Tag Archives: Biological Father

Is it moral for a woman to conceive a child from an anonymous sperm donor?

I am opposed to any policy or program that increases the odds that a child will not have a relationship with their biological father as they grow up. This would include anything that makes it easier for parents to divorce or that facilitates single motherhood. Consequently, I oppose premarital sex, abortion, sex education in schools, no-fault divorce, and giving legal recognition to cohabitation or same-sex marriage. I want children to be able to have their biological father and biological mother close at hand, and to be able to rely on them and know them, so that they don’t feel alone and lost in the world. Although I am willing to permit other arrangements, I think society should celebrate traditional marriage – for the sake of the children.

Well, consider one challenge to this ideal situation where a child grows up with a mother and a father: conception via anonymous sperm donor.

Here’s a video that shows how children are hurt when they are denied a relationship with their biological father: (H/T Stacy McCain)

Robert Stacy McCain writes this:

The practice of anonymous sperm donors, and children fathered by them, is certainly legal and has a market. That would lead one to conclude that it is ethical, rather than unethical. In other words I’d say ethical means ‘not illegal’.

But is it moral? […]That is, does anyone think that the Almighty is pleased, and/or glorified by people thumbing their noses at the clear, simple, obvious, form-follows-function beauty of:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Gen 2:24

There is vast capacity to use modern technology to tinker about with the natural order of things. I’d like to fall short of a sweeping judgement here, in the space of a blog post. It’s possible that there may exist a really good case for why using an anonymous sperm donor is not immoral. But it seems that protecting the father’s (or the mother’s in the case of an egg donor) privacy at the expense of dropping a sizable existential dilemma on the offspring is immoral. That is, the biological parents (i.e. DNA providers) are doing to the child emotionally what the government is doing economically: casting debts upon them without any sort of dialogue. A variation on taxation without representation, if you will. Progressivism seems to be about finding the least vocal victim.

I don’t think that it’s enough for the child to just know who their biological father is, or to just see a picture of their biological father. I think it’s important that we promote the best situation for children, where each child has a real relationship with their biological father. And we can do that, if we are serious, in several ways.

Promoting marriage

Here are few wild, shoot-from-the-hip ideas to help children to have access to their fathers:

  1. We can research how fatherlessness affects children
  2. We can research what decisions are likely to lead to stable marriage, e.g. – regular church attendance and chastity
  3. We can repeal laws that are hostile to lasting marriage, e.g. – no-fault divorce
  4. We can enact laws that are hostile to divorce, e.g. – shared custody laws
  5. We can stop paying unmarried women to have babies
  6. We can give tax deductions to married couples who have babies
  7. We can give tax deductions to couples planning on marrying if they undergo marital counseling from a program of their own choosing
  8. We can give tax deductions to married couples whose children earn incomes, e.g. – the parents get a tax deduction for 1% of income earned by each child for life
  9. We can give tax deductions to married couples whose children don’t collect government assistance, e.g. – the parents get a 1% tax deduction on their household income for every child who doesn’t collect government welfare during the year
  10. We ban IVF for women who have not been married for at least 5 years
  11. We ban all taxpayer funding of IVF treatments
  12. We ban ban all private insurance coverage for IVF treatments

And so on, like that. This communicates to women that it is not OK to have a baby with an anonymous sperm donor. It communicates that we as a society want fathers to be around their children. It communicates that cohabitation is not the same thing as marriage. It communicates that marriages are for life. We need to get tough if we want children to be spared from the harm of not knowing their biological fathers.

How do donor-conceived children cope with not knowing their biological fathers?

Mary sends me this article from Life Site News. This is a must-read.

Excerpt:

There are only four things Alana Stewart knows about her father: he has blonde hair, blue eyes, a college degree, and his assigned number at the sperm bank where he sold half of Alana’s genetic code is 81.

She is one of an estimated 30,000 – 60,000 children conceived each year in the United States through sperm donation. A former egg donor herself, Alana is now a vocal critic of the practice, which she calls “the violent act of buying and selling a child.”

[…]Many of the children conceived through sperm donation are now adults, and some of them are speaking out against the practice that brought them into existence.

Their stories are revealing that the experience of being a donor conceived child is not what many proponents of the technology expected it would be. Such children were supposed to think of the man married to their mother as their father, and of their biological father as just the man who masturbated at a sperm bank and walked away with a $75 check. But according to Alana, it’s not that simple.

“The biological parent’s absence is impossible to ignore because their presence is impossible to ignore – when you’re living in a version of their body and thinking in a version of their brain,” she told LifeSiteNews. “I do very much feel separated from not only my father, but my entire paternal relatives.”

