“I just watched the Style Network show which featured Ben the sperm donor with,
so far, 70 known children. If Ben has 70 known children it is a sure thing that
he has at least that many who are unknown. Few heterosexual couples tell their
children about the circumstances of their conception, and it is still a minority
of single women and lesbian couples who are actively seeking their donor.
Ben donated at Fairfax Cryobank which I believe is the world leader in offering
donors who have prodigious quantities of children. Effectively, they have no
limits on the number of children they allow a donor to produce. The show
illustrated some of the consequences of the mercenary greed of this sperm bank.
Ben has a fiance who wants an exclusive relationship with him and their future
children. On the other hand, this likable and well-intentioned man is willing to
have meaningful contact with his biological children. He cannot possibly
reconcile his fiance’s desire for a normal family life with his willingness to
be known and to interact with his horde of children. As his friend said in the
piece, “you can’t go to 70 birthday parties”. After the 5th or 10th or 20th
contact this guy is going to say enough.
We know that sperm banks accept a small percentage of donor candidates. As I
understand it, the sperm of most men does not remain viable after freezing and
thawing. Also, the bank wants a high sperm count so that multiple vials can be
produced from each sample. As a result, it is expensive to find an acceptable
donor who can produce viable sperm in quantity. If the decision-makers at a
sperm bank have no ethics they will continue to use a popular, available donor
until the cows come home.
I was a donor in the late 1980s. At that time the American Fertility Society
guidelines called for a limit of 10 children per donor. Aside from the
possibility of accidental incest, or the passing of some heritable defect to a
virtual tribe of people, is it not just common sense to limit the number of
offspring? I hope you are not reading this Ron Paul, but these people need to be
regulated. Their choosing to act in their untrammeled self interest is causing