I remember the first time I struggled to understand the ethics of a case involving reproductive technologies. I was five years old, folding clothes in my bedroom with my mom. She told me that my dad was not my biological father. My biological father was an anonymous sperm donor, whom we didn’t know anything about.

I was told I was very loved and wanted, and this is simply what infertile couples must do to have kids. Our family was different, but we never did anything “wrong,” so to speak.

After a wrenching divorce, I never again saw that “dad” of mine. My mother remarried, and I was given a new “dad.” But neither the first nor the second man ever made me feel safe in my own home. It was clear to me that all men were evil and vile. I truly thought that either they lacked the capacity to love, or else there was something wrong with me; I was not worthy of love.

In art school, at the age of twenty, I sold my own eggs as a known donor. That was my way of improving the system: by removing anonymity, I was making things ever so slightly better. This experience gave me even more insight into donor conception and the fertility industry. I’ve been treated as an object many times by men in my life, but never so intensely as by the female fertility industry personnel who managed my egg harvest.

After founding The Anonymous Us Project nearly four years ago, I have read hundreds of stories from donor-conceived people, gamete donors, and involved parties. I’ve become well acquainted with the issue from several angles. And here is what I’m worried about when it comes to the new ways in which we’re bringing forth new life…

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