My father had 300 children

MailOnline — Femail

2008 12 12

It happened to me: My father had 300 children

By Alison Smith Squire

It happened to me: My father had 300 children — Jo’s never been able to trace her father – one of Britain’s most prolific sperm donors. Now she’s terrified that any man she falls for could unknowingly be her brother….(Full Story)


F4L: Update 2008 12 17

The problem that Jo fears is not statistically insignificant.  Although not very likely to happen, it could happen and has happened to some people.

Still, there is a practical solution that can prevent it from happening, a solution that perhaps should become mandatory when a marriage licence is obtained (whereby the problem would not be prevented when someone engages in  non-marital sex and causes a child to be conceived).

The solution is DNA testing of both prospective parents.

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2 Responses to My father had 300 children

  1. Sam,

    Although you are without a doubt close to the truth, there is a bit of sampling bias in your observations.

    A portion of your emergency runs must involve children. It would not surprise me that more than half of those emergency runs involve children who grow up fatherless.

    However, that is not a reliable indicator of the proportion of fatherless children in the whole population of children. It only indicates that most children who become your clients are fatherless.

    That is not surprising, as fatherless children in single-mother households are far more likely to be seriously or fatally injured than children living under the same roof with their married biological parents.

    There is research that shows that, of all “family types,” families headed by two married biological parents (a father and a mother) are the safest – by far – for children, men and women. Compared to the risks faced by them in families headed by two married biological families, children in cohabiting single-mother “families” are 33 times more likely to be seriously injured and 73 times more likely to be killed (Source: Robert Whelan, Broken Homes & Battered Children, 1993, quoted in “Marriage: The Safest Place for Women and Children”, by Patrick F. Fagan and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder #1535;

  2. I have always been appalled that it is legal to sell sperm to create life. Not that it would stop a woman from figuring out how to get pregnant without a sperm bank, however, society’s propensity to see less and less wrong or immoral about raising a child without the benefit of both parents is behind this – in my humble opinion. I work in the emergency rescue services field – 28 years – and I am continuously amazed at the amount of homes I now enter without a father figure versus how it was 28 years ago. I conservatively estimate these calls amount to well over half of my runs and wouldn’t be surprised if the number was closer to 90%. I see it everyday – day in and day out – the terrible and very real consequences of fatherlessness in the home. It seems almost every Emergency Medical run I have is for somebody on the system. It is, through my observant opinion, an epidemic. I will, soon, go to my Fire Dept. Union (90% male) and ask for a route that will allow us to more accurately [monitor] this trend. I’m sure HIPPA will stand stoutly in the way.

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