Friday, November 4, 2011

A life that started on google

There has been a recent crop of articles concerning the discovery of children that they have dozens of half-siblings, each sharing the same sperm donor. Many are on a quest to meet their biological father, and in the process meet their siblings.

I recently came across a TV episode chronicling one man's challenge to tell his fiancee that he has more than 70 children via sperm donation. During the show, he also meets two of his children. Additionally, two young women with a different sperm donor meet for the first time.

It's difficult to watch. All sorts of struggles and uncomfortable situations are inserted into what should be fairly typical relationships. And one can only imagine the implications in 10, 20, 30 years for those involved.

For one, we have Ben's (the sperm donor) fiancee who says over dinner: "I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that you have 50, 60, 70 biological offspring. I kind of deem that as selfish in a way. Did you think of the consequences that would come of it?" To which Ben is left rather speechless.

And later, Sharon, the "single mom by choice" who has two children, thanks to Ben's sperm donation, has a conversation with her 7-year-old daughter before meeting Ben. The mother wants to explain that she is not in a relationship with Ben, nor will she ever be. Yet, the daughter insists that the two must have "broken up" since they were once "married." The dialogue continues as follows:

Mom: "Why would you think that we were married?"
Daughter: "Because you got the sperm."
Mom: "How did Mommy get the sperm?"
Daughter: "Google."
Mom: "Google. That's good."

Goodness! Can one even imagine how the future will be impacted by the thought that life began with google? The entire 43 minute program is filled with heartbreaking scenarios that make one question why the idea to "manufacture" a baby simply because I want one would ever be a good idea. Our choices affect more than just ourselves.

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