Dad Has at Least 75 Kids & Probably Even More

sperm bikeImagine if you were one of 74 siblings all from the same dad. Well for 75 children spread throughout the country, there is no need to imagine. It's their life. They are all children conceived from the sperm of the same donor -- a man named Ben Seisler, 33, who donated sperm to support his way through law school.

It's a modern story that couldn't have happened even 40 years ago. The children all found each other through a donor registry and then found him in the same way. For Seisler and his fiancee, it has been a shock. For the children, it's something else entirely.

They suddenly have access to medical history, family legacy, and personal information they never would have had Seisler not opened up to the idea. Still, he isn't their "dad" in a traditional sense.

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Biology is a strange thing, and for men, it's easy enough to be removed from the whole process of child-rearing since it's all on the outside. Few men think about the consequences of sperm donation when they need the money in the now. After all, they won't really be "dad."

To a certain extent, that is true. Most of the kids (all under age 9) probably understand on some level that they have their mom and dad (if a dad is present). Then there is this other man, this man who holds the key to their curly hair or their dark eyes or their large feet. But he is little else to them.

There are children throughout the world whose fathers think of themselves as sperm donors and don't even go as far as Seisler, so good for him. But for the children, it may have been better not to know. Sure, they get that their eyes came from Seisler, but when he is married and has his own children, then what? Who are these children to him? And will that answer crush them?

For some, I am betting it will. How does a mom explain to her child that this man loves his children but not the ones created from him this way? Or maybe he can love them all, but then how is that fair to the children he creates in love?

It's a very tricky question and the answer may have been found in continuing the anonymity that used to exist. It seems like he wants to have all the benefits of having offspring with none of the work that goes into parenting. And it's likely not great for the kids. Sure, find the half siblings and get all the information on health issues and family history, but the rest? Ought to be left alone. For everyone's sake.

Do you think this is a good plan?


Image via Mikael Colville-Andersen/Flickr

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