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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
'I'd happily be identified'
Ben Shepherd
Ben Shepherd donates sperm on a regular basis
As the debate continues over whether children conceived using donor sperm should be allowed to trace their fathers, sperm donor Ben Shepherd, 21, tells BBC News Online he would be more than happy to meet any children he has fathered in this way.

I believe in individual choice and speaking personally I would have no problem at all with giving up my anonymity.


It would make life more interesting

It would not bother me at all if in about 20 years time a child of mine wanted to contact me and meet up - I think it would be a fantastic experience.

I'd love to find out what my genes have produced, what they look like, their psychological and physical profile. I think it would be amazing.

I can understand for some donors it would not be what they want and I think it should be a private service for the families and the donor.

I'm not sure it is something the courts should get involved with.

I like to feel I am doing something worthwhile - I am giving couples the opportunity to have families.

Choice

To me it does not matter if I am identified. You only live once and if that means in years to come you are confronted by a child who wants to meet his father it would make life more interesting.

I think there should be a choice for the parents too though.

A lot of parents do not want their children to know they were conceived in this way - every case is individual.

Also, finding your father years later can have a profound effect on the child and it might be better for them to remain in a nurtured environment.

It's a grey area, but a lot depends on the strength of the child.

See also:

27 Dec 00 | Health
Sperm donor anonymity review
11 Sep 00 | Health
Bid to identify sperm donors
26 Jul 99 | Medical notes
Donating eggs and sperm
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