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Monday, December 3, 2007

Any Lesbian Couples After Your Sperm?

posted by on December 3 at 16:53 PM

Did they tell you they needed a donor because they wanna be moms? And did they tell you that you wouldn’t be expected to pay child support or provide in any way for the kid? Well, you might wanna get that in writing—and you might wanna skip sending the kid birthday cards.

In the US:

A Nassau County man who said he donated sperm to a female co-worker as a friendly gesture—and then sent presents and cards to the child over the years—is legally considered the father and may have to pay child support for the college-bound teenager, according to a judge’s ruling.

According to the man’s testimony, in the late 1980s he was a physician at the same Nassau County hospital where the child’s mother was a resident. After learning the woman and her female partner wanted to have a baby, the man donated his sperm and the woman gave birth on July 26, 1989. Married at the time, the man agreed that he would not have any rights or benefits in raising the child, but the verbal agreement was never put in writing…. In the murky legalities of artificial insemination by a known donor, the best protections are to have everything in writing and “do your homework,” said reproductive lawyer Melissa Brisman of Park Ridge, N.J.

In the UK:

A firefighter who donated sperm to a lesbian couple said yesterday that he was being made to pay child support for their son and daughter, in a case believed to be the first of its kind in Britain. Andy Bathie, 37, said the women, who approached him five years ago after other male friends declined to become donors, assured him he would have no personal or financial involvement in the children’s upbringing. But he said the Child Support Agency contacted him last November and made him take a 400 paternity test, then demanded support payments because the couple had split up….

“These women wanted to be parents and take on the responsibilities that brings. I would never have agreed to this unless they had been a committed family. And now I can’t afford to have children with my own wife—it’s crippling me financially,” he told the Evening Standard.

RSS icon Comments

1

Poor guys.

Posted by Gloria | December 3, 2007 5:07 PM
2

The thing will be 18 in a year.

This is a non-story (unless the bitches are looking for back-monies)

Posted by Lake | December 3, 2007 5:09 PM
3

Lesbians fukk up everything! First they invaded Kuwait then they started fighting with Israel and Hezbollah! God! You think they would just take their "Toys in Babeland" products and be done with it! Just cuz they got them big cedar trees and all...

Posted by Madge-YoursoakingINIT! | December 3, 2007 5:14 PM
4

those actions are shameful.

Posted by infrequent | December 3, 2007 5:16 PM
5

this is why i never would donate any sperm, even before the vasectomy.

Posted by bill | December 3, 2007 5:19 PM
6

I heard about a woman who sucked off a guy, saved the sperm somehow, then later artifically inseminated herself, had a baby, and then sued the guy for child support.

Posted by raindrop | December 3, 2007 5:19 PM
7

I don't think "getting it in writing" offers any protection. I've been reading about these kinds of cases for a few years, and from what I can tell, the state does not recognize the right of individuals to make this kind of deal on their own.

Posted by midwayPete | December 3, 2007 5:20 PM
8

@7 - yeah, that's what's screwy. It's the logical end result of this court decision. Look, I agree that men should be responsible for the accidental pregnancies they create, but isn't there something a little strange about the idea that, even if a man and woman signed a contract before sex saying he wouldn't be held responsible for any child that results, he can still be forced to pay up?

Posted by tsm | December 3, 2007 5:25 PM
9

Gah. Makes me glad the only lesbians I know already have kids.

Posted by Gitai | December 3, 2007 5:25 PM
10

well, all these cases seem few and far between (or fictional @6), only appealing to men because of their fear of financial responsibility.

before, men would just leave the mother. now, they want to get it in writing so they can just leave the mother. that's great.

i'm in favor of men's reproductive rights. but not in favor of this slacker reactionism.

Posted by infrequent | December 3, 2007 5:29 PM
11

Even putting it in writing may not do the trick. The courts decide these things based on the best interests of the child, which means that what the adults agreed to may not be considered relevant.