And more:

My Daddy’s Name is Donor, a report released last year by the Commission on Parenthood’s Future, surveyed young adults conceived through sperm donation and compared their responses to those of peers raised by adopted parents and biological parents.

The study found that 43% of donor offspring compared to 15% of adopted children and 6% who were raised by biological parents agreed with the statement: “I feel confused about who is a member of my family and who is not.”

Moreover, 48% of donor offspring compared to only 19% of adopted children agreed: “When I see friends with their biological fathers and mothers, it makes me feel sad.”

Strikingly, the report also found indications of a correlation between sperm donor conception and marriage failure.

27% of donor children parents are divorced compared to only 14% of parents of adopted children. The number of donor child marriages that fail is only slightly higher than the failure rate of a marriage with biological children – 25%. As the study points out, however, the comparison with adoptive parents is more significant because most couples do not consider fertility technology or adoption until later in life, when marriages tend to be more stable.

For Stewart, the finding is consistent with her own experience.  “Mothers can say things like, ‘Well it’s not your kid anyways.’ The father is left constantly insecure about his place and role in the family,” she said.

She added that turning to sperm or egg donation to conceive a child can be evidence of a “materialistic” attitude on the part of the couple.

“They are people that find it difficult to accept not having something and often put their own needs before others (i.e. their need to have a child before their child’s need to have its father/mother), and these personalities often fail in marriage.”

This is why Christians fight so hard against challenges to the parent-child bond. We oppose depriving children of a relationship with both of their biological parents. We do not want them to feel pain because of the selfishness of adults. When you make marriage fragile with no-fault divorce, or equate traditional marriage to same-sex marriage, you are weakening the standard of every child being born into a stable family where both biological parents are present, and committed to the child over the long-term. That’s the gold standard. And that’s what we should be celebrating and affirming as a society. Sometimes, you can cause harm to the little ones by trying to make the grown-ups feel better about breaking the standard. We have to err on the side of the children.

Related posts

Calgary dad mourns daughter murdered by her stepfather

Story from the Calgary Sun.

Excerpt:

He barely knew his daughter Clare, having seen her only five times since the divorce.

James Shelswell said he was looking forward to Clare growing older, and the far-off day when he might finally bond with the child he surrendered when she was only four months old.

Instead, Shelswell will fly this week from Calgary to Abbotsford B.C., to attend Clare’s funeral.

On Sunday, Clare was murdered, her throat slashed open after an apparent domestic dispute between her mom and step-dad over how to discipline the kids.

Peter Wilson, 29, is charged with killing his step daughter.

And now, all that’s left for her biological dad is to say goodbye to the stranger who was once his baby girl.

“She didn’t really know me — I’d seen her maybe five time in five years,” said Shelswell.

If his daughter dying in pain and terror at the hands of the man she knew as her dad wasn’t devastating enough, Shelswell has been told [by his ex-wife] he’s not welcome at the funeral.

[…]“I asked if she was in the room when it happened and why she didn’t protect Clare — she said it happened in a different room, and I asked if my other daughter saw it. She said no.”

His ex, said Shelswell, then made it clear he is not welcome at Clare’s private funeral service.

“She said I shouldn’t go to the funeral, and I have no rights to my kids,” said Shelswell.

[…]In Calgary, Shelswell, who is re-married with two kids, is a man whose fury is mixed with remorse.He laments that he didn’t have enough money to fight back with a lawyer, back when his wife took their Calgary-born daughters away to B.C.

He says he settled into a pattern of paying child support, and looking forward to yearly visit with his girls — the last, a happy trip to Vancouver, included the aquarium and McDonald’s.

This is my worst nightmare, but it illustrates the general truth that biological dads are the least likely person to harm their own children, which I blogged about before. This paper from the Heritage Foundation cites a very interesting study that shows more about which who is really dangerous to children. Here’s another paper that explains why marriages are the safest arrangements for women and children. The very institution that is under attack by third-wave feminists who abhor the “unequal” gender roles that emerge in marriage.

Here’s a government report:

Mothers are almost twice as likely to be directly involved in child maltreatment as fathers.

[…]Generally speaking, the same characteristics that make a man a good father make him less likely to abuse or neglect his children. Fathers who nurture and take significant responsibility for basic childcare for their children (e.g., feeding, changing diapers) from an early age are significantly less likely to sexually abuse their children.35 These fathers typically develop such a strong connection with their children that it decreases the likelihood of any maltreatment.

