A prospective study of donor insemination recipients: Secrecy, privacy, and disclosure

S. C. Klock*, M. C. Jacob, D. Maier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objectives: To study prospectively the attitudes and behaviors of heterosexual couples undergoing donor insemination. Design: Couples undergoing donor insemination completed psychological questionnaires before treatment regarding psychiatric symptoms, self-esteem, marital adjustment, and their attitudes about privacy or disclosure. Participants: Forty-one of 82 heterosexual couples participated. Measures: A donor insemination questionnaire, a self-esteem scale, the Brief Symptom Inventory, and the Dyadic Adjustment scale were used. Results: Psychiatric symptoms, self- esteem, and marital adjustment were all in the normal range. The amount of time taken by the couple to decide to do donor insemination was not related to reported psychiatric symptoms, self-esteem, marital adjustment, or marital satisfaction. Ninety-five percent of the couples believed a psychological consultation should be a mandatory part of the donor insemination treatment. The greatest concern the couples had about the donor child was its genetic and medical background. Thirty-eight percent of the couples did tell or planned to tell others about using donor insemination to conceive, and only 27% of the couples planned to tell the child of his or her donor origin. Conclusions: The results of this study support those of others, which have indicated that the majority of donor recipients are psychologically well adjusted and have average marital adjustment. In addition, this prospective study replicated the findings of other retrospective studies, indicating that most donor insemination recipients do not plan to tell the child of his or her donor origin. Additional prospective studies are needed to determine if attitudes and behavior regarding disclosure change over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994


  • Donor insemination
  • male infertility
  • psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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