Same thing can go the other direction, with the guy suing for shared custody. (All together now: "Every child deserves a mother and a father!")

Moral: Never EVER do this with someone that you don't have compelling reasons to trust absolutely. "We met several times and they seem really nice" is not enough.

Posted by Margaret L. | December 3, 2007 5:30 PM
12

The key in the case cited by #8 is this sentence: "State courts have ruled in the past that any inequity experienced by men like Dubay is outweighed by society's interest in ensuring that children get financial support from two parents." That said, in that particular case, I don't feel too bad for the guy. Girls (and guys) lie all the time to get laid. Everyone has their own protection to insist upon; I'd not trust someone that said they had no STIs, unless we just bounced out of the clinic with mutual test results proving it. Its every person for themselves.

Also, any contract doesn't mean diddly, because you can't sign a contract with a fetus. Child support is for the child, and not the mother.

Its funny how a few bad eggs are going to spoil it for the rest of those looking to get pregnant without resorting to impersonal labs. Like anything else, I suppose this road to legal hell is paved with good intentions.

Posted by Nick | December 3, 2007 5:32 PM
13

I agree with Margaret @ 11, and add that even "compelling reasons" sometimes aren't even enough, depending on state law. Some states don't allow for the voluntary termination of parental rights under (almost) any circumstances, so even if known-donor-bio-dad never tried to exert rights, bio-mom could be REQUIRED to pursue him for support before being allowed to get public aid if that ever became neccessary. Granted, things are probably OK if mom never needs public aid and neither mom nor donor ever decide they aren't happy with the original agreement. But that seems like a pretty big gamble for either party.

Posted by Michelle in Ohio | December 3, 2007 5:36 PM
14

@11 I don't know why anyone would do something like this, even if they had a "compelling reason to trust absolutely." People change. Circumstances change. Needs change. Anyone who would put themselves in this type of situation is foolish in my opinion.

Posted by PA Native | December 3, 2007 5:43 PM
15

Gay or straight, people need to stop breeding. Period. How fucking selfish do you have to be to bring a child into a world that's in serious trouble?

Desperate for something to love? Get a dog.

Posted by JACKSON POLLOCK | December 3, 2007 5:44 PM
16

@14 - that may be, but it seems to me that the law should at least allow for the possibility of a man offering up sperm with such a contract. Granted, most guys don't and still wouldn't walk around with pre-coital waivers (wouldn't that set the mood nicely), but they should at least be able to in principle, if only to avoid situations like this.

Posted by tsm | December 3, 2007 5:47 PM
17

A donor could sign a contract with a potential parent. The contract could state the potential parent agrees to pay the donor a value equal to that of the child support amount should child support ever become required.

I don't know how this would play out if the potential parent needed state assistance. Does the state have a right to recover its debts before other lenders?

Posted by six shooter | December 3, 2007 5:53 PM
18

@15, you do realize that we are mere biological animals, with instinct to propagate our genome?

"We" are no more "selfish" than the mushrooms or slugs in my backyard breeding away in spite of universal entropy...

Posted by Peter | December 3, 2007 5:54 PM
19

i hate chidren. i don't think they are cute. i hate when they kick the back of my seat on the plane, when they are dribbling down my back at a restaurant, when they are screaming in pubic...all while mom and dad act oblivious.
i agree with jackson pollock- please stop putting your ugly demon spawn out in the world.

Posted by use birth control | December 3, 2007 5:56 PM
20

@19 -- Ah, the first ticking sounds of the biological clock are always the loudest.

Posted by six shooter | December 3, 2007 6:01 PM
21

@18 What makes humanity different from all other living creatures is that we are intelligent enough to realize we're overpopulating this planet... some just choose to ignore the glaring evidence, because the Spagetti Monster in the sky told them to procreate until the earth dries up and destroys us all.

