I’m having a little trouble wrapping my head around all the details in this story. The headline about the virgin is certainly eye-catching all on it’s own and it’s pretty much exactly as it sounds: there’s a man named Trent Arsenault in California who has donated the sperm that has led to the birth of 16 kids and he continues to donate sperm pretty much daily.
According to the The Sun newspaper (UK):
Trent made his first sperm donation in 2006 when a lesbian couple responded to an advert he placed. A year later his first child was born.
Since then he has gone on to have 16 more — and another three are due to be born in coming months. He says he is currently in touch with more than a hundred families who want his sperm. A lesbian couple recently flew all the way from France to be inseminated.
Arsenault allegedly believes donating sperm to infertile couples is his calling and he has arranged his life to accommodate this. He has created a fitness and nutrition regime to boost sperm count and moved to a climate he feels is more conducive to sperm creation. He avoids pollution and sunlight because he believes both of them to diminish his sperm count, which he claims is four times the national average.
So far, this guy sounds quirky but mostly harmless, like someone who would be featured on one of those “my weird obsession” shows on TV. Some people collect Cabbage Patch Kids, some people grow their toenails to disgusting lengths, this guy donates a lot of sperm. But then the story goes off the rails for me. See, Arsenault, isn’t working with a sperm bank or fertility clinic. He’s doing this all on his own, in his house:
But at some point every day, a woman or couple will arrive to receive a donation. He shows them into the guesthouse and retreats to his bedroom.
Then he takes the sperm to the woman in a “collection cup” and she uses a syringe provided by a doctor to inseminate herself. Trent said: “A woman who came to see me recently chose to inseminate by herself in the spare bedroom while I chatted with her husband in the yard.”
That totally creeps me out. Never mind that there are no health safeguards in place and couples are taking this man’s word for it that he’s not carrying any communicable diseases. What’s really odd is the level of intimacy he’s insisting on. This starts to sound more like a fetish than altruism.
Now, I understand the process of using donor sperm for pregnancy is complicated, Babble’s Aelah has written about the process she and her wife have been through trying to conceive with donor sperm, but I’m not sure what this man is doing is a credible alternative to using sperm banks or a known donor. I can’t get past the health and safety issues or the insistence that the recipients come to see him personally and inseminate themselves in his home. It all sounds kind of shady to me.
What do you think? Would you accept donor sperm in this kind of situation?
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