What Is Donor Linking？
Donor Link Japan supports donor links for people who have been born or donated sperm or eggs from medical institutions in Japan. For the time being, only non-spousal artificial insemination (AID) performed at domestic AID-enforcing medical institutions registered with the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology is eligible for donor link.
For donor-conceived individuals, "peripheral information" refers to various details about the individual's birth, such as the year and month and the medical facility where their parent received the donation, and their own birth date, birthplace, gender, blood type, notable constitution, physical characteristics and personality. For donors, "peripheral information" includes when, where, and how many times they donated, their blood type, notable constitution, physical characteristics and personality.
The DNA marker link test is used to identify potential genetic connections between registered donors and donor-conceived individuals. However, it is important to note that this test does not definitively confirm a genetic relationship but only indicates the possibility of such a link. In cases where there is a high likelihood of a link, Donor Link Japan will provide support for the exchange of information, mediating communication between the linked parties with the intervention of social workers, psychological counselors, and genetic counselors as necessary, while minimizing risks.
Anyone aged 18 and above who was either born with donated sperm or eggs, or anyone who have donated sperm or eggs in the past, are eligible to become a general member (interest party member) of Donor Link Japan. Donor Link Japan will provide these members with opportunities to interact with other donor-conceived people or donors, and provide with a variety of information related to the right to know and issues regarding donor conception.
However, at present, only those who were born through DI (donor insemination) performed at a medical institution in Japan and those who donated their sperm at a medical institution in Japan are eligible to register for donor linking via the DNA marker link test. This registration is specifically for the purpose of connecting donors with donor-conceived individuals or finding half-siblings born from the same donor.
In Japan, there are ongoing discussions within the government and among politicians about the establishment of a law concerning the right for donor-conceived individuals to know biological origins. At Donor Link Japan, we firmly believe that the right to know is important for donor-conceived individuals and we advocate that they should be able to access any time and any information on donors if they desire. Nevertheless, Donor Link Japan adopts a policy of respecting the donor's preferences regarding the extent of disclosure about themselves because the past donors donated gametes on the premise of anonymity.
To DI-conceived people aged 18 years and older through sperm donation performed at a Japanese medical institution
When you discovered that you were conceived through donor insemination (DI), it likely stirred a range of emotions within you. While it is assumed that these feelings are greatly influenced by when, how and by whom you were told, we often hear from donor-conceived people that they had negative emotions toward their parents, felt anxious about their identity, and wanted to know more about their donor after they learned they were donor conceived. Although still rare in Japan, some donor-conceived individuals who were told about their conception by their parents at a very young age may be able to accept their parents and the medical technique itself without any negative sentiment.
However, even in such cases, donor-conceived individual may still be curious about his or her donor. It is said that the desire to know one's donor is not necessarily influenced by how an individual learned the circumstances of his or her conception, or the quality of the parent-child relationship, whether good or bad. Moreover, the timing of the desire to learn more and the desire of the extent of information can vary greatly from one person to another. Some individuals may even live their entire lives without feeling the need to know about their donor.
The possibility that half-siblings born from the same donor exist is also crucial information for donor-conceived individuals. Not knowing the number of other children born from their own donor’s sperm can lead to feelings of anxiety.
Even if you register your own information, it does not guarantee that you will find your donor. But we believe there is value in expressing your desire as a donor offspring. We will manage the information you provide us with the utmost care. If you find someone who is likely to have a genetic link to you, many specialists are available to assist you in facilitating the desirable exchanges of information with your donor or half sibling.
Therefore, we encourage you to register your information with Donor Link Japan.
To those who donated your sperm at the medical institution in Japan
Undoubtedly, DI has brought immense joy to many families. However, some donor-conceived individuals experience an identity crisis because of lack of their own biological information. They may also hope for information about their donors in relation to their genetic predispositions, talents, hereditary or familial diseases. In order for donor-conceived people to obtain such information, it is crucial for sperm donors to register their information.
In Japan, DI has been implemented on condition that sperm donor should remain anonymous, so we assume that the majority of sperm donors visiting this site have donated sperm anonymously. However, in other countries, there are accounts of anonymous donors who upon discovering that donor offspring desired donors' information, registered their information voluntarily. Consequently, they experienced great satisfaction and relief upon witnessing the creation of happy families and healthy children through their well-intentioned donation.
Regrettably, at this moment, there is no law in Japan that clearly states that gamete donors as not the legal parent of donor-conceived individuals. As a result, great care is required in managing information and handling contacts with donor offspring. At Donor Link Japan, we manage registered donors' information with the utmost care. If we find your offspring through donor linking, our team of experts including counselors, social workers and lawyers will provide comprehensive support in various ways.
Of course, we will respect your preferences. If you wish to remain anonymous, we will do so. Additionally, the extent of information you disclose is entirely up to you. Your choices and privacy are our top priorities.
Furthermore, some of you who have previously donated sperm might feel uneasy because you cannot talk to anyone about their concerns regarding their donation experience. Donor Link Japan is close to the feelings of such a donor, and psychological counselors and social workers will support them if necessary. In addition, we are planning to arrange online meetings for gamete donors (as has been done overseas). We hope that you will be able to view your experience in a positive way by sharing the feeling with other donors.