Washington state reforms sperm and egg donation laws

Washington state has become the first US state to reduce the anonymity of both sperm and egg donors.

Previously sperm and egg donors have had their identities protected completely, only being referred to with numbers. This has made contacting donors very hard, verging on the impossible.

From now though Washington state guarantees children conceived with gametes from Washington sperm banks and egg donation agencies access, (once they reach 18) to their donors' medical histories and their full names - unless the donors specifically opt out of being identified.

So this revised law still allows anonymity through a simple opt-out procedure.

Obviously the UK, Sweden and Austria go much further and have for quite a few years abolished anonymous donations completely.

“It's a good step in the right direction,” says Jennifer McCarty, a Seattle mom of a donor-conceived 3-year-old daughter and an adopted 4-year-old son. “As a parent, I want to be able to provide a way for them to find out who they are and dig into their origins."

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