This month, Colorado became the first state to officially ban anonymous sperm and egg donation. The law also gives those conceived through anonymous donation the right to seek out their biological parents at 18.
This is a win for reproductive ethics and for children. As Katy Faust at Them Before Us puts it, every child has the right to the love of their biological mom and dad, and that relationship matters throughout development. On average, kids raised by their married biological parents do better on every economic, social, and emotional metric.
And many children of our technologies struggle with identity, too. Left with the anguish of a missing or ambiguous parent, they wonder, Who am I? Where do I come from? Was I wanted?
In sperm donation, especially anonymous sperm donation, this lack of knowledge is by design. It’s a feature of sperm donation, not a glitch, treating children as products ordered by adults, sometimes even with specifications. The children’s wellbeing is, at best, secondary.
Colorado has long been a disaster on reproductive ethics, but this was the right call. We can hope other states will follow suit.