Friday, March 9

Let my sperm go!

What a fascinating story. An excerpt

Trent Arsenault has never had sex, but he’s the father of fifteen children—and counting. The more he antagonizes the FDA, and unnerves television audiences across America, the more his in-box is flooded with requests for his sperm.

When Trent was 16, he and his best friend made a pact to devote their lives to science and never to marry. “Like most of our wild plans at the time, it was Trent’s idea,” this friend remembers. “I went along for entertainment’s sake. It was simply this zit-faced, socially awkward, nerdy teenager’s excuse for not having to ask out the girls I liked.” In other words, it was the sort of vow that teenagers make and soon forget, except that eighteen years later, when FDA agents showed up on his porch in August 2010, Trent was a well-paid computer-security engineer at Hewlett-Packard and a 34-year-old virgin. He was also, by that point, the father of ten children. The government was not happy about how Trent had pulled this off.

But if the FDA hoped, by intervening, to save America from someone it viewed as a dangerous rogue breeder, its action did more to set back its cause than it could possibly have imagined, turning Trent into something of a poster boy for an entire generation of new DIY donors. The showdown between man and state on the free-sperm frontier drew predictable media interest, mostly mocking and outraged, which in turn generated considerable outreach from strangers, almost all overwhelmingly supportive. Since appearing on various television news programs, Trent has received hundreds of encouraging e-mails, and he’s closing in on 2,000 Facebook friends. Someone recently formed a new Facebook group called Free Sperm Donors, mimicking Trent’s eschewal of anonymity, and a similar new organization called the Known Donor Registry has quickly attracted more than 5,000 members.

Trent's Baby Book: Recent hospital photos, shared by recipients and posted on  

The requests for Trent’s own sperm have only increased. Just in the last few weeks, he has received about a hundred new requests from women across America. He has, by now, made more than 500 “donations,” been responsible for fourteen successful pregnancies (and fifteen births—one mother had twins), has three more pregnancies under way, and is adding an average of three new prospective mothers to his portfolio each month. Paradoxically, the more children Trent fathers, the more his services are in demand—last month, he signed up seven aspiring mothers. “I’d think this would be a turnoff,” he says, “but that’s not how people think. It’s maybe even an attractive trait. If you look at lions, it’s like the females know to look at the ones that have demonstrated fertility.”

The idea that this bloody government has the cheek to intervene in a private transaction between two adults is seriously bizarre. What’s next? regulate the exchange of bodily fluids in exchange of monetary recompense?

The added advantage of pissing off the assorted po faced religious nutters is just the cherry (pun intended) on the cake.

Go for it Trent, let your little wrigglers go!

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