30 April 2006
Risks of unofficial sperm donation
“ There is nothing to stop Mr Wilson's child approaching him, when he or she turns 18, and seeking an inheritance. Certainly, if the mother decided to seek benefit, the Child Support Agency would have every right to chase him for maintenance. ”
Peter Edwards, a Glasgow solicitor
When a man donate sperm though a bank servicing a licensed clinic, the 1990 HFEA Act relieves him of any legal responsibility in the future. Not so when the transaction is done via one of the Internet services. And there are risks for the woman too.
"If all goes well and a healthy baby is born, both will be overjoyed.... But what neither fully realises is the enormous risks they have taken - she has gambled with her own health and that of her unborn child, since she knew little of his medical history; and he faces the possibility of maintenance demands and a lifetime of legal wrangles".
"One [woman], in an email, said that while she had agreed to accept no financial aid from the sperm donor, she was aware that she could ask for it in the future. Her cynical approach may pose a problem for men... "Both the woman carrying my baby and I have signed a legal document absolving me from any financial responsibility for the child," he said. "I certainly did not go into the deal expecting I ever would have to contribute." What he does not realise is that the document is worthless and he may face a legal quagmire in the future".