Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BEWARE of Fairfax Cryobank (and Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc)!!!

Fairfax Cryobank (as well as CLI, which was bought out by Fairfax recently), one of the nation's largest sperm banks, has a nasty little secret.....they hate donors.  That's right, they hate them.  

You see, most sperm banks today acknowledge that many donors who may have signed one of those elusive "confidentiality agreements" when they were 18 year old boys often change their minds and become curious about the children they sired and sold later on down the road - often after the birth of their own children they raise.  And many clinics/banks will be helpful and sometimes overly ambitious to help these donors make contact with their genetic children.  In most cases this is providing retired donors with their correct donor number (that is, the donor number that is used in the catalogs and provided to recipients, and not some "other" number).  Some will even give them information about the DonorSiblingRegistry, or even reach out to recipients in some rare instances.

However, Fairfax Cryobank does none of that.  Actually, they completely forbid it.

According to their website:
We stand by our policy of not releasing specific donor numbers to the donors themselves. We believe that if we were to allow donors to have their donor numbers, we would in essence be facilitating their ability to make contact with recipient families and their offspring. Providing donors their numbers would clearly undermine our privacy policy and could possibly cause families and donors, unaware of the outcomes of sharing identifying information publicly, permanent and unwelcome consequences.
I'm sorry, but this just makes me physically ill reading.  There are MANY donors who have tried contacting Fairfax on multiple occasions to get their donor numbers.  These men are willing and WANT to find their offspring!!  They understand the "consequences" and accept them wholeheartedly!  Most men who join the DSR (or other registries) are fully aware of the possibilities.

It is completely unethical for an institution to deny the men they recruited to keep their business alive something that is so vital for all parties involved.  They are not giving donor numbers to men who do not ask and do not want contact with offspring.  They are not giving the name and address of donors to recipient parents.  All that they are doing is denying retired donors any chance at knowing their own children.

I am truly at a loss for words at how outraged I am about this.  While Fairfax might play god in creating children, apparently they also believe they ARE GOD!!!  Denying this information to consenting retired donors is a gross exaggeration of their own power and self-importance.

Fairfax is a prime example why legislation MUST be forthcoming in the US to regulate the infertility industry, since they do not have the decency or integrity to do it themselves.

To make matters worse, Fairfax also gets a big fat F for honesty as well.  Numerous Fairfax clients have pointed out that they were told that the donor they chose met certain educational criteria (i.e. having a PhD and/or MD degree for example) and when the recipient later finds the donor without the aid of FC they discover the donor did not in fact have such an educational background, and often were completely UNEDUCATED!!  Not to say that many doctors offices and clinics don't do the same thing, but that is changing information from a 3rd party - such as telling a patient the donor was a medical student when they doctor really has no clue because he bought the sperm from a sperm bank.  That is very different from the sperm bank lying on the donor's profile to make him sound better than he is.

Does this also mean that Fairfax hides other vital pieces of information about their donors from clients??? I'd bet if they are lying about something as mundane as education, they're sure as hell lying about medical histories as well!!  Oh, so your donor had 20/20 vision and all his parents and grandparents are alive and kicking??  Maybe, maybe not.  I'm sure if Fairfax had their way (which they do, apparently), that said profile might come from a donor who is legally blind and both his parents died young of heart attacks or cancer.  How are you going to find out???  Right, you're NOT.  Because Fairfax refuses to even let their donors seek out their own children.

So any lies are just a few dirty little secrets......

I think it's about time that we, as adult offspring, recipient parents, and former and current donors --- the DC triad --- make a stand and demand that Fairfax Cryobank air out their dirty laundry and come clean about these appalling accusations.  We must demand that the infertility industry can no longer "regulate themselves" and continually lie and cheat their way to a multi-billion dollar a year income on the tears and pain of those most directly affected by their unethical business practices.


Desie's Mum said...

Dear Anonymous,

I was one of those people who needed donor sperm to conceive our son and would be very upset if someone spoke your words to him. When he was 4, he started to ask about his biological father and fortunately for all us we were able to meet his father when our son was 6 years old. My husband and I hadn't realise when we used an anonymous donation that our son would need to know where he came from; that it would be important for his identity and self-esteem. His biological family is a very important part of our lives. Cryokid is only asking to meet her family. There are many people who will never know where they come from but donor conception is different because it intentionally creates people who will be deprived of knowledge of their family as well as being loved by them. I have spoken to many donor conceived (and adopted people) and what is clear is that not knowing one’s family is extremely painful. And if they courageously speak out or try to acquire information they risk alienating the only family they do know as well as being verbally abused and called all sorts of horrible names. We know better now. When people donated in the past we did not have adult Donor Conceived people to tell us about their pain. Our pain of infertility causes more pain when we deprived our children of their biological origins. As commissioning parents who choose to create our children by using donated gametes the least we can do is give them what is rightly theirs and hopefully diminish some of that pain. Otherwise how could we be so ungenerous.

Anonymous said...

I read in some magazine that you asked for medical information from your donor and he sent it back. However what he did not do was send back any acknowledgement to you at all. I am quite sure this man knows who you are from all that is being written about you and your blog. So my question is, which gun do you plan to hold to his head and make him have a relationship with you? Are you some kind of a glutton for punishment? Clearly this man does not want you to interfere in his life or be a part of it otherwise he would have done so a long time ago. You are coming off as a stalker and I am quite sure that is not what you want to seem like. Get over it and realize you may not get what you want here and start your own blood line. You can't force someone to like you or have a relationship with you if they do not want to. So just to make it clear, exactly what would you say to this man if you actually found him knowing he wants to have nothing to do with you? Will you push yourself into his life whether he wants it or not? Will you make contact with his family and introduce yourself to them? You truly sound pathetic and needs to stop the pity party and get on with your life. By his actions the man does not want to know you and I am sure he wants you to do the same

Marilynn said...

