Many women who want to become mothers are turning to Facebook to connect with men who are willing to provide their sperm for free. But some children’s rights advocates and donor conceived persons are condemning the practice as being unethical.
An unnamed Welsh woman, who the BBC named “Sophie” in its report, turned to Facebook after finding out that going through the National Health Service to find a sperm donor would mean that she’d face a longer than expected waiting period.
Sophie, who’s in her 20s and has one child from a previous relationship, described the online Facebook groups of men offering their sperm free of charge “like a ‘for sale’ site in a way, because there’s so many people trying to sell themselves.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it — it’s the same as going on a night out and having sex with someone you don’t know really,” she said.
Her first try with donor sperm was not successful and she is attempting a second time.
Meanwhile, the Welsh government is advising against the practice, acknowledging that a 26-week referral to treatment target for patients seeking fertility services exist, and that they are meeting the target.
“We would strongly recommend patients seeking fertility treatment consult a health professional and use regulated fertility clinics, where sperm and eggs are subject to rigorous quality checks and screening,” a government spokesperson said.
Dr. Peter Bowen-Simpkins, executive medical director of the London Women’s Clinic, told the BBC the Facebook groups were “dangerous and totally wrong,” and said two possible causes driving women to using social media was the cost of private clinics and the inability to see a picture of a potential donor, which is against the law in the United Kingdom.
Likewise, Alice Matthews, the Wales coordinator for Fertility Network UK, another expert interviewed by the BBC, opined that it’s “not ethical to just get sperm, because it’s not been screened,” and says she never recommends that women use social media to shop for sperm.
The artificial insemination procedure in the NHS in Wales reportedly involves the sperm being “washed” in order to produce a “concentrated, healthy sample, before it is inserted into the uterus.”
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Source: Christian Post