Participants at a picnic for lesbian mums in Australia discovered that the same sperm donor was the biological father of many of their children. The women began to ask questions because many of them looked alike.
It turned out that a man had donated formally to a fertility clinic and informally through Facebook groups like Sperm Donation Australia and Australian Backpackers Seeking Sperm Donation. At least 60 children had been conceived with his sperm. He donated under four different names. He has not been named.
Aimee Shackleton, of Donor Conceived Australia, lamented the fact that so little thought was given to the feelings of the child. He or she might want to know his origins when they get older.
‘People talk about meeting up in a car park or hotel and passing over a fresh sample for immediate use,” she told the media. “Our life ought to begin with dignity, and not as a process of some unregulated anonymous transaction.”
The man received gifts in exchange for his sperm in some cases. Technically, this is a breach of Australian law which bans compensation for donations of organs or tissue.
The disturbing case highlights the increasing popularity of women using untested sperm from donors whom they barely know, if at all. Facebook posts like the following suggest that many women are gullible and that men are taking advantage of their eagerness to have a child.