Recently, I watched an Oprah show featuring children of sperm donation. Whatever your views are on the ethics of using sperm donation to make children, there was no denying the brokenheartedness of the three young women sitting on Oprah’s stage that day. They wondered out loud to the audience: “Does he ever think about me?”, “Do I look like him?”, and “Does he know I’m out here?”
Two half-siblings told their story. In their search to find their sperm-donor dad, they found each other. Oprah’s crew filmed their first encounter, as one waited at the train station for the arrival of the other. It was hard for me to hold back the tears as I watched this brother and sister find each other for the first time. They couldn’t take their hands off each other’s faces. They found it impossible to stop looking into each other’s eyes, as if looking at themselves in the mirror. “I belong. I look like someone. I am a part of something – a family.” The longing for community and family , perhaps the most important communal structure, is strongly present inside each of us. It’s part of what makes us human.
A new law is being considered in the United Kingdom next month which will strip away the legal need for a father. Birth certificates will report “Parent A” and “Parent B”. This controversial new law has many far-reaching and negative consequences. Read my full article here.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.
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