With the amount of overpopulation and overcrowded foster care systems, the very idea of artificial insemination is appalling.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | December 3, 2007 6:02 PM
22

Oh those silly girls. Oh those silly men.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | December 3, 2007 6:07 PM
23

I have a biological clock. I tell it to STFU. Sure, a tiny version of myself might be interesting. But we know this planet is fucked beyond belief, so why bother bringing children into a world that will be a living nightmare for them?
Comparing us to mushrooms and slugs in our drive to reproduce is a flawed argument. Human beings can make logical decisions, but the breeders in our society choose to ignore the problems of the world in favor of a selfish desire to see what the fruit of their loins will look like.

Posted by dirty girl | December 3, 2007 6:13 PM
24

@14: Regarding whether it's always foolish -- trusting anyone about anything is foolish. Marrying is foolish. But we couldn't live our lives without choosing people to trust.

In my own case, I entered into a known-donor arrangement with someone I've known for 25 years. Our families know each other, and everyone in both families supported our agreement. For either of us to break the agreement would involve not only betraying the other person, but betraying both families. Compelling enough? Maybe not for you, but it was for me.

Posted by Margaret L. | December 3, 2007 6:23 PM
25

@21 & @23, I have two kids and I think the world is better off with them in it.

I don't believe in Gods or pixies or Spaghetti Monsters; we had kids because we love each other and wanted to raise and love a family. Life is more fun with kids and I daresay more meaningful.

Obviously, your experience may vary, and I concede that I must not be as intelligent as you so I can't fully appreciate how destructive I'm being by following my biological imperative and going against the grain of doom and gloom.

BTW, the slug/mushroom thing was a facetious joke. I just think it's funny that the blissfully ignorant critters in my backyard don't have to answer to those with lofty ideas of eugenics and resource management.

Posted by Peter | December 3, 2007 6:23 PM
26

@25:
Yes, life with kids sounds like a thrilling venture: PG movies and dinners at Denny's. And two human beings who will produce five times more garbage than the average citizen of India.

Posted by dirty girl | December 3, 2007 6:33 PM
27

@10: I know number 6's story sounds weird, but it's not fictional ... the male in question is Boris Becker, a German tennis player, and that's how his daughter Anna was conceived (or at least all parties concerned claim so).

Posted by Caya | December 3, 2007 6:37 PM
28

I don't think you're being destructive by having kids, @25, at least if you're not having too many. The childfree folks see your kid as nothing more than a voracious consumer of resources; they don't appreciate that he/she will also likely be a producer of resources as well. Someone will have to finance @26's Social Security and change her Depends when she becomes older and even more bitter.

Posted by tsm | December 3, 2007 6:42 PM
29

@28- everybody gets put in a nursing home. the only difference between the childless and the parents is who chooses it. also, why does the choice to be childless make one bitter? everybody has their own choice of hobbies.

Posted by why are you guys arguing? | December 3, 2007 6:56 PM
30

I think these court decisions are wrong; as would most people I suspect. If children need two parents to support them, then the two women who had them are the proper two parents to be supportin them, not the poor sperm donors.

I second the always get the contract in writing folks though. Whether it's a baby or a building, get it in writing. Verbal contracts can be misremembered or misinterpreted.

And I think kids are good. If you don't want any, don't have any. If you're concerned about using up resources, adopt a third world lifestyle yourself. Global warming is happening, we'll adapt or die, no different than at any other point in evolution. Species have always had to adapt or die. Bile is... unpersuasive.

Posted by SpookyCat | December 3, 2007 7:03 PM
31

thank you spookycat. well said.

Posted by ellarosa | December 3, 2007 7:21 PM
32

@25, I'm glad you had kids. Sounds like you're giving them a loving environment which is what every child needs and deserves.

@26, I'm glad you don't have kids because they shouldn't be raised by families who don't want them.

I'm glad each of you made the decision that's right for you.

As far as the point in @24, I think the decision to father (or mother) a child is unique. You circumstance, I assume, is a decision between adults responsible for themselves and able to make decisions for themselves.

Children are born into circumstances they didn't ask for and society has a responsibility to protect and care for those who cannot care for themselves. In a family court, it's the best interests of the children that come first, and rightfully so.

