A modern family: 20-plus sperm donor siblings find each other
But a sizable half sibling group living within the same geographical vicinity could become problematic. “Most tangibly, there is a potential risk for accidental incest and medical problems that offspring could have unwittingly,” said Dr. Dov Fox, author of Birth Rights and Wrongs: How Medicines and Technology are Remaking Reproduction and the Law.
Last month, Dr. Bryce Cleary filed a $5.25 million lawsuit against a fertility clinic in Oregon after discovering he is the biological father of at least 17 children he did not know about. Cleary said he agreed to be an anonymous donor under the conditions that no more than five children would be conceived and that they would be born to mothers outside the Pacific Northwest. However, many of his 17 offspring were in fact born in Oregon.
The lawsuit says that there was a high chance that some of his children may have attended the same colleges, churches, and interacted within the same social circles without knowing it. Cleary also said he may have unknowingly treated or examined one or more of his offspring while working as a primary care physician in Corvallis, Oregon.