Sperm Donor Asks If He’s Wrong For Not Telling Recipient He Had Growth Hormone Treatment As A Kid

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We’ve all heard stories of sperm donors doing questionable things, whether it’s not disclosing family medical history or not disclosing they actually had a nose job to create that perfectly chiseled face.

However, Reddit user throwaway_tooshort, posited a new question for all of us to consider in a ‘sperm donor based’ post on the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“AITA for not telling my sperm donation recipient I had growth hormone treatment as a kid?”

It started out innocently enough.

“My parents are both tiny (mom is like 4’10” and dad is like 5’4”) and I was in something like the 1st percentile for height as a kid, so my parents decided to give me growth hormone treatment.”

But then…

“I ended up being average male height as an adult (5’10”).”

The OP began to realize perhaps he should’ve disclosed some additional facts.

“I donated sperm to an acquaintance a few years ago. I am not at all involved in her or her son’s life, besides receiving health updates every few months.”

“In the last update, she and her spouse reported that their son is very small for his age (3rd percentile for height at 5 years old), and that their pediatrician said that if he does not see a growth spurt within a couple years, growth hormone treatment should be something to consider.”

“The parents are surprised at this, because the mom is well above average height for women (I would estimate she is around 5’8”).”

Well, the OP decided to come clean.

“I wrote them back saying there is nothing to be concerned about because I had growth hormone treatment as a kid, so their child’s height is in line with my genetics.”

OP was surprised by the parent’s reaction to this news.

“I told them it worked well for me, so it is definitely something I endorse if they are worried about their child being undersized. The parents are both furious at me for not disclosing this beforehand, and said they would not have asked me to donate if they had known this ahead of time.”

But the OP defended the fact he hadn’t disclosed this information in advance of his sperm donation.

“I was never asked this in the fertility clinic’s lengthy screening process, and it was honestly something I never even thought to bring up. The parents are insisting I pay for the rather expensive hormone treatment if they decide to go that route; I will refuse if they ask.”

And finally the OP closed with the perennial AITA question.

“AITA for not disclosing, and WIBTA for refusing to pay?”

Redditors voted using these responses:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

A ton of people weighed in with the answer YTA.

“OP in the comments does say he was asked about medical history (OBVIOUSLY)… he didn’t disclose, YTA” – spaceballsthemusical

“YTA, full medical disclosure should be automatic, even if it wasn’t asked, in a case like this.” – CarpeCyprinidae

“YTA. I’m not saying I agree with anybody caring how tall their kid is, but you definitely should have disclosed that.” – FredinNH

“YTA. I guarantee on the medical history section of whatever you filled out, there was an “other medical treatments or events” section, and this definitely belongs there” – alexb_090

“YTA, hugely. I’m a sperm donor kid. My knowledge of half my genetic makeup comes down to the information some college student provided before he jizzed in a cup.”

“That information is important to me, and was important to my moms when they chose a donor. Not disclosing that info when prompted is a huge dick move.” – releasethe_mccracken

Some pointed out growth hormone deficiency is not simply an aesthetic concern.

“Growth hormone deficiency definitely IS technically a medical condition.

Being short is just the obvious visible symptom that usually gets the condition diagnosed in childhood so it can be treated. Other complications of the condition include osteoporosis, muscle weakness, heart problems and insulin resistance.” – whoevenc4res

“YTA. A growth hormone deficiency comes with many health problems. Infertility, insulin resistance, bone development issues, etc…”

“There is no way you weren’t asked about it. Fertility clinics ask about your health history and anything genetic.”

“That’s literally a basic part of questioning. All which you should have disclosed.”

“They obviously would ask if you had any medical issues that are genetic. Just because they didn’t ask a very specific question does not mean they did not ask.” – womanwarrier

And syberphunk, who had personal experience with human growth hormone deficiency weighed in, first by saying:


They went on:

“Talking as a person who has grown up needing this medication myself, and I have other conditions, if I was in this situation I would have disclosed all of it, and made sure that they knew about it.”

“Growth hormone and treatments of the like is not something you take lightly, in any way.”

They dove into exactly why the OP’s lack of disclosure was problematic.

“That’s your endocrinological system, and mixing your genetics with another person’s could result in catastrophic atrophies in the resulting child.”

“While you have no idea what kind of genetics you’d end up resulting in with a child depending on the partner that takes your genetic material, that’s even more of a reason to be wary about simply spreading your genetic material around when you know you need treatment to be a functional person.”

And finally, they concluded by joining the consensus in saying.

“You should’ve disclosed it.”

“If you don’t want to pay, have them attempt to take you to court and let it be decided in case law for future cases – deciding whether or not you should pay is not for anyone here to decide at all, it’s for your country’s laws to decide and set a precedent.”

Sorry throwaway_tooshort, the consensus on this one is clear. You’re the a**hole.

Dana Levinson

Written by Dana Levinson

Dana Aliya Levinson is an actress, writer, and trans activist. She graduated with honors from the New School where she wrote extensively about political and ethnic identity in the middle-east. She was a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow, and has written about politics and trans issues for The Huffington Post, Women's Health, Nylon, and The Notice Blog.