Saturday, April 11, 2009

Law, Science and Fatherhood in Spurts and Fits

An anonymous Australian has a wonderful take on fatherhood: "I believe there is more to being a father than just donated sperm. The man who nurtures and raises the offspring is their true father."

The reason the AA was given the attention and is speaking out is based on his role as the biological father (sperm donor) for at least seven girls and five boys and the way laws are being changed regarding the "father's" legal status. AA is concerned about privacy, but there are other issues in play for fathers as well.

The momma of dead Texan Nikolas Colton Evans has decided to harvest sperm to give herself some grandchildren with his DNA. She says it is because that prior to dying in a street brawl, the 21-year-old always wanted to be a father of three. She wants to honor that memory even though, "This is probably going to bankrupt me and I will do whatever I can to make it happen."

Certainly, she will bring forth a much less comfortable father's day than awaits a leukemia survivor whose sperm gained its majority (21 years) in the deep freeze. North Carolinian Chris Biblis, 38 and free of cancer for 20 years, now has his first child, a baby girl.

In the most complicated of cases the father doesn't seem to be involved at all and might well not even know what problems he has caused. A 13-year-old mentally retarded girl from Pennsylvania has just been given the judicial okay to sue a New York sperm bank. Her challenge is likely the result of an inheritance through the father's DNA and the legal theory is that the sperm bank should have known.

All of which adds different layers to the onion skin wrapping fatherhood, but doesn't necessarily make it any easier for the Hallmark copywriters to come up with the most appropriate father's day card.

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