Sperm donor anonymity disappearing as commercial DNA databases grow

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Sperm donors across the world are increasingly losing their anonymity due to commercial DNA databases. For the first time a donor child in the Netherlands managed to track down her biological father through one such database. She set up a foundation to help other children of anonymous donors do the same, the Volkskrant reports. 

Emi Stikkelman (32) tracked down her father using a database in the United States, which is mostly used for family tree investigations. The database revealed that she is related to an Australian woman, through whom she identified her father. She and five other donor children together established the foundation , with which they want to help other children of anonymous donors find their fathers. 

Anonymous sperm donations were allowed in the Netherlands up to 2004. An estimated 40 thousand children were fathered by an anonymous donor in the country. After 2004 all children fathered by a donor can request their father's identity when they turn 16. 

As more and more people are registered in DNA databases worldwide, anonymous sperm donations are becoming a thing of the past. "Anonymity is worth nothing anymore in these time", family investigator Els Leijs said, according to NU.nl. She helps adopted children and children of donors track down their biological parents, among other things. 

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