Woman born through sperm donor founds out she has 65 siblings after DNA test

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Brenna Siperko found out she had dozens of siblings after taking a DNA test (Image: Brenna Siperko)
Brenna Siperko found out she had dozens of siblings after taking a DNA test (Image: Brenna Siperko)

A woman who was born through a sperm donor was shocked to discover she found out she had 65 half-siblings after taking a DNA test.

Brenna Siperko, a woman from Maryland who was conceived via sperm donation, discovered that she has 65 half-siblings after taking a DNA test. Raised as an only child, she felt excited to find and connect with her siblings, especially those with common interests.

They have become a supportive family group, offering advice and companionship. Siperko has met several of her siblings in person in various locations across the United States and Canada. However, they haven't met their biological father as he chose to remain anonymous.

Brenna shared her experiences and feelings about discovering her 65 half-siblings. After taking a DNA test with 23andMe, she initially found out about 13 siblings, but later, she was added to group chats and realised she had a total of 65 siblings.

Woman born through sperm donor founds out she has 65 siblings after DNA test eideziqkeiqhhinvShe said she has now formed loving connections with her extended family (Brenna Siperko)

She told USA Today: "I had always thought I probably have siblings somewhere, or at least a couple since I come from a donor. I took my test and found out from 23andMe."

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Meeting her half-siblings was an exciting experience for her, as she found people her age with whom she shared common interests and physical features, like almond-shaped eyes and similar face shapes. She described the experience of seeing people who looked like her as both weird and cool.

Brenna considers her siblings as a support group and regularly communicates with them through a family group chat, seeking advice and sharing her problems. Some of her siblings live in Maryland, where she met six of them, while others are scattered across different states and even in Canada.

She also mentioned that their biological father remains anonymous as he chose not to be identified. Despite concerns raised by some people about the potential challenges of having so many half-siblings, Brenna emphasised that discovering and connecting with her siblings has been a positive and supportive experience. She encouraged others in similar situations not to be afraid to reach out and form connections with their half-siblings.

Wendy Kramer is the co-founder and director of the Donor Sibling Registry, an organisation in Colorado that assists individuals conceived through sperm, egg, or embryo donation in finding their relatives. Over the years, the organisation has connected nearly 25,000 people with their half-siblings and biological parents, with some cases involving large groups of over 100 or even 200 half-siblings.

Many sperm banks initially promised that each donor would father no more than 10 children, but this often proves untrue, leading to large half-sibling groups. Kramer believes this occurs because sperm banks fail to maintain accurate records of the children born from each donor, leading to a proliferation of half-siblings.

Her organisation has asked donors and parents of donor-conceived individuals about the ideal limit, and the most common response they receive is 10. The problem is exacerbated by sperm banks shipping sperm to clinics across the country and even worldwide, making it difficult to know where half-siblings might be located.

Vassia Barba

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