…you are now entering the “How were we supposed to know?” phase of history.
These two gems made me laugh:
“The very first thing that went through my mind was that no good deed goes unpunished.”
“To me, ethics need to override rules,” he said.
Huh? Mark, that response might be too brief. There were no demands for approval in that story, nor narcissism. There’s hardly even any news content in that story. If it weren’t for the prurient interest involved, it would just be “Kansas passes stupid law; People bypassing the law to save a buck get caught”.
I would also point out that this story seems to be more about reproductive technologies that fall outside if Church Teaching than it does about gay marriage. That said, it ought to be conceded that same-sex couples will form a large part of the market for this sort of thing.
Who wakes up and thinks — “yeah, I think maybe I’ll work on the race car until lunch, and then deliver some semen to a couple-a lesbians for free.”
Poetic justice for all involved, except the child. of course.
I think the judge deserves a medal. Maybe these generous sperm donors will think twice before enabling idiocy.
This is about artificial conception, not same-sex marriage. The same subrogation of child support payments happens with straight couples as well. It can happen even without legitimation (parental rights for the father). This story may involve lesbians, but it certainly isn’t about them.
As Jamie R. and others have said, this case has has zero to with gay marriage. It has to do with a couple (who coincidentally are lesbians) using a sperm donor through a non-state-approved method, and now the state seeking to use that loophole to unfairly assign financial responsibility to the donor. Since they’re in Kansas, the gay couple in question are not married. Heck, they’re not even “married.” Of course, it’s fair to question the common sense of anyone who would find a sperm donor on Craigslist, and anyone who would answer an ad for a sperm donor on Craigslist but this, again, has nothing to do with marriage rights or homosexuality.
It’s not really a loophole. Child support claims are routinely assigned to the state when illegitimate children go on the dole. Paternity for child support purposes is completely independent of paternity for parental rights purposes.
The state is willing to acknowledge that some people use sperm donors to conceive children, and therefore won’t pursue “deadbeat dad” claims against the donors. (Even those who oppose artificial insemination on moral grounds do not think of sperm donors as deadbeat dads.) That’s exactly what happened in this case. The only difference is they pursued the donor privately. The state now seeks to exploit that irrelevant difference to pursue the donor for money. Hence the loophole. The child is perfectly legitimate, as are all children.
I saw a story on a show like 20/20 a couple of months ago. Apparently, DIY artificial insemination has become quite popular with heterosexual couples who are infertile due to an issue with the guy.
I agree that the issues involved in this story arose before g*y marriage became a cause celebre, but trying to pretend that g*y marriage has no effect on this issue is still mistaken. Although the laws regarding child support and custody rights have already been altered to some degree to accommodate infertile mixed-s*x couples, these changes, though confusing and damaging, were less all-encompassing and thus less significant than the new laws that will be created for g*y parents will probably be.
In order to accommodate gay couples in such matters, all sorts of changes in the law and social mores will be introduced that will, in effect, further distance heteros*xual men from their s*xual partners and the children they conceive with them.
Watch, now, as it becomes socially impossible, perhaps even illegal in some jurisdictions, to say things like “children need parents of both s*xes,” “boys and girls need fathers,” or “men ought to feel responsible for the children they father,” because such statements might hint that same-s*x parenting is less than ideal, or that women cannot manage children on their own. And once you’ve made such concessions, it is not hard to imagine that the average young man will begin to wonder why on earth he ought to be involved in the child-rearing and supporting business at all – to the great detriment of the social order in general.
None of my predictions are far-fetched or long-range: they are happening here and now. Has no one noticed that out-of-wedlock childbearing is at an all-time high, not among teenagers but adult women? That fewer men express an interest in marriage and children at all? Mysteriously, some people use these facts as an argument *for* same-s*x marriage on the assumption that straight people are so bad at it that g*y parents might set us a good example, not realising that in doing so they will help to make a bad situation worse, as people of any sexual orientation come to find it harder to explain the purpose of mixed-s*x marriage and child-rearing without offending someone.
How does this “further distance heteros*xual men from their s*xual partners and the children they conceive with them”? The law is doing the exact opposite of that here. The law is making the father of the kid be responsible for the kid. The law is forcefully disregarding the intent of the parties that the father not be involved in or responsible for the child’s life.
Most kids would not get born under this logical framework. If “fathers” (if we want to apply that term to sperm donors) know that the state will “forcefully disregard the intent of the parties,” then no one will do it and thousands of children will never be born. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
“forcefully disregard the intent of the parties,” then no one will do it and thousands of children will never be born. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
That depends on who you ask. There are some people that think gays should not be raising children so they might think it’s better for the child not to be born. I can’t imagine that because it goes against one of the principles of pro-life that all children are blessings.
The state got involved in this issue because the same sex couple applied for state assistance. Otherwise, the state wouldn’t have gotten involved.
“Mysteriously, some people use these facts as an argument *for* same-s*x marriage on the assumption that straight people are so bad at it that g*y parents might set us a good example”
I’m guilty of using this argument as I’ve seen children in same-sex families that are thriving adults now. They are starting their own families.
I’m not sure what the point of using “*” is – I don’t think the words gay or sex are bad words.
That’s just dumb. Nothing about being pro-life requires wanting as many children as possible to be conceived. In fact, right this minute, I’m not impregnating anyone. That doesn’t make me not pro-life. It doesn’t follow from “every child is a blessing” that there’s some sort of duty to produce as many of them as possible by any means available.
Being pro-life doesn’t even require thinking every child is a blessing. It only requires thinking that you shouldn’t culpably kill a child that isn’t born yet, because it’s a human life and therefore deserves protection.
