Instapundit linked today to an article in the Guardian about Danish women using sperm banks to become single mothers: ‘There’s no stigma’: why so many Danish women are opting to become single mothers. The article quotes one single mother who explained how she chose among the myriad of approved paths to single motherhood, ultimately deciding to use a sperm bank:
I saw lots of friends choose to become pregnant with boyfriends they knew wouldn’t last – purely because the desire to have a child took over. I also saw ‘traditional’ families breaking up all around me, so I thought, ‘Maybe I should just make this happen on my own.’” Fjord asked herself, “all the tough questions”: “Does the world need more people? Couldn’t I adopt?’ And I looked into it, but adoption is practically impossible in Denmark as a single woman, and it’s very expensive. Plus I had this primal urge to have my own child. I thought about having a baby with a friend, but realised this could get complicated. I considered a one-night stand – not a big deal in Denmark – but felt this would be somehow dishonest, stealing sperm from someone. This left donor conception.
Despite accurately defining the issue in the title, the Guardian investigates further and finds that it is actually men who are to blame for not getting with the program once a thirty something career woman decides to become pregnant:
“The majority say that becoming a solomor was Plan B,” says Lone Schmidt, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen Department of Public Health: “Two thirds had been in a relationship and wanted to become pregnant but their partners weren’t ready.” The average age of couples seeking help for fertility problems in Denmark is 33, and the average age of single women is 36. “In other words,” says Schmidt, “women are waiting it out, and when it becomes clear that there isn’t going to be a man in the picture, they’re taking action themselves.”
Like the Guardian, Instapundit commenter Amphipolis fears the idea of women facing stigma for choosing single motherhood. Surely we can find a solution which focuses the responsibility on men and not women:
For every single mother there is a donor man who is willing to engender a fatherless child.
Men are also responsible for this, and their anonymity is just a bit of paperwork.
This is the standard refrain from Gilligans everywhere, who live in terror of the thought of unhappy sluts. But our little buddy’s understanding of biology is flawed. It only takes a handful of willing donors to create all of the bastards the single mothers wish to create.
Note also that Amphipolis’ fundamental objection is to the new family model being circumvented. This new family model of course is not marriage, but child support. He doesn’t propose shutting down sperm banks altogether, or only allowing married couples to use their services. His focus is on identifying the donors so they can be forced to pay child support.
The sperm donors are exactly who I am talking about. They made this happen. They are partly responsible.