January 19, 2007

A biological father regrets losing his children by donating his sperm

It's worth reading the incredible witness of an Australian father, Michael Linden, who learned the hard way. He is the biological father of Myfanwy Walker. They finally found each other after she searched for him for years. Michael writes:
Would anyone of you here ever give away or even sell your children?....

I did. And so have hundreds of other men in this supposedly civilized country of ours.

Since the mid-1970s something of the order of twenty to thirty thousand children have been born in Australia by means of donor insemination. The vast majority of these children do not know it, but for all of them there is a man somewhere with whom they share the most basic biological connection. These men are their fathers.

Whether they realized it or not, what these men were really doing when they gave away their sperm was giving away their unborn children. Indeed, this is the sole purpose of the practice of donor conception: it is not so much the provision of the means of fertility to the infertile but the exploitation of those who are fertile in order that they provide the infertile with the child that, as it is usually so plaintively phrased, they desire.

Yes, it is true: I never held my lost children in my arms when they were just born as I did with the three daughters of my first marriage.

...But this does not mean that I cannot feel cheated, and at times even angry that – even though I cannot deny my utter responsibility in choosing to donate – I may never get to meet those three remaining young women who are just as much my daughters as those I raised.

Just like some donor-conceived adults of my acquaintance, I am sometimes struck by a passing person in the street or elsewhere, by a fleeting resemblance, by a flash of recognition. And I wonder…

...I have been criticized – and even sometimes by they who are otherwise firm opponents of donor conception - for publicly affirming in the media that I am the real – by which of course I mean biological – father of my medically conceived children.

Most recently on a Four Corners episode dealing with donor conception my statement to that effect was dramatically counterpointed with the opinion of a social father. He was of course shocked that I should dare to reclaim fatherhood for myself in this way. But for me to have stated otherwise would have been to condone and further propagate the lie.
Please visit Michael's blog, from which this excerpt was taken.

Also read about the story of Michael and Myfanwy at the following links:


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