Book Club Questions for “Donor 9623” Podcast and Sperm Donation in Florida

Florida law specifically governs sperm donation. Florida Statute 742.14 sets out a legal framework regarding sperm donation, however, proper documentation and other best practices such as a mental health evaluation of the parties involved is necessary to ensure that the sperm donation is performed properly.  A large part of the litigation in Florida regarding third party reproductive technology relates to litigation over  sperm donation and whether the person donating his sperm should be classified as a donor or a parent. Consultation with a Florida reproductive attorney regarding the proper way to document and handle a sperm donation prior to the donation occurring is imperative to make sure everyone's rights are protected. Audible Original presented a fascinating and well done podcast on a sperm donation debacle called "Donor 9623", described by Audible as follows:
When scores of aspiring parents turned to the fertility industry to start families, they chose a remarkable young man to be the biological father of their children. He was a music prodigy and gifted athlete who had a genius IQ, movie star looks, and perfect health. Except it was all a lie. In this tour de force of investigative reporting, host Dov Fox unravels the case of Donor 9623, examining the complex forces and competing agendas behind the biggest reproductive hoax of our time. The story is dark, propulsive - and in an unexpected turn - hopeful. This Audible Original exposes the billion-dollar industry that creates hundreds of thousands of babies every year, through unprecedented access to its key players - and to Donor 9623 himself. The 8-episode series raises hard questions about what we want when we set out to have kids - and what happens when we don’t get it. It places us in the grip of life lived with crushing uncertainty. And unsettles our deepest understanding of what it means to be human.
The Donor 9623 podcast raised many considerations and topics in the ways sperm banks function, but specifically raised legal, medical and psychological considerations. Some of the questions the podcast raises in each category are: Medical Considerations:
  1. Should sperm banks verify information received from sperm donors?
  2. Should egg/embryo banks also verify information received from egg/embryo donors?
  3. Should sperm banks have reporting requirements, such as reporting live births or future learned medical information that relates to genetics?
  4. Should the FDA which does regulate sperm donation require genetic donor testing? (at a minimum autosomal dominant genetic diseases)?
Legal Considerations:
  1. Wrongful birth lawsuits – should it be a cause of action?
  2. Do these wrongful birth cases create the stigma around disability or illness? Or do the lawsuits provide monetary redress for children and parents harmed by the donation?
Psychological Considerations:
  1. Should sperm donors at sperm banks have a formal psychological screening like they would for a known/direct sperm donation
  2. Was Xytex’s (sperm bank involved with Donor 9623)  interviewer violate any mental health codes of “leading” on the donor’s responses while filming the donor's promotional video for potential parents?
  3. Xytex had disclaimer to intended parents using the donated sperm, “buyer beware”. Do you think that makes a difference in a person’s decision-making process?
  4. In situation like Donor 9623, should the children born from the sperm be informed about the donor’s medical issues? When do you tell the children about a mental health condition of their sperm donor? How much information do you share?
  5. What considerations go into mental health evaluation of sperm donor?