Any one who agrees to father a child in this type of circumstance is setting themselves up for a liability, like it or not. Entering into the arrangement with any other expectation is foolish.

Posted by PA Native | December 3, 2007 7:27 PM
33

@21 I'm sorry but humankind's intelligence does not exempt us from the forces of evolution. Every living being plays a part in evolution. This is true even if you use birth control or are sterile. It is true even if you choose to be celibate.

@29 tsm didn't say that the choice to be childless makes one bitter, he implied that dirty girl is bitter and would become more so, and I think if you read her comments you might agree with him, as I do. Besides which, if informed and compassionate people stop having kids we just end up with an Idiocracy.

Not all of us believe that doomsday is right around the corner. We already have the capability to save humanity and the planet; we just haven't, as a whole, made the decision to take that path yet.

Posted by booji boy | December 3, 2007 8:55 PM
34

What have we learned? Lesbians will fuck you. Boy, will they ever.

Posted by Greg | December 3, 2007 9:08 PM
35

Those contracts that some posters are urging people to sign in these circumstances are very likely unenforceable. The reason is that as at least one poster noted, child support is for the benefit of the child, not the custodial parent. The custodial parent does not have the right to sign away the rights of the child.

This is why informal agreements like this are a living nightmare and should never happen. A lesbian couple who are friends of my wife were considering an informal arrangement with a gay male friend of theirs. To the extent I could pass along advice through my wife (these were work friends of hers, I knew them slightly but never really saw them) I urged them in the strongest terms possible to go through an agency. Luckily that is what they chose to do (not necessarily as a result of my advice, although I was the only lawyer giving input at that stage).

They have a seven year old daughter now. While they are still together, they also don't have some guy out there potentially on the hook for child support.

It is also important to realize that the guy could be on the hook whether or not the original couple is still together. It is his kid and the courts don't give a rat's ass about what kind of agreement the parents may have made as the kid was being conceived.

If you want to do a known donor, the responsible way to do it is to go to a sperm bank that will agree to use a known donor. The only reason this works is that special laws were passed to prevent child support from attaching to men who donate to sperm banks. In the absence of these laws sperm donors would be treated exactly the same as every other biological dad. They would be on the hook.

Not all sperm banks will work with known donors. Additionally, if I were a man considering being a known donor I would carefully research the laws of my state to ensure I would be protected.

There is a mini-trend of gay guys agreeing to be known donors for lesbian couples. Many, probably the vast majority, of these agreements are informal. These guys need to understand that whatever the women have told them, they are on the hook for child support. They are giving these women tremendous power over their lives.

While I am sure number 24's case has indeed turned out nicely for her, I have heard of many cases where it did not turn out so nicely. In all the cases where it did not turn out nicely, the bad part fell on the men. Even in 24's case, it is only her good nature and maturity that protects her donor. Should she decide tomorrow to screw with him, it is entirely within her power and solely her prerogative. Should she and her partner die in a car crash tomorrow, it will be solely the prerogative of the state or whoever gains custody. Guess what the state will chose to do?

Posted by Jim | December 3, 2007 10:23 PM
36

You know, everyone who hates children and rails against people having children and how it's cruel to bring them into a fucked up world: YOUR parents brought you into a fucked up world, and you were a fucking obnoxious little brat and continue to be. If you think the world is SO BAD that no one else should have to live in it, and if you're SO AGAINST more people consuming more resources, why don't you just off yourselves?

And yeah, you didn't choose to be born, and now you're here you deserve to live, and blah blah blah. Whatever. Reproduction is just as much an instinct as continuing to live. You don't have to do either.

And I find you way more obnoxious than any children I have ever met because you at least you should know better than to act like spoiled, selfish brats.

Posted by exelizabeth | December 3, 2007 10:28 PM
37

Oh, to get Dan's attention a little more, there is a bit of a gay marriage twist to this situation.

