Donor Sib­ling Reg­istry

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

Eigh­teen years ago, Kramer and Ryan founded what has since be­come the largest on­line site for the donor-con­ceived, the Donor Sib­ling Reg­istry, or DSR. In sim­plest terms, the DSR is a match­ing site. Peo­ple type in their donor num­ber — an anony­mous code as­signed by the fer­til­ity clinic — and con­nect with oth­ers born from sperm or eggs from the same donor. It’s all vol­un­tary, and con­tact is achieved through mu­tual con­sent.

To­day, the DSR has more than 60,000 mem­bers and has helped con­nect about 16,000 off­spring with their half-sib­lings or donors. As the site grows, so does the po­ten­tial for new con­nec­tions. Ryan has dis­cov­ered five “new” sis­ters in just the past four months.

Jen­nifer Moore, a 55-year-old graphic de­signer from Love­land, Colo., has two boys con­ceived with donor sperm. Through the DSR, they have con­nected with triplet half-sib­lings in an­other part of the coun­try.

The boys call one an­other “bro” and are all very athletic. They are also all “into crazy socks and hats and crazy fash­ion sense,” Moore said, adding: “As a par­ent, it has been a bizarre ex­pe­ri­ence hav­ing that many clones of your chil­dren ap­pear be­fore your eyes.”

Their par­ents try to get all the half-sib­lings to­gether at least once a year, Moore said. Though her boys have a fa­ther, her ex­hus­band, she wants them to know more about their back­ground and not won­der why they might look or act dif­fer­ent from their par­ents.

“Foun­da­tion­ally, ev­ery­one has a right to know where they came from,” she said.

While a grow­ing num­ber of the donor­con­ceived are seek­ing to con­nect with half-sib­lings, it can be harder to find the donors, who may not want to be found. But in­ter­net sleuthing and the wide­spread avail­abil­ity of ge­netic test­ing is erod­ing the guar­an­tee of anonymity they once en­joyed.

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