Vicky Donor: The New Super Hero? – Of Infertility, Stigma And Sperm Donation

Posted on May 25, 2012 in Media and Culture, Society

By Sherin Babu:

Vicky Donor was highlighted as the critic’s favorite pick this year, the global viewers do feel the same. Yes, the film which revolves around the issue of infertility and sperm donation is the new vibe all around the country. However, in India topics like infertility is still considered taboo as highlighted in the movie. The stark reality is that topics which still have a social stigma associated with them do tend to find favor with the wide audience and that too more easily. People are aware of these facts, however hesitant to acknowledge them. Hence such offbeat topics almost always strike a chord and leave an impact.

Closer look into the situation: Infertility

It is true that couples in cities are finding it hard to have kids, because of a highly stressful life and no work-life balance. In a society that is still largely male-centered, overworked and wealthy men often harm their reproductive capabilities due work-related stress that affects their sperm count. Approximately 40 percent of infertility cases result from disorders in the male and 40 percent from disorders in the female. The remaining 10 percent are caused by a combination of male and female factors or are unexplained. When male factor infertility cannot be treated, or in a variety of other circumstances donor insemination is an important option that allows many couples to experience Pregnancy, childbirth, and the joy of raising children. This is where our new Super hero steps in and makes the mark!

The real Super Hero: Vicky Donor

While the sperm donor is the natural or biological father of every child produced as a result of his donations, he is generally not intended to be the legal father. Depending on the jurisdiction and its laws, he may or may not later be eligible to seek parental rights or be held responsible for parental obligations. Thus, sperm donors in short, enlighten life of such couples who had infertility issues or related problems. This kind of gift is perhaps one of the most meaningful things one person can do for another. So, it can be very well justified that this is a noble profession as any other profession and should not be seen upon with disgust, as very well depicted in the movie. And moreover, this is for the society to actually honor such super heroes who break down societal limits and in a way go against the so — called “society” to do something which is right and just. But shouldn’t the society do what is right and just? What about the concept of Just society? Trust me, the answer to such questions is that Society will find its way when encouragement and full fledge support is given to many others like Vicky Donor who should come to the forefront and contribute their bit to the society.

Legal eye on Sperm Donation

There are a number of legal issues concerning donor insemination. It is essential that both partners consent in writing to the procedure. The consent form may state that the recipients will never know who the donor is, nor will the donor know the recipients. With this consent, the baby is the legitimate offspring of the recipient and her male partner, not the donor. If the laws of the state are not known by the physician or the recipients, it may be a good idea to consult an attorney to learn the laws concerning donor insemination in the couple’s home state. If a known donor is used, all parties involved should seek legal counseling and agree upon the donor’s relationship, if any, with the child.

Several jurisdictions, e.g. Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, and others, only allow non-anonymous sperm donation, generally based on the principle that the child has a right to knowledge of his/her biological origins. Generally this is implemented by requiring sperm banks to keep up to date records and release identifying information about the donor to his offspring after they reach a certain age (15-18). Thus, sperm donation turns out to be a boon for couples which are short of having children.

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Girija Semuwal

I think in a country like India, sperm donation is the kind of issue that’s bound to be stigmatized. I’m in ignorance of facts but my general impression is that couples dealing with fertility problems would prefer adoption as a more comfortable option. There can be no comparison as to which alternative is the better one, but adoption surely has a humanitarian and upliftment element to it. Many film celebrities have adopted children and have presented it as a noble cause.

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