Wednesday, February 06, 2008

One drought where standpipes won't help ...

There’s a sperm drought.

Honest, there is. Across the UK, the number of sperm donors has plummeted. Apparently there is now only one single sperm donor covering the whole of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. And he’s pretty tired. There used to be a steady supply for childless couples - particularly from students who, let’s face it, always have far too much of the stuff and could earn a decent amount of money from donations. However, the rules have changed and it’s no longer anonymous – the idea being that a child has the right to be able to trace its biological father in later life. And all of a sudden, the donors have disappeared.

I guess no one wants the emotional baggage of a kid turning up on their doorsteps in later life. Or the CSA, which is worse - trust me. It just seems such a shame. There are so many people who cannot conceive and who may now lose out on the chance of having a child. The new rules are a triumph for human rights they say. But for which humans? It’s effectively stopped many from even being conceived.

Dr Tim Childs (ha!) from the Fertility Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford said that , “There is a national shortage. It’s not unusual for sperm to be bought in from Scandinavia or America.” All of which raises some interesting issues about our ‘Mongrel Nation’ status, doesn’t it? How British is British? What defines it? Place of birth or where the sperm gets shipped in from?

Answers in a test tube please …

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