Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Every sperm is sacred
November 3, 2005 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Anonymous sperm donor traced via internet.
A 15 year old boy finds his biological father using online services like FamilyTreeDNA.com and Omnitrace.com. He had some luck during this process, but how anonymous is your sperm donation?
posted by kika (35 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
How did you even know I donated my sperm. For future private messages, just email me
posted by poppo at 12:20 PM on November 3, 2005


private personal

great, bad joke made even worse
posted by poppo at 12:21 PM on November 3, 2005


That really grinds my gears. There's a reason why it's anonymous; it's so I can get back to my life without thinking about what happened to my sperm, with no worries about what might happen to it and no responsibilities, emotional or financial, a child might bring. There's a reason why I donated sperm, you punk. It's because I needed money. That alone should tell you what type of person I am, and it's not a person you should want to have any contact with.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 12:23 PM on November 3, 2005


I wondered why I had visited that link before.
posted by petebest at 12:25 PM on November 3, 2005




From one article above

There are now a handful of sperm banks that ask donors up front if they'd be willing to be contacted when kids turn 18. So far, though, most donors say no.

Wait a second, that implies that the bank is going to collect the name address whereabouts of the donor ? Unless one wants to give that info are wannabe donors demanded to give up the info if they want to donate ?

That wouldn't make any sense to me. Both asking for the info and giving it, what's the point ?




One a tangent : God gets quite irate @#!
posted by elpapacito at 12:41 PM on November 3, 2005


Whoa you have to be 5'11" to be a sperm donor? What the hell?

Also what QuarterlyProfit said.
posted by geoff. at 12:48 PM on November 3, 2005


How anonymous is my sperm? Well, no one who sat on the bus seat knew it was mine.
posted by klangklangston at 12:52 PM on November 3, 2005


More on the family mentioned in one of the links.
posted by TedW at 1:06 PM on November 3, 2005


I also demand to know the donors of the blood I recieved a few months ago. My veins need financial support!
posted by maxsparber at 1:08 PM on November 3, 2005


There was a collection clinic near campus. My last year in school, it was tempting. $50/week or whatever for a couple of minutes' work. But the public shame combined with the uncertainty of whether or not I would have genetic progeny walking around dissuaded me.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:14 PM on November 3, 2005


handful of sperm banks

I am seriously concerned about their storage methods.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:15 PM on November 3, 2005


This is why I always drop mine off in unmarked vials. Pretty much anywhere I'm left unsupervised.

Seriously though, a friend of mine had a lesbian couple he was friends with proposition him about anonymously donating his sperm so they could have a kid. He ultimately decided not to, citing this exact kind of situation as a reason.

He figured, as much as he'd like to help out his friends, from his vantage point, the kid would be a ticking time bomb that might show up on his doorstep years later to blow up in his face and take his marriage and family with it.
posted by Gamblor at 1:23 PM on November 3, 2005


Upon further reflection, I regret using the phrase "blow up in his face" in a thread about sperm.
posted by Gamblor at 1:28 PM on November 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


There's a reason why I donated sperm, you punk. It's because I needed money. That alone should tell you what type of person I am, and it's not a person you should want to have any contact with.

WTF? I don't know how you can make that kind of a moral judgment about someone based on their donating sperm. Seriously. WTF?

Seriously though, a friend of mine had a lesbian couple he was friends with proposition him about anonymously donating his sperm so they could have a kid. He ultimately decided not to, citing this exact kind of situation as a reason.

The problem is, if it's not done through a sperm bank, then legaly you're responsible for it.
posted by delmoi at 1:54 PM on November 3, 2005


Wow. My niece and nephew don't know who their father is (the mother was, shall we say, sociable). I never imagined something like this might work.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting they jump in and do this right away, either.
posted by dhartung at 2:00 PM on November 3, 2005


...but how anonymous is your sperm donation?

Well, unless they're going through my clothes hamper, pretty damned anonymous.
posted by NationalKato at 2:01 PM on November 3, 2005


This guy donated 15 years ago, so maybe...but today? C'mon. Isn't donating sperm today without expecting to be contacted later kind of like smoking without expecting lung cancer? Maybe it shouldn't happen; but after the thousandth story of donors being traced, surely we can all concede that it does.
posted by cribcage at 2:11 PM on November 3, 2005


heywood:
here was a collection clinic near campus. My last year in school, it was tempting. $50/week or whatever for a couple of minutes' work.

I feel for your chix ;P Poor woman
posted by elpapacito at 2:19 PM on November 3, 2005


Isn't donating sperm today without expecting to be contacted later kind of like smoking without expecting lung cancer?

Yes, in this day and age, I find anonymous sperm hard to swallow.
posted by Gamblor at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2005


I wonder if the police have started using this service yet, I'm sure they have lots of DNA on hand they'd love to match up with people.
posted by bobo123 at 2:28 PM on November 3, 2005


Heywood: I knew a guy who came back from donating at U of M, saying that instead of letting him polish one off the old fashioned way, they simply attached electrodes to his testicles, held him over a petri dish, and fired an excruciating shock through his balls, forcing a painful spasm of sperm. Then they gave 'im a check for $60, and told him not to come back for at least two weeks.
I've never verified his story, but the fact that he said he'd never go back was enough for me to cross that off my moneymaking schemes.
posted by klangklangston at 3:04 PM on November 3, 2005


Isn't that the way everyone masturbates?
posted by maxsparber at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


Don't forget, recent US legal precedent has been set; a sperm donor was tracked down and hit with child support.

