The world′s biggest family | DocFilm | DW | 02.08.2022

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DocFilm

The world's biggest family

Are anonymous sperm donors set to become history? More and more children who were conceived using sperm from anonymous donors are demanding to know who their biological fathers are. They also want to know how many half-siblings they have, and who they are.

Canadian filmmaker Barry Stevens has 600 half-siblings, spread out all around the globe. Their father was an anonymous sperm donor. In this documentary, Stevens sets out to meet some of his family members. For many it's a surprise that changes everything. The story is not unique. Advances in DNA analysis and greater access to data banks are allowing more and more people who were conceived using sperm from anonymous donors to connect with their extended family. They are demanding information on the identity of their biological fathers. Some want to know because they're curious, or to find out whether they might suffer from hereditary disease. Others are worried they could unwittingly fall in love with a half-sibling. Up to now, the donor's right to anonymity was given top priority, but laws are slowly changing to allow everyone to have the right to know who their biological father is.