I mentioned that a guy would be on the hook for donating sperm even though the lesbian couple to whom he donated were still together. One reason for this is that the mother is legally unmarried.

There is a presumption that any child that is born to a wife is the child of the husband. This presumption is not rebuttable. It first started during the crusades to protect the children born while the knights were off acting like Republicans. So:

1) weren't in the country when the child was conceived?
2) although your wife is fertile, you are infertile?
3) DNA test shows you couldn't possibly be the father?

Congratulations daddy!

This is all an outgrowth of the fact that we look to the best interests of the child, not the parents. It is in the child's best interests to be presumed to be the issue of the marriage. (a lot of this stems from when we were more concerned about bastardy than we are now)

The question becomes, if she is legally married to another women, would the other women then be presumed to be the father? It is a possible conclusion the courts could come to. I submit that not only is it possible, it is probably the most in keeping with the rest of the history of how we deal with this issue.

Two notes: First, the availability of DNA testing, and our diminished concern about bastardy, may be somewhat chipping away at this well established legal structure. Second, all of this means that if you want to knock up some chick that is married to another guy, go to it. He will be the dad, not you. (subject to the possible whittling away of this legal structure I just mentioned).

Posted by Jim | December 3, 2007 10:45 PM
38

I feel the same way about children as I do about dogs: The best ones are the ones that others discard.

In other words, Adopt. I have no need to see my gene pool perpetuated.

Or, to be sappy about it: So many dogs (and children) are hungry for love and attention, and they're not getting it. It's not their fault they're here, and they have a lot to offer. Why not give them a warm place to lay their head?

Posted by catalina vel-duray | December 3, 2007 11:18 PM
39

Fuck all you anti-human shit heads.

Parents are sacrifice quite a bit to be able to raise decent, well adjusted, and intelligent children with the hope that they can better the human race. What have YOU done? Gone to another show at the Tractor? Bought a new IPhone? Downloaded a million songs on your IPOD? Smoked a lot of grass? Blogged about how your boss stinks up the shitter during lunch?

You are bores.

Oh, and if over population is your concern, then kill all sub-saharan africans like Chuck, then go to India and China and force abortion, sterilization, and mass executions. That is where the population is exploding.

Oh and don't forget to ban anti-biotics, pesticides, and fertilizers. The more people don't starve to death, the more infants die of preventable diease, then the quicker me move towards your paradise.

Posted by ecce homo | December 4, 2007 1:46 AM
40

Oh Ecce, dear. Really, your anger issues concern me. Look where it's gotten you: a motel room in Auburn and a mini fridge full of Rainier. Staying up to all hours and harassing slog and that Catholic website. Barred from the Public Library.

You may think you're only hurting yourself, but think again: That poor girl at the Cum 'n Go had to quit because she was scared of you after that little tantrum you threw about the drumsticks.

Speaking of drumsticks, you're falling apart. My God, man, half of that room you're living in is mirrors, can't you see the mess you have become? Run a comb through your hair, change your T-Shirt, brush your teeth, and you might feel better.

When you wake up today, I want you to go straight to WorkSource (if they're still open - they close at 5pm) and see if they can't get you some sort of work - anything will do. You need a structured environment, and controlled human interaction. You've got to end this cycle of self-medication with "Vitamin R"

Lastly, I hope you're using those condoms and lube I sent you. You may not care about yourself, but we do. Besides, most of your "boyfriends" are married men, after all. Think of their wives.

Don't make me come down there and read you the "footprints" poem again. You know how it makes you blubber.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | December 4, 2007 6:44 AM
41

Catalina, that was a masterpiece.

Posted by Jim | December 4, 2007 7:02 AM
42

@36 I find parents who rail against people who hate kids way more obnoxious than those they rail against, because they at least should know better than to be so defensive about their life choices.

Except when it's Ecce Homo. Then it's just wicked entertaining.

Posted by Long live the anti-humanist shitheads | December 4, 2007 8:30 AM
43

These Lesbians should have gone for a co-parenting agreement with a gay couple. That way they would have had men who'd actually have wanted these kids. That's the route I plan on going.

