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Episodes
  • Episode 1

    Aug 31 2020
    A family struggles with a troubled son, who makes a startling discovery about his biological father, opening up a world of deceit.
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    20 mins
  • Episode 2

    Aug 31 2020
    Moms around the world join forces to uncover the real identity of the anonymous man they all chose to have a child with, learning that scores of others out there used the same donor.
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    27 mins
  • Episode 3

    Aug 31 2020
    Disturbing new details emerge from the moms’ quest for the truth. How could this deception go undetected for so long? And what did the sperm bank know? Its former CEO weighs in
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    26 mins

About the Creator and Performer

Dov Fox is a law professor and endowed scholar at the University of San Diego, where he directs the Center for Health Law Policy & Bioethics. His research examines the legal dimensions of genetic privacy, translational medicine, and cognitive neuroscience. Fox's 2019 book, Birth Rights and Wrongs, was a finalist for several national book awards. His op-eds have appeared in Vox, Slate, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Fox has provided on-air analysis for CNN, NPR, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, and The Today Show. He has published scholarly articles in leading journals of law (e.g., Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review), medicine (e.g., New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association), and bioethics (e.g., Journal of Medical Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics). Fox graduated from Harvard College, Yale Law School, and the University of Oxford, where he received a doctorate in political philosophy as a Rhodes scholar.

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What listeners say about Donor 9623

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating series.

I had absolutely no idea the complexity of sperm donation(s). This series dives into and breaks down many prospectives: families, children, donor, lawyers, as well as the business. Interviews are very respectful and does not necessarily vilify any particular person or entity. After listening to the entire series, I don't think there was any initial ill intent by any person or persons regardless of where they stood. Very emotional and curious to know what the future may hold for all affected.

51 people found this helpful

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Very interesting and well told

Fascinating industry with astonishing opportunities to help and hurt. An unfortunate example of capitalism gone wrong.

36 people found this helpful

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Binged whole story

Very interesting. Will have you hooked. You will sympathize for the people involved and it will make you think about the way you look at mental health stigmas.

30 people found this helpful

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Informative and Touching

This was so informative. I loved how the author presented multiple sides to this story. I highly recommend listening to this podcast, especially if you are considering Artificial Reproduction Technology (ART). It really made me consider how sperm and egg donor companies are more concerned about profit than actually helping people at what could be one of the most vulnerable times of their lives.

28 people found this helpful

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What a story!

I was interested in this as 20 years ago I too was a customer at an LA sperm bank. We looked through the catalog and picked what we thought was a great donor. I had 2 inseminations and the 2nd one took. We were thrilled. I ended up having a miscarriage and now I’m relieved. We adopted a baby girl who was actually a relative Of my now ex-husbands. Even with adoption you’re getting someone else’s genes and could very well end up dealing with mental illness. We are as depression and anxiety run in the family so we are doing everything we can as parents to help our daughter. It’s called unconditional love.

25 people found this helpful

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I played all 8 episodes in one sitting

Astonishing. It's a story about secrets, ethics and an opportunist. I appreciate that the book did not try to tell the story in one note. Instead, it tells a messy, complicated, well-researched tale and forces the reader to navel-gaze about the deeply human consequences of the systems we allow to serve vulnerable parents, the companies that profit, and fraudsters who abuse the system because it is, by design, meant to harbor secrets. And ultimately, it asks what we can or should do to thwart those opportunists when the "consequence" is a beautiful human, albeit one that is "different" than promised. Provocative and moving.

23 people found this helpful

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Binge-Worthy

This is an excellent telling of a buyer beware sperm donor saga. I listened to all in one sitting. Felt for all parties involved and now know a lot more about the unsavory business of donor programs as profit machines along with the lack of regulations that go along with the business. Thank you Dov Fox for the enlightening expose.

16 people found this helpful

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Enthralling!

Prepare to be amazed, outraged, entertained and ultimately touched by the business of making humans.

12 people found this helpful

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Great investigative podcast

After this podcast I’m will be picking up his book to read more on birth rights and wrongs. He also did a great job at keeping me hooked and on topic.

11 people found this helpful

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Profound and informative

I really enjoyed this podcast. It's a drama with a stranger than fiction plotline, and the last episode in particular was profound.

10 people found this helpful

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  • goodcop badcop
  • 09-10-20

Instant classic

I listen to a LOT of podcasts, and this is up there with the very best audible originals like West Cork & Evil Has a Name, and free-to-air classics such as S-Town & Serial.
A compelling & complex story, teased out beautifully.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Charles Pooter
  • 10-12-20

give us a break, not this guy!

Fascinating story of what can go wrong in trying to become a parent outside of the usual "natural order" (cringe). One mentally ill man and one exceedingly greedy company perpetrate fraud fraud after fraud which has far reaching ramifications, not just on one person and their immediate families, but potentially on the genepool as a whole! That the central figure in this story was always cast in an attempt at a sympathetic light flabbergasted me. Insurance companies screw individuals over and refuse to pay out compensation for "pre-existing" conditions, but one seriously deluded individual can pass such a serious pre-existing condition on, and we're all supposed to be OK with that? In the words of Sherlock Holmes, it's a case of heads I win, tails you lose, in favour of the system. Victims of this repeated fraud had their case thrown out of court, because of a theoretical link to a-b-o-r-t-i-o-n. These poor people are denied justice and saddled with huge medical bills, but we're supposed to feel empathy for a selfish schizophrenic because of his messiah complex? You can't have it both ways- people have the right to know if any potential issues! Legally, caveat emptor does not apply - the vendor in post industrial revolution society is under an obligation to provide a functioning product (caveat venditor). The seller purposely misrepresented the product - this is FRAUD, case closed! Don't bother hectoring us with "donor 9623 is just an imperfect human being" - he sold himself as superman! His poor biological offspring have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads for their whole lives. Shut down sperm banks and introduce regulation and monitoring - this current setup is a nightmare that will cause untold horrors for future generations. We should have sympathy for the children here, not the irresponsible sick father.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Vicktoria
  • 10-01-20

insightful

excellent podcast. I thought I had made up my mind until the last episode. recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karen Hughes
  • 03-17-21

Asensible umbiased delivery of a sensitive subject

This was a good listen, thank you.
The narrator had good depth to his voice

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  • Richard Felce
  • 02-08-21

Fascinating story, done well

A good podcast was produced with the content he had available. Really interesting story. its annoying how the episodes aren't in order

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-07-20

Bingeworthy !

Excellent podcast! Very well made , story was fascinating - all the episodes were great but the last one specifically was the perfect ending to the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-01-20

Worth the listen for curiosity sake

Anyone thinking of IVF through a sperm bank, it's required listening! The shortcomings of an industry highlighted through one case study, which will leave you wondering as to how it happened and is it really that terrible a thing that it has. Live and let live. Yet the industry requires more regulatory input, that seems obvious. Raises questions

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  • Irishgirl
  • 11-13-20

interesting story

Enjoyed this
Engaging listen about an unregulated industry offering hope which could ultimately cause misery.

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  • VickyD
  • 11-03-20

very interesting

Flew through it, very interesting listen and poses some hard questions. Would recommend to others.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lizzie
  • 10-31-20

Interesting subject but too long

Its an interesting subject and story, but could have been told in four episodes. I felt the focus and therefore blame was put too much on a man who was clearly very unwell, and less on the company whose responsibility it is to properly screen it's donors. I'd like to know what measures have been put in place since the 90s to ensure this can't happen again.