An interview about co-parenting and sperm donation
Jennifer has a donor baby herself and has a successful blog dedicated to this topic.
In appreciation for the work she has done to shape the co-parenting community, I have agreed, for the first time, to have my identity disclosed in the media. Hope it was a good decision,.
Gesa Steeger und Juliane Piper
This article appeared on the front page of the TAZ magazine
While I quite liked talking to Gesa, there are a few things in the article that are not true.
Some of these can be proven, some not.
In my interview, I protested against American legislation that excludes international students without off campus work permit from being sperm donors there and she printed that I have donated in America. I have passed the medical, but was refused because of my immigration status. I was an international student at the time, and not permitted to donate sperm in clinics.
I have never donated in an American clinic.
My research was also downgraded. I have made an original contribution to the 2017 Nobel Prize -- worked on the main laser of LIGO. The work is summarized in a few papers, one of which jointly authored with Kip Thorne who won the Nobel Prize for LIGO. The article mentions that I worked on this as a student, which is true, but I have also worked on LIGO as a postdoc and professor. Also, many TAZ readers may not understand "student" as "PhD student".
Also together with Kip, I have authored a course on gravitational waves that played an important role in educating the LIGO community. Kip was the main lecturer, but the course was published in this format at my initiative. This is mentioned in the foreword. We have ranked #1 in the world among courses on gravitational waves since publication.
My children also have published 6 books, two of which I gave her. She only mentioned one. Three of the books are jointly authored with me and three independently.
While I choose not to disclose the number of children I have fathered, I also didn't like being called a "Massenspender".
The word has a negative connotation and is often used to discriminate against private donors.
True, I have more children than most ordinary men, but in clinics, there are very many donors with more children than me. These clinic donors are not called "Massenspender". By definition, a donor has many children.
Clinics usually keep the number of children they create per donor confidential. On some occasions, this information becomes public. Here is a recent example from a prominent European sperm bank where they created 100 children from a donor with a dominant genetic defect -- neurofibromatosis. As this is a dominant defect, he would have been manifestly ill and half of his children are also ill. As soon as the illness was diagnosed, the bank would stop distributing the sperm, as no one wants such a mess. Also, sick men have less sperm and of lower quality. Thus, they'd be able to donate less.
If a sick man can make 100 children, you naturally wonder what a healthy man can do. And, yet, these aren't called "Massenspender" and legislation is slow to limit the number of children from one donor. This would open sperm donation to more men, which, again, I think, is good.