A few days ago I blogged about the adoption agency that is buying human embryos – I wrote that I think they are on morally shaky ground. Well, today’s news gives me the same confused and uncomfortable feeling. This guy’s family took sperm from his dead body, found a volunteer mom and they are having his kid! They did have to prove in court that he wanted to have kids even though he hadn’t left a will or anything in writing that said that.
I’ve had lots of discussions about sperm, pregnancy and fatherhood over the years because I have several friends that are single moms on purpose. We used to get into debates about how best to get pregnant without ending up with a dad in the process – just for fun, I used to think. One of my friends ended up getting a volunteer egg donor and a volunteer sperm donor and going the in vitro route. The donors are a relative and a friend and although they are not active in the parenting role, she still maintains contact with them. The other friend only says that she used a "donor."
So if the donor agreed to help her, I don’t see a problem. So for argument’s sake, let’s say she found a way to get pregnant without him knowing. Is that moral? If he was dead like the guy mentioned above would that make the situation different? Obviously she wouldn’t be able to tell him but it would still be doing something without his explicit permission. Did you know if a woman gets pregnant, doesn’t tell the guy, has the baby and then years later goes on welfare, the guy will be liable for current and back child support if the state can figure out who he is? Kind of scary if you’re a guy right? Does that change your answer to the "is that moral?" question? I mean, if he has legal and financial responsibility for the child, it seems like he should be informed that the child exists. In the case of the dead man, will the family be responsible since they are the ones who made the decision to have a baby?
I think once again technology has enabled us to do some amazing things (impregnanting a woman after you are dead!) and has brought along with it some very complicated moral and ethical issues.