Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sperm Ships

I am too tired to make much of this, but surely this is a shining example of why we should aim to eliminate regulatory arbitrage.

I haven't looked into the actual laws around this, but the Beeb reports that anonymity of sperm donors is being removed. Ergo, less sperm donors (I know if that were me, I would not do it at all, but if I had to, I would at least want to be anonymous!!). So, the Dutch, who refrain from revealing the identity of a father, can fly their flag on a ship in international waters, and have people come from the UK to give sperm anonymously.

My question is: WHY? I assume it is to allow greater flexibility in treatment, which does not seem to match the general idea of preserving anonymity of the father. The story doesn't quite make sense.

However, my original point remains. Surely, we are better off eliminating as much of this type of regulation as possible. Otherwise, people by nature seek out a jurisdiction with more favourable rules. It reminds me very much of the back yard abortion argument - make it illegal - drive it underground. The same applies here. Why not just let people who want to donate sperm choose whether they reveal their identity? Why not just let people who want a baby have one? People willing to go through fertility treatment, so I hear, bloody well deserve that baby in the end and I imagine provide just as much, if not more, love than any 'normal' couple.

If nothing else, at least then we can see what is going on, rather than have to sit at Portsmouth with a set of binoculars, looking towards the Sperm Ship on the horizon.


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