Interesting article in the NY Times today about how buying sperm over the Internet is not much different from buying shoes. Single Mothers by Choice hosts 11 Listservs, each addressing a different aspect of single motherhood. Women around the world pore over these lists, exchanging tips and information, selling one another leftover vials of sperm.
How do the children born of these lists fare? A continuing study of a group of children in England, who were conceived by single women using donor sperm concludes that so far they are healthy and well adjusted. But the long-term questions of how these children will fare or about the different experiences of girls and boys have yet to be answered.
In a related story on CBS' 60 Minutes, an estimated 30,000 children per year are born in this country to mothers who have been artificially inseminated with sperm from an anonymous donor. Most of these children grow up never knowing their biological father — but now, with the help of sperm bank records and the Internet, some of them are finding half-brothers and half-sisters they never knew they had, who were sired by the same anonymous donor, forging family ties they never knew existed and re-defining the family relationships.