EP 173: Is it OK to meet your sperm donor?
Would you fly around the world to meet your sperm donor?
Adam Hooper contacted me via facebook after I shared an episode about Unregulated Sperm donation websites in the UK, with Dr Larissa Corda. You can listen to this episode here
Adam wanted to talk on the podcast and give his perspective rather than as he put it ‘ talking non-fictional garbage of what ifs, dragons and doomsday scenarios’.
He emailed me further to explain he has two children with his wife. He has heard about a couple of people looking for a sperm donor and although he didn’t help them at the time, it planted a seed in his head which eventually led to looking into helping a couple of families out there..
Adam went onto tell me that everyone in his family lives to 90 plus with very little health problems along the way so he felt very comfortable in offering ‘a gift’ to other people out in the community.
In 2015 Adam created the Sperm Donation Australia group, where every man is screened, educated, before being accepted into the group, many are rejected and don’t make the cut. He is now writing a book.
You can hear from Adam all about his motivation for doing what he does and he was joined by Johanna who had travelled from Sweden to use Adam’s sperm. When we spoke it was during her two week wait and I’ve since heard from Johanna that the process didn’t work and she is now paying for Adam to come to Europe as she wants to work with him again and she is also going to freeze some of his sperm.
I also include a comment from Dr Kevin Mcleny who is a male fertility doctor at Newcastle Urology and I wanted to share his full comment here
‘Whilst Adam has good intentions I am concerned that both donors and especially recipients are exposing themselves to physical, psychological, legal and financial risk. In licenced centres, the guiding principle is the Welfare of the child and this is not being appropriately considered in informal donation.
Adam mentions that he knows that the children will go to a great home. This is difficult to know after a few emails and a chat in a coffee shop. It is possible that people for whom parenthood in this way would be a very bad idea, could become mothers, without any medical or psychosocial consideration. Conversely, he implies that women who he doesn’t think would provide good homes, wouldn’t be treated.
How does he know this? If it’s based on his own experience rather than independent assessment I would say that this is unfair and flawed. He mentions that the donor can be part of the child’s life. This should not be a motivation for donation. How does he know that this arrangement will not cause future harm to recipient and child, as well as to the donor’s own family?
Why should the child meet the donor at an early stage? (I’m not saying this is wrong, but it would need careful consideration and counselling). He mentions that the donor can be part of the child’s life, suggesting a co-parenting arrangement, which is something quite different and should’nt be mixed up with altruistic donation.
Medical histories and STI screens are meaningless unless they can be independently verified by a 3rd party, eg GP in combination with Fertility Centre and the same applies to genetics testing. Who interprets the significance of a genetic issue found on 23 and me, or a family history detail, as everyone has something?
How does he mitigate fraud? Well meaning blogs & personal statements will not protect people from legal action and this will happen eventually.”
Kevin was a former guest of mine on a previous episode which you can hear and if you have any questions about his comments or the content of this episode, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: The Fertility Podcast