Posted by: hmillic | October 6, 2007

A man of 72 is to donate sperm to try to father his own ‘grandchild’. Awkward.

I can’t imagine being so absolutely desperate for a baby that I would want to be impregnated with my father-in-law’s squigglies then carry and give birth to my husband’s half brother/sister. Adopt already! Get an uncle or cousin to do it. The kid is going to have a royal meltdown if they ever find out. This is just too weird!

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

A man of 72 is to donate sperm to try to father his own ‘grandchild’.

He has been cleared to provide the sperm to his daughter-in-law to allow her to become a mother.

Any baby born will be its grandfather’s genetic child and a halfbrother or half-sister to the man it takes to be its father.

The case – believed to be the first of its kind in the UK – raises ethical questions about how well the child will cope with such unusual family circumstances.

The Harley Street doctors treating the couple, however, say that the child’s interests were paramount when taking the decision.

The couple, whose identity is being kept secret, opted for donor sperm after IVF treatment with the husband’s own failed.

They turned to the husband’s father, rather than an anonymous donor, because they wanted a child as genetically similar to both families as possible.

Peter Bowen-Simpkins, codirector of the London Women’s Clinic which is carrying out the procedure, said the couple and the grandfather had undergone extensive counselling.

“I’ve certainly never come across a case like this before,” he said.

“But advancements in fertility treatment have overcome a lot of taboos in science which means that people are prepared to consider all sorts of options.

“Obviously, the wife’s mother-inlaw also had to be included in all of the conversations but she has no objections.

“Society has also changed its perceptions of what is and what is not acceptable.

“In this case, keeping the genetic identity of the child similar to their own was a huge factor.

“The husband does not have a brother, which is why he chose his own father to assist.”

Kamal Ahuja, the clinic’s scientific director, said: “We spent many, many months deliberating this case and discussed it with our ethics committee and with counsellors and have come to the conclusion that they shouldn’t have been denied treatment.”

It is not known if the couple, who are in their thirties, intend to tell the child about its parentage.

The child will be able to track down its biological father on turning 18.

Critics cautioned that the child could face major identity issues.

Philippa Taylor, of Care, a Christian charity, said: “The reproductive whims of parents to do some deliberate and unnecessary social engineering should not be put before the welfare of the child.

“Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”

A spokesman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said donations from family members were legal and relatively common.

Preliminary tests at the clinic suggest that the 72-year-old’s sperm is viable.


Responses

  1. […] hmillic wrote a fantastic post today on “A man of 72 is to donate sperm to try to father his own …”Here’s ONLY a quick extractI can’t imagine being so absolutely desperate for a baby that I would want to be impregnated with my father-in-law’s squigglies then carry and give birth to my husband’s half brother/sister. Adopt already! Get an uncle or cousin to do … […]

  2. Good day!,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: