[Opinion] 'Donating' Sperm Is 'Dark,' 'Shady'
The ethics of the fertility industry are questionable, at best
Email Article  Print Article Jennifer C. Lahl (JLahl)    
Newsweek recently reported a story about a 51-year-old man, who between 1980 and 1994 donated his sperm twice a week in order to make cash for medical school and to nurture his altruistic desires to help infertile women.

Kirk Maxey states, “I loved having kids, and to have these women doomed to wandering around with no family didn’t seem right, and it’s easy to come up with a semen donation.”

Don’t get me started.

By his own estimates, this do-gooder, go-to stud figures he is the father of 400 children in the U.S.

But now, some 15 years later, Maxey’s conscience is catching up with him. He’s making his genome publicly available to the Harvard Personal Genome Project, in order for his offspring and their mothers to find him and have access to his genetic information.

He’s also blaming the unregulated sperm industry for not keeping track of the number of children produced by each donor, and not doing genetic screening and testing to make sure donors and subsequent children are healthy.

Maxey’s story illustrates many of the fertility industry’s dark and shady issues:

Maxey, an educated medical student, says he didn't give much thought to his actions.

The sperm donation is referred to as “volunteering," however for this Maxey received stream of cash totaling some $29,000.

Twice a week for 14 years, he “locked himself in a room with a cup and a sexy magazine” at the suggestion of his first wife, a nurse at the fertility clinic. They are no longer married, and I wonder what the impact of regular time with “sexy magazines,” was on a marriage.

Another issue is that 400 children don’t know their father. And if they find him, what kind of relationship is Maxey expecting? What sort of parent relationship is he willing to develop with 400 children?

I feel IVF is one of the greatest social experiments of our time, with so many casually pursuing reproductive technology as the solution to infertility. Maxey is just one of thousands of sperm and egg donors who’ve contributed to this colossal baby-making enterprise.

The Cohen brothers film, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," depicts Ulysses Everett McGill (played by George Clooney), a man who desperately wants to reconcile with his estranged wife and be reunited with his children.

His wife has plans to remarry to a gentleman whom she claims is bona fide. Even McGill’s little daughter accuses her father of not being bona fide, to which he exclaims, "I’m the only daddy you got! I’m the paterfamilias!"

Maxey already has two daughters who have found him through the genome project. One has to ask, is he bona fide? Is he the paterfamilias?

2010/02/13 오전 2:26
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