Posted by Gino Lola Brigida | December 4, 2007 8:53 AM
44

I agree with whole overpopulation, better-to-adopt thing, but adoption is difficult and expensive. Usually more so than fertility treatments, which is why it's more popular than adoption.

Posted by yucca flower | December 4, 2007 8:56 AM
45

My favorite thing about all the people who hate kids is that, when the time comes, they'll be more than happy to be taken care of and economically supported by the people they're currently wishing had never been born. It's too bad y'all aren't on some kind of registry so that, rather than paying your social security and taking care of your old asses in nursing homes and subsidized housing, future generations will know to just put you on an iceberg and push you the fuck out to sea.

Posted by Judah | December 4, 2007 9:07 AM
46

Lebanese and Homosapians are ruining this country! It's a transvestite of justice I tell you!

Posted by Madge-YoursoakingINIT! | December 4, 2007 9:08 AM
47

@38 As usual, Catalina nails it.

(As well as a masterful smack on our beloved Ecce).

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | December 4, 2007 9:19 AM
48

Ha Ha Ha
Lesbian "process".

Posted by snark | December 4, 2007 9:36 AM
49

Obviously the decision of whether to have children is a personal one and, ideally, no one should have children who doesn't want them. But honestly! "I don't want to have kids because the world is an ugly place now"? The world was ALWAYS an ugly place and will ALWAYS be an ugly place and that's just the sad reality. Somehow everyone here has managed to live marginally satisfactory lives without being crushed by the terrible ugliness of life. Children provide us with a future and a hope. If only the bare hope that when we're all old, ugly, grey, and incontinent someone will change our diapers, change our sheets, and clean our bed sores.

And as for the people who complain about children eating up our precious resources - a small child eats less than the average adult, does not own or use their own car, takes up less space, and generally is a much smaller drain on any precious resources than the average loud and whiney adult. If you feel so strongly about the earth and don't really care about the preservation of the human race, kill yourself and reduce the surplus population - especially as the average adult's value is going to decrease over time - you will produce less and consume more the farther you get past child-bearing age.

Posted by Margot | December 4, 2007 9:44 AM
50

Margot -- I don't endorse the "don't have kids because they consume resources" theory, but, your argument about kids using less resources is flawed, since, well, most kids eventually turn into adults.

I'm on catalina's side here regarding adoption (both for dogs and for kids). Though, I strongly suspect that when it's time for me to have kids, I will want to experience pregnancy and childbirth at least once, 100% for purely egotistical, self-centered reasons (I want to know what it's like...). Then, if we want more, adoption...

Posted by Julie | December 4, 2007 10:00 AM
51

I definitely support adoption (for pets and children). I myself don't have an intense drive to experience pregnancy or have my own kids (yet - maybe it's my youth) so adoption is a very attractive option for me.

Kids will become adults (hopefully), but speaking of children as consumers of vast resources when one IS a vast-resource-consuming adult seems fairly hypocritical to me.

Posted by Margot | December 4, 2007 10:06 AM
52

@50 - the salient point is that when kids turn into adults, they also begin to produce resources, not just consume them. Most of the time, we don't just steal the things we use; we perform work to trade for them.

Now, you might argue that people are consuming particular resources faster than they should be, and adding more people increases that. But this is really a matter of having the price of said resources (e.g. gasoline) reflect its "true" cost. It's an argument for a carbon tax, not less breeding.

Posted by tsm | December 4, 2007 10:43 AM
53

Doesn't apply in Washington. Sperm donors are not parents under WA law.

Posted by nope | December 4, 2007 11:09 AM
54

Add me to the pool that hates children. And because I hate children and loathe your decision to breed, I should kill myself? It's amazing how breeders try to wrap their heads around the concept that not everybody shares their favorite hobby.
Keep doing what you're doing. I'm not having children, so I really don't care about what happens to the Earth.