The involvement of a father in the life of a family is also associated with lower levels of child neglect, even in families that may be facing other factors, such as unemployment and poverty, which could place the family at risk for maltreatment.36 Such involvement reduces the parenting and housework load a mother has to bear and increases the overall parental investments in family life, thereby minimizing the chances that either parent will neglect to care for or to supervise their children.

On average, fathers who live in a married household with their children are better able to create a family environment that is more conducive to the safety and necessary care of their children. Consequently, children who live with their biological father in a married household are significantly less likely to be physically abused, sexually abused, or neglected than children who do not live with their married biological parents.

When feminists make fathers out to be monsters, and lobby for extremely liberal divorce laws enforced by extremely anti-male divorce courts, the result is that more children are assaulted, sexually-abused and even murdered at the hands of live-in boyfriends and stepfathers.

Sorry to all of my male readers who are honorable stepfathers, but the fact is that stepfathers on average are not as safe for children as biological fathers. And that’s why we should not be encouraging the break-up of marriages with no-fault divorce laws and anti-male divorce courts. Women also need to be more careful about who they choose to have children with!

By the way, if you guys are looking for a great movie to watch that is extremely pro-fatherhood, watch “Taken” with Liam Neeson. Be warned, it is very mature subject matter. Definitely, definitely for grown-ups only. If you are a man, you will ADORE this movie. Oh, and it’s not PC, so don’t watch it if you are all multicultural and moral relativistic.

New study compares donor-conceived vs biologically-conceived children

The study is here. (H/T Dr. J from RuthBlog)

Dr. J writes:

The Institute for American Values has just published a new study, My Daddy’s Name is Donor, of how donor conceived persons are doing in comparison with those who were born and raised by their biological parents and in comparison with those who were adopted.

And she notes this comment from a gay man who thinks that the fact that he and his partner PLANNED their donor-conceived child, that they are therefore justified morally in doing so.

The gay man writes:

I’m a gay man who has had a child, with my partner of 8 years, through surrogacy and egg donation. The egg donor and surrogate will be known to our son.

One way that I explain to people our experience with the artificial reproduction process is that it is the opposite of being ‘knocked-up’. We were very involved in the planning and conception and the growth and birth of our child. Our child’s conception and birth was considered, thought about, planned for, dreamed about, fantasized about. He was most definitely wanted. He is loved and treasured.

We did not have sex to have our child. We did not have wedded, heterosexual, within marriage, we-want-to-have-a-child-sex. We did not have wedded, passionate, spur-of-the-moment at the wrong time of the month (or the wrong time of our life) sex. We did not have wedded, spur-of-the-moment, right time of the month sex. We did not have any of these types heterosexual sex as unmarried heterosexuals.

But so many children are born to heterosexual couples via each of these eight scenarios. So many. Many more, around the world are born in wider range of unloving scenarios.

And then one of the authors (Elizabeth Marquardt) of the new study responds by citing evidence.

I just want to note that one way of looking at the My Daddy’s Name is Donor study is as a study of three groups: The first completely one hundred percent wanted and intended — that is, the donor offspring. The other two groups made up of a lot of unintended pregnancies — that is, the adopted and those raised by their biological parents.

Which group is faring the worst? The 100 percent wanted, planned, intended group. The donor offspring, overall, even with controls, are twice as likely to have struggled with substance abuse and delinquency, and 1.5 times as likely to have struggled with depression, compared to those raised by their biological parents (and these differences are significant). The adopted generally fall in between except with regard to depression in which case they were higher than both the donor conceived and the raised-by-biological.

No one is saying, T, that “all” of those raised by biological parents are doing great. But when you look at these populations, measured by our study, you find that, contrary to today’s conventional wisdom, being wanted isn’t enough. What the child is born into — who the child is raised by — matters.

Some more stats from Maggie Gallagher.

Excerpt:

Forty-five percent of these young adults conceived by donor insemination agree, “The circumstances of my conception bother me.” Almost half report that they think about their donor conception a few times a week or more. Forty-five percent agree, “It bothers me that money was exchanged in order to conceive me.”

Nearly half of donor offspring (compared to about a fifth of adopted adults) agree, “When I see friends with their biological fathers and mothers, it makes me feel sad.” Similarly, 53 percent (compared to 29 percent of adoptees) agree, “It hurts when I hear other people talk about their genealogical background.”

This is not fair to children – it treats them like a commodity instead of as a gift from God to be treasured and nurtured.

Some of the challenges facing men today

This is just a round-up of a few issues that that will be of interest to those who would like to learn more about the challenges facing men today. These articles are all from this week.

And from earlier posts this week:

And some oldies-but-goodies:

And the Independent Women’s Forum’s introduction to Title IX, which discriminates against male athletics on the university campus.