identity-release
(eye.DEN.ti.tee ri.LEES) adj. Relating to a sperm bank donor who agrees to release his identity when a child conceived using his sperm becomes an adult. Also: identity release.

Example Citation:
There is no indication that all the young adults born under identity-release policies will even want to meet their genetic fathers. Lynn Bartz, a Bay Area woman who chose a "yes" donor from the Sperm Bank of California in 1983, said meeting his donor-father isn't a priority for her son. He turns 18 this year and hasn't decided whether to initiate a meeting.
—Yomi S. Wronge, "Sperm donors facing new issues," The San Jose Mercury News, February 3, 2002

Earliest Citation:
Public Eye did an excellent job in reporting on all the potential problems which could result from full openness — suggesting, for example, that donor children could end up looking for their "natural" father and try to forge a relationship where none existed. The typical sperm donors are young men (often medical students) who are simply paid 15 for a sample and who have no further interest in any offspring that might be conceived. But one San Francisco sperm bank already has a number of "identity release" donors; when their offspring reach 18 they are then entitled to information on their natural fathers.
—"Public Eye (BBC 2, Friday)," The Irish Times, May 11, 1993

Notes:
The practice of consensually releasing the identity of sperm bank donors — also described as a yes-donor program — originated in 1983 with The Sperm Bank of California (which holds a service-mark — the service industry equivalent of a trademark — on the phrase identity release). Since the agreement states that a child must be 18 before he or she can attempt to contact the donor, 2002 was the first year in which such contact could be made. A small media storm erupted earlier this year when "Claire L." was the first to learn the identity of donor-father on January 29, 2002, the day she turned 18. So far, she has elected not to contact her father, nor have any of the other 15 children who turn 18 this year.

The Sperm Bank of California says that about 70 percent of its donors are identity-release, and about 80 percent of families choose identity-release donors when making their selection for insemination.

Note, too, that there are also open-identity programs in which the donor's identity is known prior to insemination.

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