Legal/Social problems with physically helping gays conceive?
April 14, 2006 12:07 PM Subscribe
Legal/Social ramifications of giving reproductive stuff to a same-sex couple who wishes to conceive?
posted by anonymous to human relations (12 answers total)
I happen to be friends with people of all walks of life, and often find myself in the company of people who are gay and lesbian. I have a friend, through my place of employment, who is lesbian and has been in a stable, sanctioned (commitment ceremony) marriage for almost 8 years. They've been very solid, commited, and are very calm with their sexuality.
They have also, earlier, tried to conceive with a sperm bank. However, due to timeing and other issues, were unsucessful. They have wanted to try again over the years, but are unable to for financial concerns.
I know about this due to my friend opening up to me as we were getting to know each other better over lunch. I, without much thought, said "You know, I sure do have a lot of sperm I'm not doing anything with." After we stopped laughing (and I blushing), I recanted a bit - she was flattered at the pseudo-offer, but I let her know I was fairly serious if she needed it. We agreed to talk later if she did, and finished our lunch. (Note: There was zero awkwardness. She seemed really interested, and asked me if I was sure before I again stated I was.)
We haven't talked about it since, and a few weeks ago, I told my wife about the conversation, and I asked her what she thought of the idea, and if they asked, what she would say about it. We talked at length, and came to some serious questions that we couldn't answer.
1) I'm *not* interested in being a father at this point in my life. While I understand that donating sperm makes me a biological contributor to the genetic makup of another human being, it is far from making me a father. But, by the same token, I would only want to have an arms reach relationship with the child. I would also prefer that the child not know I was part of their biological makeup until they were quite a bit older. Is this selfish, and make me a bad candidate for something like this?
2) I would only want to be legally responsible for the child in the death of both parents. (I know that this is an odd turn.) My wife expressed concern that she would be uncomfortable if the original parents, for some reason, did not stay the original parents due to death. I agree. Does this sound fair and right to anyone else?
3) Is this just an overall bad idea? The beauty of sperm banks is the anonymitity of it all, but I also truely want to help my friends get a child if it's truely what they want. I feel like it's such a small thing from me, but such a huge gift to them that it makes me happy just to think about it.
4) While the joy of giving is 99% of my reasoning behind doing this, I would be wrong to not mention that I also feel my genetic makup is supurb, and am slightly convinced to give just so I can help propogate that though the species. I feel guilty for this, though. Am I wrong to feel that way?
Lastly - in regards to concern 1 and 2 - is there a way to legally contractualize all of that? Would I appear crass to, say, require them to legally wed in Mass. and sign this agreement before giving up the seed? Is that even some way to make sure that it holds? Would it be worth the paper it's written on?
Oh, and has anyone else done this? If so, can you tell me what your experience has been and what you'd recommend?
Thanks for any responses. I'd post this non-anonymously, but I really do have to worry about everyone's privacy with this one.