After all, [i]he was the father[/i].

Now, I believe that he had made an agreement similar to that of the lesbian couple mentioned above, in other words, her gave up all rights and responsibilities.

But in today's Amerika, men gotta pay.
posted by hurkle at 3:42 PM on November 3, 2005


OK, Craniac. Same comment in two threads. Don't make me haul you to MeTa.

And Hurkle: I never heard that being resolved, only that there was an impending court case. You got a link to the verdict/settlement?
posted by klangklangston at 3:46 PM on November 3, 2005


Well, he was fighting it, but was ordered to pay.

Granted, he wasn't an anonymous donor, but it's just a small step from one to the other in my mind.

It's also happened in at least one other country - Sweden.

Granted we don't know the details of the cases, but it is worrisome.

From an article regarding the first one above, there is this:

Arthur Caplan, bioethicist at Univeersity of Pennsylvania, questioned the decision and pondered its effect.

The decision should give pause to sperm and egg donors who expect anonymity, Arthur Caplan, a professor and medical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, said yesterday.

"Anybody who is a sperm donor ought to understand that their identity could be made known to any child that's produced and they could be seen by the courts as the best place to go to make sure the child has adequate financial support," Caplan said.


Hmmm.
posted by hurkle at 3:58 PM on November 3, 2005


they simply attached electrodes to his testicles, held him over a petri dish, and fired an excruciating shock through his balls,

I pay good money to get that done and they're giving it out for free?!

or

funny, I got an offer for that in my inbox yesterday, but it didn't mention anything about sperm banks.
posted by concreteforest at 4:40 PM on November 3, 2005


Whoa you have to be 5'11" to be a sperm donor?

No. You don't. There were a few other inaccuracies in that article.

I made $135/week in college and I would do it again. I am prepared for my biological offspring to find me, though not expecting it. I am not worried about being financially responsible, but I think I remember a rather extensive contract that protected me against such claims.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:55 PM on November 3, 2005


There's a reason I'm not terribly interested in this otherwise easy money.

I don't want some little bastard showing up at my door, calling me daddy. If I didn't raise the kid, why should that mean anything to me? Not to mention that they take the time and effort to make sure their donors are good people, but why would I want my valuable me-juice going into just anyone? After all, if I'm in genetic demand, why would I taint it by letting something less than me have control over someone with my genetic heritage? My anonymous child might be raised by an idiot, a short person, a fat person, or even a *shudder* Republican.

Seriously, though. If I want to sell body fluids for money, I'll stick to plasma donation.
posted by Saydur at 10:09 PM on November 3, 2005


Ok, you mathletes, here's a scenario for you. I worked with a guy who, over the span of about three years, donated twice weekly, roughly three hundred times. Let's assume that his sperm was used within a 20-mile radius (does sperm travel well?) and achieved a 50% impregnation rate. That's one hundred fifty local pregnancies within a period of three years. Also assuming that those who bore his offspring and the offspring themselves stayed in the local area, he has one hundred fifty sons and daughters attending high school and college in this city of roughly 500,000. What are the odds that a brother and sister, son and daughter of said dude, will meet and marry?

I brought this possibility to his attention and his response was, "Whoa. Whoa!"
posted by postmodernmillie at 10:17 PM on November 3, 2005


@postmodernmillie

Surely the sperm banks must have thought about that? Surely?!

I think that the fella's response was pretty much spot on... whoa!
posted by Chunder at 2:22 AM on November 4, 2005


Slate had a whole series of articles about kids created using the "Genius" sperm bank, and, IIRC, some of them had been in contact with their father ("Donor White"). Its a different spin on this topic, but an interesting read.
posted by anastasiav at 5:15 AM on November 4, 2005


I brought this possibility to his attention and his response was, "Whoa. Whoa!"

You know Keanu Reeves?
posted by davejay at 1:42 PM on November 4, 2005


He's closer to Pete Doherty than Keanu Reeves, but you're not far off the mark.

Which further concerns me about his progeny: He's a pretty successful musician. Some, if not most, of his children would likely inherit and share his interest in and/or aptitude for music, which I think would boost the odds somewhat that they would meet, either in high school band, a band of their own creation, or out seeing another band perform.
posted by postmodernmillie at 2:54 PM on November 4, 2005


It's fine and well to bemoan the perfectly reasonable desire for anonymity in these sorts of situations, but if anything this article demonstrates how powerful the desire of kids to know where their genes came from can be.

That's what's interesting about it: you can conceal or protect whatever information you like but you can't suppress the genetic evidence in a child's body.
posted by nanojath at 9:29 PM on November 4, 2005


That's one hundred fifty local pregnancies within a period of three years.


Most states have laws about that. In California, you can only father 10 children, I believe. I may be making that up.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:30 PM on November 9, 2005


« Older Can you patent a plot?...  |  I have always viewed those lar... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments