How To Trace Your Genetic Father Using Internet; No More Anonymity for Anonymous Sperm Donors

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Sunday, November 6, 2005

A 15 year old boy has unveiled the so-called anonymity protection offered to anonymous sperm donors using internet and lots of ingenuity. Let’s look at what he did.

First he sent a swab he collected from his cheek to an online genealogy DNA-testing service.

The teenager tracked down his father from his own Y chromosome. The Y chromosome is passed from father to son virtually unchanged, like a surname. So the pattern of gene variants it carries can help identify which paternal line an individual has descended from and can also be linked to a man’s surname.

The boy paid $289 for the service to find someone in the same paternal line.

After waiting for nine months the boy was contacted by two men with Y chromosomes closely matching his own. The two did not know each other, but the similarity between their Y chromosomes suggested there was a 50 per cent chance that all three had the same father, grandfather or great-grandfather.

Both had the same last name, albeit with different spellings. This was the vital clue the boy needed to continue his search in earnest.

Though his donor had been anonymous, his mother had been told the man’s date and place of birth and his college degree.

Using, he purchased the names of everyone that had been born in the same place on the same day.

Only one man had the surname he was looking for, and within 10 days he had made contact with his Father.


It is interesting to note that in UK people donating sperm and eggs will no longer have the right to remain anonymous, under a new law which came into force in March.

Children conceived through frozen sperms will now be able to identify their genetic parents once they reach 18.

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