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911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Emergency Physician
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Hello. A few days ago I learned through Facebook that my brother

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Hello. A few days ago I learned through Facebook that my brother has been a direct sperm donor for many, many individuals and couples in the past several years, and that at least 40 babies have been born as a result; most of them are local. I find this very disturbing for several reasons, one being that he has serious mental health issues that I am almost certain he did not disclose -- some of which run through our family line. There is nothing I can or would do about this situation, but how do I cope with it?

911Doctor :

I think that you are well on your way. The fact is that you can't change it.

911Doctor :

I guess if I were you I would talk with your brother and express your concerns about his sperm donations.

911Doctor :

Tell him that he is not being fair to the recipients in withholding information about his mental health history.

911Doctor :

Luckily, the degree to which mental health disorders is 'inherited' is variable and not truly known.

911Doctor :

In many cases mental health disorders have more to do with upbringing than with genetics, so there is a good chance these kids will be fine.

911Doctor :

In any case, it seems to me that the most you can do is to clear your conscience by expressing your concerns to your brother and trying to get him to agree to cease these donations.

911Doctor :

Past that, speaking with a counselor about your feelings, even someone from the clergy, would likely be helpful to you as it seems you are feeling a bit of guilt and worry about something that you had absolutely nothing to do with.

911Doctor :

They might be able to help you get past this and to stop worrying about things that you can not, and will not be able to change.

911Doctor :

I do not see you in the chat. I am going to switch to the Q and A format to facilitate this discussion. If your question has been adequately answered I do so appreciate positive feedback. If you have further questions or desire clarification simply type your response in the box below and click ‘reply’ and I will be back with you as soon as I can.

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Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I appreciate your feedback. This issue also concerns me because my husband and I have three small children. The majority of the children resulting from my brother's sperm donations live in the same city as we do. If by chance they were to meet when they are of the age to date and marry, this could present a serious problem because we do not know who these children are.

That's interesting that you know the children from your brother's donations. Usually that's all confidential.


Nevertheless, I think you are worrying about something that has about the same chance as occurring as you getting struck by lightning.


Also, even if one of your children married one of your brother's children, this would be of almost no concern. SEE THIS LINK HERE.


So two unlikely events would have to happen for this to affect your grandchildren... First, they would have to, completely by chance, meet and marry one of your brother's children.


Secondly, they would then have a 1-2% higher rate of birth defects in their children than if they were not related.


I think you are worrying about something that you need not worry about.




911Doctor and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They consented to join a Facebook group to get in contact with one another; this is the only reason I know.


This whole situation is out of the realm of what I am used to, so it is naturally disconcerting. Thank you for your feedback.

Wow, I don't know if that was such a good idea!