Bio-News is always a good read every week. Anyone interested in reproductive medicine or genetics should subscribe…and it’s free too. The weekly Commentaries are often quite a provocative takes on topical subjects and the one on Monday was no exception. In it a private sperm donor writes attempting to put the advantages of using a private (unregulated) donor against receiving donor sperm via a licensed fertility clinic. I make no secret of the fact that I found the article both sleazy and creepy. My ‘yuk’ response was stimulated right from the beginning when he stated, “Donations are conducted at home using artificial insemination or intercourse”. Intercourse, you mean the donor has sex with the recipient? I thought this article was supposed to be about the advantages for women and children in using a private donor, but here we have men offering sex to women they have no intention of maintaining a relationship with. Just who’s interest is this supposed to be in? And how do you explain it to the children?
Then there is the supposed advantage of having far more personal information than you would get in a clinic. But get this, “”You can’t form a judgement about who you do or do not fancy by reading a cursory profile”. Just what is this about fancying? This is a sperm donor not a life partner and fancying just shouldn’t come into it. He then goes on to say, “Partner choice is not something which can be shortcut by the ‘pick a card, any card’ approach of clinics. This is the main reason to reject clinics.”
Any woman in a heterosexual or probably also a lesbian relationship would laugh out loud at these arguments. She has a life partner she fancies and wishes to have a child with. She needs the means to become pregnant, preferably sperm from a donor whose basic characteristics fit with looks within her and her partner’s family and values she feels comfortable with. The only real appeal might be to a single woman, who really would have liked a life partner to have a child with, and might be lured at a vulnerable time of her life into having sex with a man who might or might not stick around for her child to know. No commitment, no paper-work, or only something that any court could overturn. Nothing here to change my mind about advising people to avoid free donor websites like the plague.