The Birds and the Bees (via the Fertility Clinic)

Ross Douthat, New York Times, 5/30/2010

...the subject of a fascinating study from the Institute for American Values, based on a survey of younger adults, ages 18 to 45, who were conceived through sperm donation. The authors – Elizabeth Marquardt, Norval Glenn and Karen Clark – depict a population that's at once grateful to the fertility industry and uneasy about the way they were conceived, supportive of assisted fertility but haunted by the feeling of being a bought-and-paid-for child. On the one hand, Americans conceived through sperm donation are much more likely than their peers to say that "every person has a right to a child" and to support policies that encourage sperm and egg donations. (Indeed, 20 percent already had made such donations themselves.) But these libertarian instincts coexist with angst, disquiet and even anger. Large minorities report being troubled both by "the circumstances of my conception" and by the fact "that money was exchanged in order to conceive me." The offspring of sperm donors are more likely to oppose payments for sperm and eggs than most Americans and to say that "it is wrong to deliberately conceive a fatherless/motherless child." And a substantial minority said that if a friend were pondering having a baby by a sperm donor, they "would encourage her not to do it."

Subjects: Family, Donor conception


Institute for American Values, 420 Lexington Avenue, Room 300, New York, NY 10170-0399