In a shocking story out of Australia, a sperm donor is said to have fathered at least 60 children, a reminder of one of the many dangers that occur when children are created through artificial reproductive technology (ART).
The Daily Mail reports that some of the parents, who ran in the same social circles, started to question why their children looked alike. Those questions grew after realizing that they had used the same fertility clinic.
“The reason he was discovered is because he wasn’t fully Caucasian,” explained Dr. Anne Clark, of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic Fertility First. The man, who has not been identified, purportedly used fake names and sought clients through a number of channels, including the Fertility First IVF clinic as well as various Facebook groups.
Dr. Clark told NewsCorp that she has tried to notify authorities about the man, but thus far has gotten nowhere. She claims the man was paid for his donor sperm, which is against Australian law, as it is a criminal offense to pay or receive gifts for human tissue.
“We know he got gifts, holidays – all a complete criminal offence,” Dr. Clark said. “But yes, if you try and raise it with any government, and we’ve tried repeatedly, we’re told this is too hard.”
Aimee Shackleton, national director of the organization Donor Conceived Australia, decried the effect that sperm donation has on the children who are conceived.
“For donor conceived people to know that they were conceived as a result of these sorts of transactions is horrifying,” she said. “People talk about meeting up in a car park or hotel and passing over a fresh sample for immediate use. To know that was the way that you were conceived is a terrible thing to think about. We are human beings whose life ought to begin with dignity, and not as a process of some unregulated anonymous transaction.”
Shackleton explained that her group was created to try and counter the booming movement of donor-conceived children, even as groups across social media are exploding with people looking for men willing to serve as anonymous sperm donors.“Our organisation was created to raise awareness of the views of donor conceived people – we’re here to say ‘Hey, how would you feel if you were created like this’,” she explained.
Live Action News has previously pointed out many of the problems that occur when children are donor-conceived — like this instance, in which these children have at least sixty (and possibly more) siblings, whom they will either never know or will meet without the knowledge that they are biological siblings. These children have often spoken of the feeling of being mass-produced — a sentiment that is likely to continue as the industry remains largely unchecked.
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