Posted by Thrash | December 4, 2007 11:14 AM
55

I think people were responding to the non-breeders MOTIVES for not having children which weren't all, "I hate kids."

Rather they cited vanishing resources, overpopulation, and the horribleness of life as reason not to bring children into the world. I pointed out that moaning that "It would be better never to have been born than live in this world," and complaining about how overpopulation is ruining the earth and THEN continueing to live on in this world seems a tad hypocritical and illogical.

Posted by Margot | December 4, 2007 11:35 AM
56

judah - you forget that just because one person doesn't have kids, it doesn't mean they aren't willing to pay to have someone else's kids take care of them in a nursing home.

Posted by infrequent | December 4, 2007 11:52 AM
57

@56 - exactly, Judah. Particularly since kids are expensive. Just save all that money you would have spent on diapers and Baby Einstein and put it in the nursing home fund.

Oh, and tsm @52, in fact, I'm sure those people saying "don't have kids because of overpopulation" would argue that people are consuming resources faster than they should be. Because that's what's happening, at least in the developed world. You could argue that if policies like a carbon tax were put in place, this wouldn't be the case, but, as my grandmother used to say -- if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a wonderful Christmas.

Posted by Julie | December 4, 2007 12:19 PM
58

Oops, meant infrequent @56.

Posted by Julie | December 4, 2007 12:21 PM
59

Hmm... one of the problems with telling people to just adopt instead, is that in many places a gay couple cannot legally adopt a child.
Sad, especially with the number of children in foster care.

Posted by Cinders | December 4, 2007 12:28 PM
60

Additionally, surely we see that, unless our hypothetical nursing homes are entirely operated by senior citizens, not only will you have to save money for your nursing home but you had also better PRAY that someone is having children who will grow up to be the nurses, orderlies, doctors, and cooks at these nursing homes. Someone will have to hoist your old body into bed and mash up your food so you can easily eat it with your toothless mouth.

Posted by Margot | December 4, 2007 1:17 PM
61

#6 is not made up (the issue of a woman keeping sperm ejaculated into her mouth and using it to inseminate herself). We covered this case in a medical ethics class. You can read the law details here: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/colb/20050309.html

Posted by Texas Girl | December 4, 2007 1:38 PM
62

@60 You're absolutely correct.

And it's not actually the developing world that's overpopulating. We're overCONSUMING, but not overpopulating. In fact, our population growth has hit a huge plateau and even plummet sinca bout the 1800's in the United States.
Take a look at Japan, one of the most advanced non-Western modern societies in the world... they're suffering such a huge "greying" of their population that the Baby Boomers have no one to take care of them. They have to hire out to foreign countries. We as a race may be overpopulated, but you should blame science more than the birth rate... science is keeping people alive to the point of clinging, and well past the normal age humans should be dying. With our birth rate falling but our elderly increasing, we're throwing off a balance that's been in the works for as long as humankind has been around.

Posted by Marty | December 4, 2007 1:46 PM
63

@52,

A carbon tax takes care of overproduction of greenhouse gases, it doesn't prevent the overconsumption of food, water, or raw materials. The world's population will eventually plateau, at about nine billion. With the resources we have, the overwhelming majority of the nine billion will have to live in extreme poverty. Or those of us in the First World can just move into cinderblock shacks with tin roofs.

This makes the "you're gonna need children for Social Security and end-of-life care" argument pretty ridiculous. The world's population will stabilize or preferably decline. Eventually Social Security programs are going to have to be restructured or dismantled and old people are going to have to go without necessary care. There's pretty much no way around it unless the future looks like Logan's Run.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 4, 2007 3:48 PM
64

Even if all of our doomsday scenarios play out (And that's an IF - I'm not an ostrich but some of the talk sounds very Malthusian to me), I doubt ALL old people are going to want or need to go without necessary care. The wealthy have always provided for themselves and, unless we build robots to do it, they will need the young/as-yet-unborn for that.

Posted by Margot | December 4, 2007 6:00 PM
65

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