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Man Not Included - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jun. 27th, 2003

11:02 pm - Man Not Included

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<http://www.thisislondon.com/til/jsp/modules/article/print.jsp?itemid=5515760>


This is
LONDON
27/06/03 - News and city section

Couple to have first 'Internet baby'
By Elaine Galloway, Evening Standard

Britain's first known DIY internet baby will be born next month, it was revealed today. A married couple from the South-East conceived the child using sperm bought from a website.

After paying a fee to browse the site, they were able to check criteria such as race, eye colour, height and weight of prospective donors, as well as details about their background, educational history and artistic ability.

They were then sent a home ovulation kit. When the woman, who is in her twenties, was at her most fertile, the website was alerted. A sample was collected from the donor and rushed to their home by courier. The couple were then left to carry out the procedure themselves.



News of the impending birth is sure to cause controversy. Supporters say the site provides a vital service for women who need a sperm donor to conceive but don't wish to use a conventional clinic. Some clinics will not treat women who are single, above a certain age or in a lesbian relationship.

But critics say selling sperm for commercial gain is unacceptable as is denying the child the right to know its father.

The Standard can reveal that 16 women are currently carrying babies conceived with sperm bought on the site Man Not Included, which was launched 12 months ago. The birth will be the first and the couple have asked not to be identified.

But another couple who are also expecting a child after using the site have gone public.

Jamie, 26, from Liverpool, turned to the service after deciding she wanted children with her partner of four years, Sarah, and getting no help from her GP.

She said: "We had been thinking about having children for about two years, but I was starting to think it would never happen."

The couple registered immediately they discovered the website.

Jamie said: "It was fantastic. Everyone was really helpful and we found the whole process simple. Everything happened when they said it would and doing everything at home meant it was private and comfortable."

Jamie conceived on her first attempt and is expecting a child in January. She said: "It is amazing. I jumped around the house when I found out and Sarah just sat in shock.

"We know that some people will be against what we've done and they are entitled to their opinions. As long as our child is loved and does not want for anything, I can't see how it is wrong."

Sarah, 31, said: "We're so pleased we didn't have to go through a lot of trauma. We always knew we wanted to be a family and this means the world to us."

Jamie added: "We've got the support of both of our families and there will be plenty of men in its life so the baby will not be deprived of a male role model."

Man Not Included was launched in July 2002 and was initially intended for lesbians and single women, who are often excluded from fertility treatment.

Founder John Gonzales, a 40-year-old former City headhunter, said that more than 5,000 women have registered on the site since then and more than 800 men are listed as donors. About 60 women a month decide to go ahead with the service after registering.

The basic service costs £830. For £1,365, sperm from the donor can also be frozen to provide biological siblings in future years.

But Josephine Quintavalle from the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics said: "A child has every right to know its father. Sperm donation has been going on for years but there is something incredibly crass and commercial about this. The rights of the children are being ignored in the interests of selfish adults."

-- ----------------- R. A. Hettinga

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<http://www.thisislondon.com/til/jsp/modules/Article/print.jsp?itemId=5515760>


This is
LONDON
27/06/03 - News and city section

Couple to have first 'Internet baby'
By Elaine Galloway, Evening Standard

Britain's first known DIY internet baby will be born next month, it was revealed today. A married couple from the South-East conceived the child using sperm bought from a website.

After paying a fee to browse the site, they were able to check criteria such as race, eye colour, height and weight of prospective donors, as well as details about their background, educational history and artistic ability.

They were then sent a home ovulation kit. When the woman, who is in her twenties, was at her most fertile, the website was alerted. A sample was collected from the donor and rushed to their home by courier. The couple were then left to carry out the procedure themselves.

<lj-cut>

News of the impending birth is sure to cause controversy. Supporters say the site provides a vital service for women who need a sperm donor to conceive but don't wish to use a conventional clinic. Some clinics will not treat women who are single, above a certain age or in a lesbian relationship.

But critics say selling sperm for commercial gain is unacceptable as is denying the child the right to know its father.

The Standard can reveal that 16 women are currently carrying babies conceived with sperm bought on the site Man Not Included, which was launched 12 months ago. The birth will be the first and the couple have asked not to be identified.

But another couple who are also expecting a child after using the site have gone public.

Jamie, 26, from Liverpool, turned to the service after deciding she wanted children with her partner of four years, Sarah, and getting no help from her GP.

She said: "We had been thinking about having children for about two years, but I was starting to think it would never happen."

The couple registered immediately they discovered the website.

Jamie said: "It was fantastic. Everyone was really helpful and we found the whole process simple. Everything happened when they said it would and doing everything at home meant it was private and comfortable."

Jamie conceived on her first attempt and is expecting a child in January. She said: "It is amazing. I jumped around the house when I found out and Sarah just sat in shock.

"We know that some people will be against what we've done and they are entitled to their opinions. As long as our child is loved and does not want for anything, I can't see how it is wrong."

Sarah, 31, said: "We're so pleased we didn't have to go through a lot of trauma. We always knew we wanted to be a family and this means the world to us."

Jamie added: "We've got the support of both of our families and there will be plenty of men in its life so the baby will not be deprived of a male role model."

Man Not Included was launched in July 2002 and was initially intended for lesbians and single women, who are often excluded from fertility treatment.

Founder John Gonzales, a 40-year-old former City headhunter, said that more than 5,000 women have registered on the site since then and more than 800 men are listed as donors. About 60 women a month decide to go ahead with the service after registering.

The basic service costs £830. For £1,365, sperm from the donor can also be frozen to provide biological siblings in future years.

But Josephine Quintavalle from the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics said: "A child has every right to know its father. Sperm donation has been going on for years but there is something incredibly crass and commercial about this. The rights of the children are being ignored in the interests of selfish adults."

-- ----------------- R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah@ibuc.com> The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/> 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA "... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity, [predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:gentlemaitresse
Date:June 28th, 2003 05:11 am (UTC)
(Link)
Throughout human history there have been children who did not know who their biological fathers were. Even some who thought they did, really didn't. I don't see that we have some "right" to know our biological father. I think that's just silly.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:crasch
Date:June 29th, 2003 07:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, I agree with you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)