Dear Anonymous
In case you missed the memo, its a free country and she is free to contact whomever she wishes about what ever she pleases. She does not even know for sure if she's actually made contact with her father if that medical information was transferred to her through an intermediary. She has every right to keep plugging away until she satisfies herself that she is speaking directly to him or one of her other family members. If he would like her not to contact him again he can tell her that and I am sure she would be respectful of that request. But don't expect her to take what some disinterested third party has to say about him as gospel. He's not their father why should they care if they get the facts straight? Who knows if they even kept their donor numbers straight with the vials or if the profiles were even real or not? There is no reason for them to have put any effort into aligning all of that. She could wind up meeting the man with the matching # and find that his DNA does not match hers after all. The best she can do is keep plugging away looking for faces similar to her own.
If perchance she did meet him and it was really him and he said, "hey listen scram, your existence is an embarrassment to me and I'm ashamed to introduce you to my family, so don't contact them" - Well I don't know her but I'd cry for a week and want to hug her and I would tell her that she is just as much his child as any he's raising and that they have a right to know about her. She has an obligation to inform them of her existence just as much as people raising her had an obligation to tell her about who her father is. If he tries to bully her into silence so he can save face I hope she musters up every bit of courage to say that she's sick of people telling her not to talk to her own damn relatives, they are hers and she can talk to them if she wants. She does not have to like them and they do not have to like her but they are still her family. She won't stalk anyone you freaking nincomepoop. She has not even met anyone in her family yet. My mother did not know she had a sister until her sister was dead. I found her family for her. Their mothers were embarrassed of what their father did so neither of them ever knew the other existed until it was too late. My mother took over as a grandmother figure to her sister's grand children and her sisters kids now love my mom very much. If her father is embarrassed about his actions, that will be his problem and it is not necessarily indicative of how the rest of her family will feel. She owes him F-ing nothing. He should count himself lucky that she'd be willing to have a conversation with him, given the opportunity she might even come to love him and he would be lucky to have the chance to redeem himself infront of God and everyone for having abandoned his child at birth. He abandoned sperm in a clinic, then when it became a baby his biological child and he did not feed her or look after her, he abandoned her.
Anonymous, your mean spirited. Your raising children created this way lighten up grow some empathy and have a heart. She has not even begun to stalk. When she's ready to learn how to stalk she can call me.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually going through the process of insemination right now. Why are you choosing to blame Fairfax when that was a KNOWN "condition" when your egg donor chose Fairfax as a bank? You're acting as if you know for a fact the only thing between child and father is the bank when in fact your sperm donor may want NOTHING to do with you. You may be a great person but who knows who your sperm donor is. This is about respecting privacy, something you can't see because you're so absorbed in your "problem".

Anonymous said...

At some point in time people need to realize that a a family is comprised of the people who raise you. NOT a sperm donor. I appreciate sperm donors who are WILLING to donate and help SOMEONE ELSE create a family. To disrupt a person's life when they are being raised by someone else is selfish. The act of being a sperm donor is a selfless act that helps people who need and want to have a family, create one. I actually do not know my father and for all intensive purposes he was a like a sperm donor. My children will have medical history and other important information. That is all they will need. I never sat there and thought that my biological father had any right to me, nor did I feel like a was missing anything. Now my children will not know their donor information but they will actually know their father, the man who dreamed of them every night and who took care of them. Privacy is the reason I chose fairfax. So realize this, their conditions are very clear, and all parties have signed, so make peace with the choices you have made. Im using an anonymous donor and I am very thankful for his gift to us. While my children may not have every curiosity answered, they will have they love of a family that desperately wanted them more than anything in the world. That's all they really need.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wow! I absolutely love your post and couldn't agree more. My husband and I are currently going through the process of using a donor from CLI and we also chose a donor who wants to remain unknown and I like you had a biological father who was more of a sperm donor and I can't say I never had my moments where I wondered if I had half siblings or thought he might be some wonderful man out there looking for me but fact is I knew who my FATHER was and he was the one who took care of me when I was sick and taught me how to ride a bike and cheered me on at track meets and more importantly walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. People who sit and dwell over their sperm donor are living in fantasy worlds and are obviously missing much more in their life then a "biological connection" I think they need to work on their inner selves and realize that there is so much more to life.

goldy said...

Hello everyone! This is such a touchy subject! I agree with both sides. Yes a retired donor should be able to have a chance to contact there offspring. Only through the sperm bank. If the sperm bank would do the calling around for them.

I see no problem with the sperm bank calling me in 6 years asking if it is okay for my child to meet there biological father from Cryogenic L. It should be up to the mother of that child.

If she consents then yes. If not then no. Then the donor father should have to wait until that child becomes 18. If the child then wishes to ever meet his or her father. So be it. But to absolutely not have a chance to meet an offspring is rather harsh.

I have found a sperm donor from them already. I now have to make a choice if they are right for me. I should ask them about all of this. I'm doing my research.. why I am here now. I wish everyone peace and happiness.