A sperm donor readily gave his semen to lesbian women so they could have children. However, the man failed to alert the would-be families to an inheritable condition he suffered from. Although he should have told the women about the condition he suffers from, he did not, and fifteen children were fathered using his sperm sample – now, thirty-seven-year-old James MacDougall is spending time in court for his alleged offense.
MacDougall sought out sperm recipients via social media but failed to tell them that he had Fragile X syndrome. The condition, which can be inherited, often leads to lower intelligence and developmental delay. It can also not be cured, making it much more of a problem for the women who accepted his sperm donation.
The truth about his condition became known during a court battle in which MacDougall sought to gain access to four of the children he fathered through his sperm donations. He originally signed an agreement detailing how he did not want contact with his offspring. He turned his back on his word and has since sought visitation rights to some of the children he fathered.
Judge Justice Lieven from Deby, UK, ruled in favor of the mothers and decided that MacDougall should not have any parental rights over the children, as that would be damaging for the little ones. The judge also ordered that MacDougall no longer be allowed to be used as a sperm donor for other women.
The children that MacDougall fathered are currently between three years and a few months old. He advertised his sperm donation services on social media, so lesbian women could give birth to a child of their own.
He would have been paid for his services, but the mothers are currently suing him in court.
While MacDougall should have told the women about his condition before they chose to conceive using his sperm, it is ultimately up to the mothers whether or not they want him to be a part of their children’s lives. It is unfair to put the children in the middle of this legal battle, as they did not ask to be born.
The mothers should be able to make the decision about whether or not MacDougall is a part of their children’s lives, and the judge made the right decision in ruling that he does not have any parental rights over them. It is hoped that this case will set a precedent for future cases involving sperm donors and their rights.
MacDougall isn’t the only one who has lied about his genetic makeup and fathered children as a result. In 2016, it was revealed that a man who had been posing as a sperm donor for many years was actually the biological father of at least 17 children.
The man, known as ‘Robert,’ had been using his own sperm to inseminate women without their knowledge or consent. He would approach women who were seeking artificial insemination and offer to help them conceive without telling them that he would be using his own sperm. Robert fathered at least 17 children before he was finally caught and arrested. He is now serving a jail sentence for his crimes.
What do you think about this case? Should sperm donors be required to disclose any medical conditions they have that could be passed on to their offspring? Let us know in the comments below.