Wednesday, December 29, 2021

My Letters re NYS Bill 7602 - Donor Conceived Person Protection Act

Good morning,

I am sending this email to many of my friends that are NYS residents and asking a favor.   Most of you are aware that my children are donor conceived.  I have copied you on two Emails below I sent this morning to my State Senator.  Please read them.  

For the first time a bill has been introduced into the NYS Senate that would subject the infertility industry to regulations with respect to the use of donor gametes and donor conception methods of family building.  I support this bill.  I don't expect every section of it to survive the legislative process but getting it before the right committees and moving forward is a great first step.  A step that will only happen if there is support for discussion to continue.

A link to the bill itself is within the below emails.    

I would ask that you contact your State Senator and voice your support for this bill.  I am copying at the bottom a phone call script that can be used on a phone call or towards an email. If you don't know who your Senator is here is a link.  

Any help is appreciated.  Thank you. 


Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Eric Schwartzman
Date: December 29, 2021 at 11:03:44 AM EST
Subject: Fwd: Bill 7602 - Donor Conceived Person Protection Act

Dear Senator Gianaris,

This is Steven who I referred to in my email below.  My email mistakenly did not upload the photo to my email.  

[picture omitted from blog post]

It is children like Steven that would be protected under this bill and I again urge you to support the bill and perhaps even sign on as a co-sponsor with Senator Gallivan.  In your role as Deputy Majority Leader it would go a long way in encouraging the Democratic caucus to listen and possibly add their support to the bill. 

There are many Stevens out there who without the protection of progressive legislation like this that will be born with genetic time bombs that they and their birth families will not know about and be able to treat early to prevent serious medical conditions from developing or fatalities such as experienced by Steven Gunner.  

Thank you again for your consideration. 

Yours truly,
Eric Schwartzman
Astoria constituent. 

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Eric Schwartzman 
Date: December 29, 2021 at 10:49:05 AM EST
Subject: Bill 7602 - Donor Conceived Person Protection Act



Dear Senator Gianaris –


My name is Eric Schwartzman and I am an Astoria resident in your district.  I live at ______ here in Astoria, NY.    I am also the parent to two children conceived via donor conception.


I am writing to urge you to support Senate Bill 7602, the Donor Conceived Person Protection Act.   This is a topic that has been crying out for regulation and structure to protect the individuals to be conceived and created using assisted reproductive technologies such as donor conception.


Here is the short version of the bill's narrative:


"The "donor-conceived person protection act" ensures that reproductive tissue banks, licensed by the department of health, collect and verify medical, educational and criminal felony history information from any donor it procures reproductive tissue from and to disseminate such information to a recipient before a recipient purchases or otherwise receives such tissue, and to donor-conceived persons, if any, when such persons turn eighteen years of age or earlier upon consent of the recipient parent or guardian; defines terms; makes related provisions."

For the past 15 years I have been informally counseling men and couples considering using the donor insemination to create their families as well as men who have created families with their spouses and partners using DI.   The greatest fear these families have had has been that the donor sperm they have procured has an incomplete medical history and/or that the  testing asserted as truthful, and up to date, is just the opposite and that the sperm purchased has a medical issue hidden or omitted from the history presented to the purchasing recipient parents that will impair the health and life of the child to be created.  This bill would ensure not only that the parents be fully aware but that the donor conceived person will eventually receive a full medical history of their genetic parent just as any naturally conceived child would have from their birth family.


I came to know the story of the couple Laura and David Gunner, who I believe have written your office, and who worked with your colleague State Senator Gallivan to create this bill.  Their story and the loss of their child Steven is a sobering one.  Their son Steven, was conceived via a donor, Donor 1538, that had self-reported his medical history omitting that he suffered from schizophrenia and that his first significant psychiatric hospitalization occurred prior to the10th grade.  The donor's life was marked by institutions, incarceration and homelessness. The Gunner's watched their child decompensate, struggle, suffer and sadly die. No amount of nurture, love, support or resources prevented it.  Steven and his Donor, lived and died exactly the same. Both had almost identical presentations of symptoms and progression of Schizophrenia.  I am attaching below a picture of Steven Gunner to put a face to this story. 


The regulation envisioned by Bill 7602 would prevent donor sperm from donors like Donor 1558 from being available to New York State recipient parents as laws and regulations such as this would force the cryobanks and sperm banks to screen out such individuals.  Where such histories would exist the banks would be held accountable.    The cryobank that the Gunners worked with claim that they have no liability and they were not required to validate the information presented by Donor 1558.


I ask you this sir,  what business exists where you are allowed to market something that can be completely untrue and blame it on the government because no law held them to a higher standard? 

The cryobank used by the Gunners will never be held responsible. Worse, all banks are continuing to self regulate. I challenge you to find another business in America that can operate like this. As far as I know, the only business that operates with no oversight or regulation of their "product" is the business who supplies genetic material to create humans.

I urge you Senator to support Bill 7602 and I am available to meet inperson or via zoom or phone call to discuss this bill, these issues, and the business of donor conception as a whole that exists in this nation.  As I stated I have working with families and men on these issues for 15 plus years and have my own experiences as the parent of two donor conceived individuals so I am intimately aware of the fears parents face.  


I can be contacted at this email address, or via my cell phone at __________.  I live ten minutes from your Astoria office and would be available to meet with you or a member of your staff to discuss this bill either at your office or perhaps grab a coffee outside as I believe this is that important.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.  


Thank you,

Eric Schwartzman

Sent from my iPhone

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