Yesterday's editorial supports stopping anonymous sperm donation on the grounds that people have a right to know their genetic legacy and that secrets can destroy families (The Age, 15/5/06). This is despite acknowledging that the new policy has seen a drop-off in the number of men willing to donate sperm - inspiring a recent Comedy Festival show (from Matt Black) about sperm scarcity and encouraging the audience to donate sperm (The Age, 25/4/06)!
The implications for an evaporation of the state's sperm donor pool are obvious - and undesirable. When seen in light of research that suggests anywhere from 3% to 30% of children are unknowingly (to them) fathered by an unexpected male (The Age, 29/6/05), surely the principled stance against anonymous donation becomes untenable? Or does The Age support universal, mandatory genetic testing of lineage at 18 on the same grounds as for children of sperm donors? No, the state needs to butt out and leave families to work these things through as they see fit, as they have for millennia.