How the sperm donation business breaks households
Last month, a WIRED magazine story described a storm in the world of sperm donation. As home DNA testing kits grow in popularity, people around the world are making unexpected family discoveries. These discoveries apparently have a name: "NPEs" or "Non-Parental Events".
Home DNA test takers discover fathers, half-siblings, or dozens of children they never knew about. And they are mostly not happy about it. In fact, a growing subculture is emerging with lobbying organizations, self-help literature, and support groups for people making these unwanted genetic discoveries.
A therapist who created a podcast designed to guide people through such situations told WIRED that people who uncover hidden family secrets through DNA testing often go through the classic grief cycle. After the initial shock comes anger and depression. Their stories are all reasons why we must look soberly at sperm donation, a practice that remains largely undisputed in Western societies.
The US $ 4 billion sperm donation industry is shockingly unregulated. Children born to sperm donors are among the victims of the bad ideas of the sexual revolution. They do not have the legal right to solicit information about their birth fathers until they are 18 years old, which means that in most states these children are not even entitled to their own family history.
Anyone who opposes or questions assisted reproductive technologies like sperm donation is often referred to as prudish and referred to as the grumpy old grandpa who snorts at a teen's blue hair. After all, we are told that it doesn't really harm anyone. In reality, there are many reasons to oppose sperm donation even if we don't find the practice. disgusting.
First and foremost, the industry dehumanizes men. The God-given ability to procreate turns into a gross financial transaction. As with egg donation, the way the "product" is marketed dehumanizes the image carriers and reduces them to a list of so-called "desirable traits like size, hair color, supposed athletic ability, or where they went to college" this is not an enlightened one "new way of starting a modern family. It's a renamed eugenics.
Sperm donation also dehumanizes children, deprives them of the right to know who their father is, and leaves them in the dark as to whether their father even knows they exist or not. In fact, the industry relies on secrecy. The FDA does not set any rules on how many children a sperm bank can have from one donor. While some banks have their own limits, the largest sperm bank in the country, California, is 25 to 30 "family units" per man. Incidentally, a "family unit" can contain multiples, which means that a set of twins or triplets only counts as one unit.
While some activists have been calling for more regulation of the sperm donation industry for years, the problems associated with a radically corrupt system cannot be addressed. Corruption in the sperm donation industry is rooted in a distorted view of human sexuality and family. God's plan for families is embedded in the nature of reality, much like gravity. Children hunger for connection with their parents. Studies suggest that many adoptees are better off emotionally and socially when they know who their birth parents are and understand the adoption process.
Of course, sperm donation doesn't repair a fracture like adoption does. Rather, there is a rupture that enables and even creates incentives to view children as products. In this country, 80 percent of customers who use sperm banks are either same-sex couples who have purposely chosen a sterile union to only ask for children, or women who are purposely single mothers, despite the overwhelming scientific literature showing that Children can best deal with both a mother and a father. Or as the headline of a New York article years ago said, Dan Quayle was right.
This WIRED article tells what is indeed an old story with new variables: of people who yearn for family but suffer in a culture where the family is so broken. Whenever children and family education become big business, traces of grieving people remain, wavering from what we call "non-parental events".
The brokenness at the heart of the sperm donation industry starts with the man watching pornography to sell a genetic product and ends with a child who is shocked to learn that his father is not really his father. Anything that reminds us that just because something is culturally normal doesn't mean it should be. True moral clarity will not come from whether we find something strange or disgusting or not, but only through God's created purpose for the world and for His image bearer, which in His own words is good.
Copyright 2020 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Emphasis off BreakPoint.org with permission.
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