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Is Sperm a marital asset??

  • rubytuesday
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29 Aug 12 #352518 by rubytuesday
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The DM reported this story a couple of days ago, and it raises some interesting points:

Wife whose husband became secret sperm donor calls for change in the law to require partners'' consent

Wife concerned about the psychological affect potential children fathered by her husband will have on the family

His donation may produce as many as 20 children

She claims, in marriage, the husband''s sperm should be considered ''marital asset''
In a letter to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, she calls for wives'' consent to be mandatory


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''.

Wife whose husband became secret sperm donor calls for change in the law to require partners'' consent
Wife concerned about the psychological affect potential children fathered by her husband will have on the family
His donation may produce as many as 20 children
She claims, in marriage, the husband''s sperm should be considered ''marital asset''
In a letter to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, she calls for wives'' consent to be mandatory


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 (pictured) 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.''



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.''

the story can be read here


Is sperm a marital asset? Should a wife''s consent be sought before a man can legally donate his sperm?

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29 Aug 12 #352521 by rubytuesday
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Peter Lloyd responds with this in the DM yesterday:

A British woman is campaigning for the legal right to veto her husband''s choice to donate sperm, it has emerged.
The unidentified complainant says her partner volunteered samples of his semen to a registered clinic after becoming stressed by the birth of their child, reported MailOnline.
Disgruntled, the mother-of-one from Surrey has contacted the Human Fertilisation And Embryology Authority, arguing that women across the UK should be able to deny their spouse''s free will on the matter - because sperm is a ''marital asset''.
She''s wrong.


As a men''s rights activist and someone whose mother was a counsellor in Liverpool''s British Pregnancy Advisory Service, where I spent considerable time as a boy, I value the importance of choice massively. But it cuts both ways.
The old maxim of ''my body, my choice'' is one that applies to both genders, not just women.

Whatever a man chooses to do with his sperm - his lineage, DNA and personification of reproductive liberty - is his decision and his alone, regardless of marital status.
And given that a man''s permission isn''t needed for the termination of a pregnancy, I find this woman''s plea particularly offensive.

''What a terrible reason to deny somebody the chance of legitimately fathering children: inconvenience''
Yes, he probably had a moral obligation to inform his wife, but he certainly didn''t have a legal one - and never should he. After all, a woman should never need a man''s approval to donate her eggs, whether she is married to him or not.
This man clearly made his decision freely and within the medical world''s rigid guidelines.
He also never retracted his consent, which is precisely what this issue boils down to.
Well, that and spousal control.
This woman claims she''s concerned about the psychological effect any children fathered by her husband will have on her. She''s equally worried that they might ''disrupt'' her family life. But what a terrible reason to deny somebody the chance of legitimately fathering children: inconvenience.
Personally, I suspect this woman is angry because she cannot trap her partner. Forever, getting pregnant has been a trump card used by some women in the so-called gender war. But suddenly there''s a loophole.
I''m sorry, this is not a reason to change the law; to compromise a patient''s right to confidentiality or to deny infertile couples the opportunity to have a family.
Not least because men already suffer from insufficient rights when it comes to paternity.
Men are regularly denied access to their children (but forced to financially support them), yet - even when they obtain visitation orders via the courts - they rarely get them enforced.
Likewise, look at the scores of men who are victims of paternity fraud. The same men who request DNA testing for a newborn, only to be denied it unless the mother consents. Where is there fairness in that?


Last year, in Australia, a man''s name was taken off the birth certificate of his daughter - simply because the mother and her female partner wanted to erase any trace of his (crucial) involvement.
Stripping men of any more paternal rights would be inhumane.
Yes, women face issues over parenthood too - but nobody is trying to marginalise their rights.
Personally, I suspect this woman wants to limit her husband''s choice for the sake of control, when - really - she should be asking why he suffered post-traumatic stress in the first place.
If this woman is successful in changing the law, where would it end? What other body parts could a partner claim to co-own? Could a man stop a woman from becoming a surrogate mother? Could a woman stop a man from having a vasectomy?

Either marriage is about ownership or it isn''t. Personally, I believe it''s about partnership. But I''m not sure she does.
She has been quoted several times explaining how this situation affected her, but never her husband. That''s a bad sign.
Yes, it may have repercussions on her - but she chose to marry him, for better and for worse.
I sympathise that his decision may emotionally affect her, but that''s life. It doesn''t mean we should go changing the law.
More importantly, the truth remains the same: a man''s body is a man''s choice.
And I''ll throw myself in front of the (future) king''s horse if that ever changes.


the article can be read here

  • .Charles
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29 Aug 12 #352614 by .Charles
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Is sperm a martial asset? No.

The donor is not emotionally or financial tied to the ''deposit'' and are steps taken to ensure that the donor has no status in the transaction.

If the wife finds the donations offensive, make a case for divorce but trying to prevent a procedure which is ultimately benevolent by claiming some kind of beneficial interest is fairly misguided.

Charles

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29 Aug 12 #352617 by dukey
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And can we have a hearty round of applause for Charles use of "deposit" and "donation" :):):cheer:

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29 Aug 12 #352622 by rubytuesday
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trying to prevent a procedure which is ultimately benevolent by claiming some kind of beneficial interest is fairly misguided.


and rather controlling - can you imagine the outcry if a husband suggested that a wife should seek permission from her husband before she could donate her eggs?

I agree, sperm is not a marital asset.

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29 Aug 12 #352624 by .Charles
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rubytuesday wrote:

and rather controlling - can you imagine the outcry if a husband suggested that a wife should seek permission from her husband before she could donate her eggs?


"Can you double-bag those please"

;)

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29 Aug 12 #352625 by rubytuesday
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.Charles wrote:

rubytuesday wrote:

and rather controlling - can you imagine the outcry if a husband suggested that a wife should seek permission from her husband before she could donate her eggs?


"Can you double-bag those please"

;)


:X

I have just read this whilst on the phone to a client - trying to explain why I spluttered was rather difficult.....

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