Minister for Health Simon Harris (right) wants to ban anonymous sperm donations

For fertility treatment we need
Anonymous donors of seed
Now young Simon asks
Them to take off their masks
But the doctors have all disagreed

John Moynes

Pics: Rollingnews/Shutterstock

28 thoughts on “A Limerick A Day

  1. Increasing Displacement

    This guy is as useless as *insert gag*

    He really is
    Born without the part of the brain where common sense lives

    1. Rob_G

      Why do you think that?

      If I had been born as a result of a sperm donation, I would probably want to know who my father was; if not to have a relationship, then at least to know if I had any possible congenital conditions coming down the tracks.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      ” Up to now, recipients of donor sperm have been able to opt for anonymous donation, where the donor will never know the child’s identity and the child cannot make contact in later life. When the Act is fully commenced, only non-anonymous donation will be permitted, and the child can make contact with the donor after reaching the age of 18. ”

      What’s the problem?

      ” The society says constitutional rights upholding the family unit and the right to privacy will be threatened by an “intrusive” register and the provision of information to donor-conceived people about their origins. ” – Seems to me like a lack of rights extended to the child in order for the donor receiver to keep things from the kid….. if everyone knows what is what at the off, then what’s the problem? At least in this manner doesn’t the child get the chance, if they wish, to look into their history. Why should that be taken from them?

      1. newsjustin

        Yeah. Totally agree. A child has the right to know both their parents.

        In fairness, some of the complaints seem to be based on the idea that this will encourage some women to go the international, unregulated, anonymous route.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          Good read on the subject…

          ” This article proceeds as follows. Section II explains how countries that have prohibited sperm donor anonymity have operated, provides background on the ongoing bioethical debate on sperm donor anonymity, and describes the prior empirical work on whether sperm donor shortages result when anonymity is prohibited and whether compensation can solve the problem. ”

          The “society” complaining are an interest group / lobby group who represent financial interests of clinics, not people, from what I can see.

    2. Donal

      Not good news for those future kids who won’t exist cos men will be dissuaded from providing sperm if it won’t be anonymous. Leading to women having to travel to obtain sperm.

      I understand the argument that a child has a right to know who its parents are.
      I don’t understand the genetic health risk argument, this can be avoided by screening the donor, if donor has no genetic issue then offspring won’t either.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        If you understand the right of the child, that’s all you need to know, isn’t it?
        And that’s all a potential parent needs to know.

        If they don’t like it, tough.

        Regarding the scare mongering around declining donors, see the link above. It is not the problem it is made out to be according to the research available. Again, this does not matter because the childs rights come first.

        1. Donal

          Understanding the argument and agreeing with the argument are two different things.

          In this case I think the woman is making a decision to have a child that will not know its father. Either she has the right to make this decision or she does not.
          If she does not then anonymous donations must be banned.
          If she does then anonymous donations need not be banned.

      2. newsjustin

        No one has a right to source consequence free sperm (or ova).

        And “future kids who won’t exist” aren’t a real thing. You could argue that we owe future generations a clean environment, etc, etc. But future kids who won’t exist isn’t a real thing.

        1. Donal

          You can argue this case. But as long as other EU countries allow anonymous donations women do have a right to access it (and of course couples in a situation where male infertility issue causes a couple to get donor sperm) then the supply is just not available here but the resultant child will still have no right to know who their biological father is.
          Want to ban travel for this purpose?
          Sounds like another issue, no…?

          1. newsjustin

            You’re right. If anonymously donated sperm is available, women can certainly access it. But that shouldn’t and doesn’t mean it’s consequence free. If the material is used to make a baby then that child has both a biologocal mother and a father – with consequences (even if some are unenforce able) for all parties.

            Ensuring people know/can find out who their biological parents are can only be a good thing, surely?

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Have you thought about what it must be like (for anyone else other than yourself) for the donor 20 odd years from now who has a career and a wife and children and then out of nowhere this stranger shows up claiming to be the guy’s son? Can you imagine what his other kids and his wife would feel? The kind of uncertainty it can create? And all because this guy had a hand shandy in a cup when he was a student because he was broke and needed the money?

          3. newsjustin

            I can. Which is why it’s a serious business on all sides. Ones own biological parentage is important. As is the identity of someone one has a child with. “Because the guy needed the money” really doesn’t cut it.

          4. newsjustin

            Moyest, this isn’t about “catching out” donors. Surprising them at work on a child’s 18th birthday.

          5. MoyestWithExcitement

            Catching people out? What are you talking about? Someone showing up in your life claiming to be your son is going to provoke a lot of feeings in your wife and your children. Forget about needing money “not cutting it” (I don’t even know what that means), forget about the donor. Just think about his wife and children. Think about how *they* will feel. It’s not their fault that their father/husband donated sperm in his early 20s before he’d even met his wife. Shouldn’t they be considered here? Why should their lives be complicated like that?

          6. newsjustin

            Your making the case for non-anonymous, open, transparent donation there Moyest. Nothing hidden so that no one gets any surprises and people know who their parents are.

          7. MoyestWithExcitement

            I’m trying to illustrate reality to you. Your simplistic take on this is highly naive. Children have a right not to be affected by something their father did years before they were even born and you are not considering that. You are not taking human nature into account. Even if it had to be transparent by law, someone who is broke and has no other option, *will* do it. Their future children will be affected by this. It is a complicated situation. You only have dogma.

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