Using a guy for his sperm

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2013
Using a guy for his sperm
4
Thu, 04-24-2014 - 12:13pm

I don't want to start a debate or anything on morals but I would like to hear people's thoughts on a woman using a guy for his sperm. Suppose a woman wants a baby but doesn't really want a husband. She has a boyfriend (or two) that she has casual sex with but neither is interested in kids. Is it okay for her to get pregnant and not tell the dad (assuming she knows which one it is) especially if she is financially capable of taking care of the child without help?

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 04-24-2014 - 12:42pm

The man has the right to know if he has created a child and the right to have a relationship with that child. Someone who donates sperm knowingly gives up that option. A guy who is having sex with the assumption that a pregnancy will not occur doesn't qualify as an anonymous sperm donor. 

Then there is the child to think about, when s/he asks about the father. Do you forever lie to your kid and say that you used an anonymous donor, or do you tell the truth and say that you tricked some poor guy so biological father and child won't know each other because of deception and dishonesty? Or that you don't know who the father is because you had unprotected sex with multiple partners....which could present a challenge when said child is a teen and you're trying to teach him/her to be responsible about sex. Then there's the part about the father's family medical history which would be nice to know.

It does become a moral issue, because a parent is supposed to teach their child morals. Using the "do as I say, not as I do or did" method may not go over very well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 04-24-2014 - 1:28pm

It is morally wrong for three very important reasons.

First of all, a man is more than just a sperm donor. He has a right, just as a woman, to decide if he wants to become a parent or not. This is even if the woman will not ask for financial help in raising the child. He may, for example, not want to have a child with that particular woman for various reasons. He may not want any children or want to wait till he is more established.  He may want to be involved in his child's life, even if the child was not planned.  In any case, his wishes should be respected.

I wonder how the woman would feel if it was her brother, her son or her father being used as a sperm donor?

Second, a child's right to know his genetic biological history trumps the mother's wish to become a parent. Whenever possible, a child should have access to his family medical history. Sometimes this is not possible but it is morally wrong to withhold information on purpose. There are many diseases that have a genetic basis and that the severity of these diseases can been lessen with early lifestyle changes,drug medication and close medical monitoring. For example, if the father's family carry the gene for early breast cancer, the daughter would know that she should be monitored early for that disease.

Third of all, it is morally wrong to deny a child a relationship with his/her biological parent, even on a limited basis.  Sometimes it is not possible; sometimes the biological parents do not wish to have a relationship but that is a decision (of course, except in cases of possible harm to the child) not up to the mother.

By the way, you cannot ask a question on morality and not get a debate on morality.

Avatar for cupcakebabe
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2011
Thu, 04-24-2014 - 2:28pm

If the guy knows, I don't see an issue with it. Keeping it from them starts to get into the moral issue. 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 04-24-2014 - 7:19pm

In addition to the moral issues Elc and Itea have outlined so well, there is also the LAW to consider.  In 1972, in deciding the case of Stanley vs Illinois, the United States Supreme Court declared that unwed fathers were entitled to notice with respect to adoption and custody proceeding concerning their children. The U.S. Supreme Court held that lack of notice violated the father's due process right. In order for that notice to be effected, the father must first KNOW he has a child.

Case law has also held that an unwed father can sue the unwed mother, and her parents if she is underage, for intentional infliction of emotional distress and for conspiring to prevent the father from exercising his parental rights, by not informing the father of his parenthood.

And to revisit the genetic illness consideration, a man having casual sex, and NOT believing that it will result in pregnancy, will probably not bother telling the woman he is the carrier of profoundly disabling or terminal disorders. Would the woman want to take a chance on having a child with Fragile X Syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Tay-Sachs Disease, Usher Syndrome, Huntington's Disease or  Muscular Dystrophy, to name just a few, and have to spend every moment of that child's (sometimes exceedingly short & painfilled) life tending to them???  And even if the the disability the father carries is something like ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, BiPolar Disorder, Aspergers or NVLD, these are disorders that even 2 parent families have a hard time dealing with. Does this single mother understand and accept the heartache, headache, work and worry of raising an "exceptional" child?