Colton Wooten is the child of a single mother who used a sperm donor to become pregnant. At 18 years of age, Colton has his essay, “A Father’s Day Plea to Sperm Donors,” in the New York Times. He is clearly well read, well informed, and was well raised. Yet, in a trend that continues to shock and haunt me, he obsesses over the fact that he has not met the man who generated the sperm that created him:
I don’t resent my mom; she did the best thing she knew how to do at the time, and found a way to make a child under the circumstances. But babies born of the procedure in the future should have the right to know who their donors are, and even have some contact with them. Sperm donors need to realize that they are fathers. When I was doing college interviews, one of the interviewers told me that he didn’t have any children, but that he had donated sperm while in college because he needed the money. He didn’t realize that he probably is someone’s father, regardless of whether he knows his child.
I’m one of those children, and I want to know who my father is. There are some programs like the Donor Sibling Registry that try to connect those conceived through sperm and egg donation with lost half-siblings and sometimes even parents. But I don’t have much hope that I’ll ever find him.
You are damn right you don’t resent your mom. She sounds like an incredible woman. But here we find Colton, whining about his unknown father instead of singing the praises of his astounding single mother. And, no, you shouldn’t have the right to know who the donor is. You should have a right to genetic history to check for known hereditary diseases and conditions, and that’s it. What would knowing change? You’d know your father is so-and-so person who wants nothing to do with you.
I have never understood how someone can be so ungracious as to be raised by a mother and then have the audacity, yes I use that word deliberately, to drone on about their absentee father. Shameful.
Bioethics is controversial.
No one endorses the ideas or concepts explored here, not even me.
You will develop a strong opinion about something you find here. I want to hear it. Philosophy is a conversation.
popbioethics [at] gmail [dot] com
Long Form ArticlesWhy Mass Effect is the most Important Science Fiction Universe of our Generation