Should a husband be required to get his wife's consent to be a sperm donor?

Woman China Woman China
The following can be found from Daily Mail UK
By TAMARA COHEN
PUBLISHED: 06:34 EST, 26 August 2012

A married woman whose husband donated sperm without her knowledge is calling for clinics to be forced to ask for a wife's consent.

The unnamed mother-of-one from Surrey said she feared that children fathered with the sperm – who would be half-brothers or sisters of her son – may one day 'disrupt' the family by getting in touch.

She has written to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority calling for guidelines on sperm donation to include the spouse's views – and says the sperm should be treated as a joint 'marital asset'.

The unnamed woman has made contact with Diane Blood, who conceived two children using her late husband's frozen sperm after a legal battle

In marriage, sperm should be considered some kind of 'marital asset', wife argues a controversial ruling in 2005 meant all children born through sperm donation – up to ten families are allowed per donor – have the right to trace their biological father when they reach adulthood.

In her heartfelt letter to the fertility watchdog, she told how her husband had donated sperm against her wishes after suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following the birth of their child.

But if the children he fathers – to help infertile couples or single women – contacted her in the future, she would 'not feel able to push them away'.

The businesswoman said: 'I am personally in this situation with my husband having donated sperm against my wishes when he was suffering from PTSD.

'Despite my contacting the clinic (I never received an acknowledgment), this sperm may already have been used to father children who in 18 years' time may come knocking on our door, disrupting family life and unsettling our own children.'

Sperm donation helps infertile couples to have families and is also used for research purposes.

She added: 'There is then a huge emotional debt I would owe the child. I would not feel that I could push them away. It is something I would need to explain to our son.

'It is not something I had ever imagined having to encounter. It would almost feel like introducing the offspring of an adulterous relationship.'

The wife believes that the procedure for sperm donation 'should also include the wife or partner being asked about their views and signalling consent.'
She said: 'I think it is a decision both parties should make. It [the sperm] must be some sort of marital asset.'

The woman has made contact with Diane Blood, the widow who won a legal battle to conceive her two children using her late husband's frozen sperm after his sudden death from meningitis.

Mrs Blood said: 'There needs to be a public discussion about the matter. When fighting my own case I quoted the marriage vows which say “All that I am is yours”.

Sperm donors are recruited through licensed clinics and are not paid but can claim reasonable expenses for travel and lost earnings. A man who has donated sperm may withdraw his consent before it has been used.

There is no obligation for clinics to establish whether the wife objects, although some counsellors suggest men discuss the subject with their partner. Since the 2005 ruling against donor anonymity, they must provide a name and address.

Dr Gulam Bahadur, a former HEFA board member and specialist in men's health at Homerton University Hospital in London said he was 'grateful the point had been raised'.

He said: 'At the moment, the person from whose body the sperm comes has total say over its use, but if this use impacts on the wife's family life, the situation is not cut and dried.'

An HEFA spokesman said: 'Donors must, by law, be offered counselling to discuss their donation before it takes place. This helps to ensure consent is fully formed free and properly thought through.'
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Yes, a man should be required to obtain his wife's consent before donating sperm
47  (41%)
No, a man should be required to obtain his wife's consent before donating sperm
29  (25%)
Possibly, I am a little torn as I can see both sides of the coin. This is a very grey area!
34  (29%)
I like hot air balloon rides. And I have other things to say about this topic.
6  (5%)
Total votes: 116
Poll is closed
08/27/2012
  • Buy 1 Toy Get 1 FREE
  • Better Price Sale - Save 70%
  • Better Price Sale - Save 60%
  • Better Price Sale - Save 50%
  • Better Price - Save 40%
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
All promotions
Woman China Woman China
Parts of me say yes, if a man is in a committed and long term relationship, a man should at least inform his partner of his choice.

I feel this way because simply, can you imagine when that potential-future child is 18? I would feel a little betrayed if I knew the man I was with was a sperm donor while we were together. If he donated before we got together, I like to think I'd welcome that child and share pictures and all that fuzzy heart warming jazz.

And I think if gentlemen think it is ok to donate sperm without informing his partner... I wonder how he would feel if I donated my eggs? Or decided to get my tubes tied without telling him? Or made the decision to "rent out" my uterus while together? Or not tell him I had a child before I met him? Or had an abortion before I met him? Or had a sex life before I met him?

Bottom line, if my partner decided to donate sperm while we were together, and I didn't know, I'd feel betrayed and angry. If he told me that he wanted to be a sperm donor, I don't think I'd have a problem with it.
08/27/2012
spineyogurt spineyogurt
Just another reason not to get married
08/27/2012
Rey Rey
i'm going to say that he has an ethical obligation too, not legal.
08/27/2012
lineswecast lineswecast
I agree - it's an ethical thing, but I don't think it should be a legal requirement.
08/27/2012
Moniqua Moniqua
No, not at all.
08/27/2012
jc123 jc123
So a man has no right to say that a woman cannot abort his child, but a woman should have control over what a man does with his sperm?

I don't think the "I control what happens to my body" argument should only apply to women.
08/27/2012
Gone (LD29) Gone (LD29)
This is such a gray area. I think that a man should have an ethical obligation to inform his partner, but not a legal one. If he doesn't tell his partner, that's his decision but he has to be prepared to face the consequences. That's up to the donor, not the sperm bank.
08/27/2012
CindyH CindyH
a man should be required to obtain his wife's consent before donating sperm
08/28/2012
MrsHouseWife MrsHouseWife
I have to agree that it should be a ethical obligation and must be explained in that way to anyone donating sperm. But is raises another question for me, would a man then be legally obligated to tell his future wife/SO he has donated sperm?
I will admit I would be uncomfortable with my husband donating sperm with or without my consent.
08/28/2012
Deeder Deeder
Quote:
Originally posted by jc123
So a man has no right to say that a woman cannot abort his child, but a woman should have control over what a man does with his sperm?

