By Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC
In the old days, men at the top of some cultures would father scores of children from his many wives and harem concubines. I thought of the harem nursery when I read the story of one sperm donor
fathering siring more than 150 children. From the NYT story:
Cynthia Daily and her partner used a sperm donor to conceive a baby seven years ago, and they hoped that one day their son would get to know some of his half siblings — an extended family of sorts for modern times. So Ms. Daily searched a Web-based registry for other children fathered by the same donor and helped to create an online group to track them. Over the years, she watched the number of children in her son’s group grow.
And grow. Today there are 150 children, all conceived with sperm from one donor, in this group of half siblings, and more are on the way. “It’s wild when we see them all together — they all look alike,” said Ms. Daily, 48, a social worker in the Washington area who sometimes vacations with other families in her son’s group. Cynthia Daily and her partner used a sperm donor to conceive a baby seven years ago, and they hoped that one day their son would get to know some of his half siblings — an extended family of sorts for modern times.
My generation created a sense of procreative entitlement that I don’t think is culturally healthy. Rather than get married and then having kids — a two parent home being best for children — some now decide that their deepest yearning trumps restraint, and they do whatever it takes — ranging from the technologically unsophisticated at-home artificial insemination to renting wombs and genetically altering embryos for eugenic perfection — to achieve their heart’s desire. People can argue over the propriety of that, and while I think it would be a good thing for people to realize they can’t have everything in life and adopt in cases where they aren’t married and want children, the horse is out of the barn on the cultural trend. Still, stories like this show that the Reproduction Industry desperately needs some regulations if we are to maintain at least a modicum of order and decorum.
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