Sorry, I didn’t mean there is any sort of duty to produce as many children as possible.
For me, being pro-life doesn’t stop at not killing a human being in the womb.
For me, being pro-life stops well before thinking artificial insemination and sperm donation is a good thing.
Yeah, I totally agree. Conceiving a child in sin is never a good thing. It’s not wishing that there are less children, it is hoping for virtue among “procreators.”
Jamie R., I beg your pardon if I was not clear in the way I set out my comment. The court is upholding the standard biological definition of parenthood in this case, but only because of an unforeseen technicality that has clearly taken this man and the two women by surprise. If the women had known of it, they might well have decided to go through a sperm-bank to obtain donor sperm with no strings attached, and the case would never have come before the courts.
See, the reason for having formal arrangements for the donation of sperm – i.e. sperm banks – is precisely so that problems of this kind do not occur. However clear the terms that a man and woman may think they have worked out with regard to donor sperm, the chances are excellent that as more people engage in this kind of transaction, more and more misunderstandings will arise. If people like the three in this story insist on changing the rules to accommodate themselves, they will contribute to an exponential rise in the chaos that already threatens marital and child-rearing arrangements in the western world. And yes, the response to that will be that many people stop having children at all, as “Bob” says – though not for the reason that he suggests.
And, Bob? The reason that a “sperm donor” is called a “father” is that he IS one, whether he likes or chooses the role or not. There’s a child running around with his genes, his looks, perhaps even his views or personality or character or intelligence – he is its father, no question. That fatherhood ought to involve more than this is not in question; that this is an important element of fatherhood should also not be in question. At times the two may be severed by some tragedy or folly on the part of the child’s parents, of course. But to dismiss biological paternity as unimportant, as you do when you say “if we want to apply that term [fathers] to sperm donors” is absurd. In a way, it confirms the truth of my view, that the wish to give every possible benefit to gay parents (and infertile mixed-sex ones) is distorting the law and may have drastic social consequences.
Yes, Captain Obvious, I am aware that biology dictates that a sperm donor is biologically a father. If he did nothing except donate sperm, then he is a father in no other sense but biologically. And yes, biology is a important element of fatherhood in that it is necessary for procreation. That is not in question. What’s in question is why else it is an important element of fatherhood. You cite “his genes, his looks perhaps even his views or character or his intelligence.” Lets have a look at that list. First, a person’s “views” and “character” are not genetic traits. If you’re adopted, you don’t get your character from the parents who gave you up, you get it from the folks who raised you, plus other factors. Not you genetic code. Ditto with your views on politics, baseball and Catholic social teaching. There is no views gene. I think we can agree that looks are beside the point. That leaves looks, which I think we can agree are irrelevant, and “genes,” which is where we started. People vastly overrate the moirtance of genetics. They may govern things like physical characteristics, aptitudes, susceptibility to certain illnesses, and possibly, to sme extent, personality tendencies. They don’t determine the kind if person you’ll be. And I’m sorry, but a sperm donor is just that: a sperm donor. He is a father in that he enabled the procreation (and that’s important!). If he does not go on to have a relationship with the child, then he is not a father in any other meaningful sense of the word. He’s just not.
You do also cite intelligence. There is a genetic trait to intelligence though it is not well understood. Regardless, intelligence is in the category of looks: interesting but hardly determinitive of very much and certainly unrelated to a person’s value.
It is not clear from the separated-twin studies that I’ve read that views and character are not genetic traits, alas. I would very much prefer it to be otherwise, but the news stories I’ve seen online suggest that traits like industriousness can be inherited, and that perhaps a tendency to conservative or liberal views may also be hereditable. I have seen doubts raised about the value of twin studies recently, so I don’t know if that whole approach to such research is about to be overhauled or discarded.
WRT the rest of my comment, you missed my point entirely. What I was saying is that the elements of biological parenthood are so powerful that it is a mistake to encourage society to separate biological from legal, social, and emotional parenthood. Yet when society insists that biological parenthood is of limited, importance, and further proclaims that it doesn’t matter how few parents a child has, or what sex they are, as long as the child is loved, it plays into what is, I believe, a natural tendency in men: to regard biological fatherhood as so unimportant that it may be ignored with no consequences to women, children, or society. SINCE MOST CHILDREN WILL STILL COME INTO THE WORLD THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY, the support given to these attitudes by schools, the law, and social custom, will be disastrous. (Sorry for shouting, but I feel you keep avoiding my central point, and arguing about peripherals.)
It’s not just gay marriage that is having this effect on society, of course. It’s years of proselytizing by women’s groups that single motherhood is an excellent thing, even desirable (except when it isn’t!), and by fertility rights groups that demanded social and legal acceptance of surrogate parenthood. If these new customs were not likely to have such a truly overwhelming social impact, I wouldn’t bother arguing against them. They would be just one more area in which Catholic and secular views have part ways since the twentieth century began. This issue goes deeper than most of those others. It strikes at the social fabric (marital customs or norms) not merely social behaviour.
“I’m not sure what the point of using “*” is – I don’t think the words gay or sex are bad words.”
I’m not a fan of using asterisks for such words either, but Mark’s spam protector has steadfastly refused to let me publish comments with those words in them. I’ll see if it’s allowed this time – it may be that you’re permitted a few free passes before the spam-ejector kicks in. Meanwhile, please don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions about the views of people who write here on such slight evidence, Sue – you don’t sound like a regular though I may be wrong, as I don’t visit as often as I once did.