sperm donors can remain anonymous. More recently, countries like Britain and Sweden have changed this law to remove donor anonymity and The South African Law Reform Commission would like to do the same here in SA.*

The public have until 31 August to send their comments on this matter, so what are the issues:

– In countries where donor anonymity has been removed gamete (sexual reproduction cells) donations have plummeted resulting in long waiting lists for donors.
– In some cases, desperate couples have travelled to other countries for donor gamete, a practice which is illegal.
– Illegal donor gamete often come at a cost, payment for human gamete is illegal.
– Many activists say that children should one day have the right to know who their biological parents are, particularly if medical or mental health issues arise.
– While some parents never tell their children that they were conceived through donation, the growing number of same sex and mixed race conceptions automatically require transparency.
– Current law permits six cycles per donor, if all are successful, this means six siblings are created. It may become important for donor families to be aware of the presence of relatives, particularly as sexual relationships develop.
– Calls for changes to this law are likely to resurface and anonymous donors may be forced to disclose their donor identity after the fact.
– Should donors be required to be identified they could still be protected from legal or financial commitments to their donor children.

What is your take on this? Should donors remain anonymous or should they be required to reveal their identity? Tell us on

*Paper 32: The Right to Know One’s Own Biological Options