I don't think the "I control what happens to my body" argument should only apply to women.
THIS.
08/28/2012
deltalima deltalima
Quote:
Originally posted by Woman China
Parts of me say yes, if a man is in a committed and long term relationship, a man should at least inform his partner of his choice.

I feel this way because simply, can you imagine when that potential-future child is 18? I would feel a little ... More
Good points.

And I'd like to think, would my partner want to know if I went ahead and donated my egg.
08/28/2012
T&A1987 T&A1987
it should be handled in a marriage contract. the couple should decide if genetic material/dna, bodily fluids, etc are from the union henceforth shared property, or if each person retains individual rights. if no decision is made, then each person has every right to do whatever they want with their genetic material. laying claim to another person's sperm or egg without agreement seems controlling and ignores the needs of the individual person. If their body makes it, it's theirs.
08/28/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
Yes, I think so. I would want to know of any intentions like that. And UNLESS we were in a rut and needed money, no way would I want him to.
08/28/2012
Khanner Khanner
No, it's his body and his DNA. Your reproductive choices are yours alone to make. Perhaps it's a bit of a faux pas to secretly parent offspring if you're married, but he shouldn't need anyone's permission.
08/28/2012
puppylove puppylove
I think ethically yes he should have to get her consent but I don't see it as ever being enforced legally. I have already told my partner that I am not comfortable with that.
08/28/2012
Yaoi Pervette (deleted) Yaoi Pervette (deleted)
It seems the right thing to do would be to have your spouse's consent.

I find it strange that a man with PTSD was able to donate. There was a Cracked article in which the author described the hoops he had to jump through to be a donor. Going by his experience, I would think that a person with PTSD would be turned away.
08/28/2012
Scrawberry78 Scrawberry78
I see both sides of the situation. It should not be legally enforced but he should have to tell his wife that he is donating his sperm.

For me I think it is a great thing, donating sperm and eggs. You are helping those less fortunate because they can't father/carry a baby. I thought about being a surrogate mother.
08/28/2012
Noelle Noelle
I see both sides. I wouldn't exactally be happy about it, but then again, it's really his free will to do what he feels is important regardless of what I think. I would hope he would consider my feelings, but if he were to have donated before we were together, that is a choice he would have made. If I had been a surrogate mother before I had met him, what could he or anyone say? I do feel bad for that woman though. It would be quite a shock!
08/28/2012
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
"the sperm should be treated as a joint 'marital asset'."



I can't ever imagine myself in this position, but I think the solution would be to have donor anonymity. No one — not the man who donated or the wife who may or may not have agreed with her husband's decision — should need to worry about someone showing up on their doorstep two decades later.
08/28/2012
ToyGeek ToyGeek
If a woman can't trust her husband to not donate sperm without telling her, and needs the government's help to prevent that situation, then either she has trust issues or the husband is likely stepping out on her in more concrete ways, which the government is powerless to prevent, so I don't see a point to this law at all.

I don't want the government to legally require me to get my theoretical husband's permission to do anything I want with my body, time, personal possessions, etc., so therefore I would be a hypocrite if I thought a man would ever need his wife's legal permission for anything of the same kind.
08/28/2012
SecretKinksters SecretKinksters
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
"the sperm should be treated as a joint 'marital asset'."



I can't ever imagine myself in this position, but I think the solution would be to have donor anonymity. No one — not the man who donated or the wife who ... More
Agreed.
08/28/2012
Illusional Illusional
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyGeek
If a woman can't trust her husband to not donate sperm without telling her, and needs the government's help to prevent that situation, then either she has trust issues or the husband is likely stepping out on her in more concrete ways, which ... More
Agreed 100%
08/28/2012
humblepie humblepie
Woah is it just me or do the two first options say the first thing? (no, he should have to and yes, he should have to)
08/28/2012
Khanner Khanner
Quote:
Originally posted by humblepie
Woah is it just me or do the two first options say the first thing? (no, he should have to and yes, he should have to)
Oh, good eye. I voted for that one because I thought it was "shouldn't" when my eyes skimmed over it.
08/29/2012
edenguy edenguy
I don't think I could ever say that a woman should get her husband's concent to donate egg cells
08/29/2012
indiechick indiechick
Quote:
Originally posted by Woman China
The following can be found from Daily Mail UK
By TAMARA COHEN
PUBLISHED: 06:34 EST, 26 August 2012

A married woman whose husband donated sperm without her knowledge is calling for clinics to be forced to ask for a wife's consent. ... More
If we want women to have the right to decide their bodies on their own without consent of their husbands women do not have the right to dictate what men do.
08/29/2012
Rin (aka Nire) Rin (aka Nire)
Quote:
Originally posted by ToyGeek
If a woman can't trust her husband to not donate sperm without telling her, and needs the government's help to prevent that situation, then either she has trust issues or the husband is likely stepping out on her in more concrete ways, which ... More
I have to agree with this. This seems to be an issue for a marriage counselor, not the courts.

I also think that such donors should be allowed to be anonymous, if they choose. It may be the part of me that sees blood relations merely as relatives and not as family, but if you don't want children who are yours only in biological terms to come knocking on your door eighteen years later, then it should be your right to decide that.
08/29/2012
amazon amazon
I think being open and honest would dictate yes
08/29/2012
Checkmate Checkmate
I'm getting alittle hung up over the "required" consent. I just assume that a male would tell his wife if he were a donor or thinking of becoming one. With the required period of abstinance required before donation, it might be hard to cover up!
08/29/2012
Total posts: 80
Unique posters: 75