The Short of It
Facebook may be known for its swap and sell groups, but usually the merchandise isn't quite as precious as what 26-year-old Kenzie Kilpatrick from the UK is offering. The openly gay man is using the social media site to help men and women fulfill their dreams of becoming parents without enduring the expense or time required with a fertility clinic or sperm bank by giving them his sperm for free.
Potential parents and Kilpatrick connect on the Facebook group he started in June 2014 called Drama Free UK Sperm Donors. In exchange for travel and hotel costs to meet with the recipients, Kilpatrick produces a fresh sperm donation privately, either in the recipients home or nearby hotel. Then, the mom-to-be can use a home insemination kit to try to conceive. Kilpatrick doesn't charge a fee for his sperm or services; he only asks recipients to sign a contract that waives his legal obligations in exchange for the donation. He says he feels there shouldn't be a price put on happiness or a child.
"I have helped people to make a family, something they have truly longed for," he recently told the Birmingham Mail. "You can't beat the feeling that gives you. It seems that I am incredibly fertile. And as a man, that does give me a sense of pride."
And fertile, he is. Kilpatrick has helped 50 women, and six of them have given birth to two girls and five boys, including a set of twins, in the last 10 weeks. Three more babies are due within a month.
It's no surprise that professionals from fertility clinics and family planning centers have concerns about Kilpatrick's services, even though he says he's been tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
"Sperm banks have regulations in place that mandate each sperm sample be tested for a range of diseases when it first comes in. It's then frozen and quarantined for six months before being thawed and retested," Dr. Jamie Grifo, program director at the NYU Langone Fertility Center, told Yahoo Parenting. "The sperm is tested not just for HIV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases, but it also undergoes genetic testing to find recessive genes that might lead to a baby being [born] with conditions, such as cystic fibrosis."
And then there are the legal concerns—all parental rights are legally waived by sperm donors who are organized through family planning programs. Although Kilpatrick has recipients sign a contract, he hasn't disclosed any specific details on what it entails.
I understand that Kilpatrick wants to help people grow their families, but I wonder if he has really thought about the long-term effects of offering free donations via Facebook. Although he says he has no interest in meeting the babies when they are born, what if the children feel differently as they grow up? Is he ready to potentially have dozens of teenagers looking for their biological father in 18 years or so?
Would you consider turning to a solo sperm donor to avoid the complexities of working with a fertility clinic? Why or why not?
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