I read this report today which got me thinking. It’s all about the potential increase in payments for sperm and egg donors from the current limit of £250 to (possibly) £1,500.
Whilst the idea of having lots of kids being ‘partially’ mine doesn’t appeal to me, I have to say that £1,500 a ‘pop’ is nothing to turn your nose at.
The articles mentions some valid points such as this potentially leading to some ‘baby catalogue’ whereby people select their donors based on looks, perceived intelligence etc. I think some criteria, which parents can choose to select or not, is fine as long as it is in the interest of the baby (e.g. ethnicity may make parents feel more at ease about the child’s integration into school and not having to have the ‘talk’ until later in life). However, making such decisions based on looks or other superficial qualities seems wrong. At the end of the day, the reason why they are going for donations is that other options have not worked so they should be thankful to have the opportunity to try.
The article also mentions ‘unwitting incest’. Whilst there is a possibility of this, I would hazard a guess that chances are pretty low.
Personally, I’m happy with the size of my family so I won’t be throwing my sperm into the ring (if you pardon the expression). But, knowing what it is like to have a family and raise kids, I can understand how people can get so desperate to have one that they feel their only option is to go abroad and potentially put themselves at greater medical danger. Therefore I can understand there is a problem that needs to be tackled. I also think that payment is right as the donor is essentially offering a part of themselves – although the increase in amounts mentioned seems a bit excessive to me.
My only worry is over who the donors will be and their main motivation for doing so. Will they be people perennially on the dole and who think this is an easy way to make ‘extra’ money? Surely that is not the message people are hoping to promote, but there is a balance that needs to be struck in order for this not to be the case.
On second thoughts, this article was in the Guardian which I very much doubt is the newspaper of choice for ‘idle dossers’.