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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 19, 2011 / 20 Elul, 5771

Laws to Catch Up With Science

By Diane Dimond






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Many years ago, I was assigned to cover a story about a certain sperm donor, a newly graduated doctor in Kansas who had donated on such a frequent and regular basis that he was suspected of being the biological father to 500 children. You read that right, 500 children!

My research led me to learn that professors and medical mentors had often urged their male med school residents to donate sperm as a way to: a) Put a little money in their pockets and b) Help propagate future generations of intelligent children. The belief was that if the sperm came from a person smart enough and driven enough to study to be a doctor, well, all of mankind could benefit from the children they would sire.

An elitist viewpoint, to be sure, but a prevalent one back in the early '90s.

A problem arose following this particular Kansas doctor's years of donating when it was learned that many of the recipients lived within a small radius. The children who resulted from this man's donations began to grow up within miles of each other, and as they matured into teenagers, attending the same schools, churches or sport camps, they began to become attracted to each other, pulled together by an unexplainable and invisible magnet of familiarity. Some of the teens began dating and were sexually attracted to each other. Accidental incest was a real possibility — if it hadn't already happened, I was told.

In some instances the children did not know of their test-tube beginnings. In almost all other cases, the parents were completely unaware of how many siblings their son or daughter might have or that that their child could be romantically interested in their own half-sister or half-brother.

I reported back then that the sperm bank was urgently trying to locate all the recipients of this particular doctor's donations and make a geographic registry of where his offspring landed. Oh, if they had only been so diligent from the beginning!

Flash forward to today, some two decades later, and the law still hasn't caught up with the science.


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There are still no cohesive federal or state laws regulating how many times an in vitro fertilization clinic can disseminate one man's sperm or in what geographic area it should be offered.

Clinics continue to rake in profits, but children born of this procedure have little more than a donor number to hold onto when they wonder about their paternal beginnings. Sperm banks and IVF clinics keep secret such vital information as the father's name, address and where he can be reached if a specific health problem crops up for the child later in life.

And now, some donors are complaining about the system, too, saying they were hoodwinked about the number of children that might result from their donation.

"We have more rules that go into place when you buy a used car than when you buy sperm," Debora Spar, the author of "The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception," said to MSNBC. "It's very clear that the dealer can't sell you a lemon, and there's information about the history of the car. There are no such rules in the fertility industry right now."

Since each donor does have a unique tracking number, inquisitive parents have started independent registries online to track how many kids are born to particular donors. One woman found her IVF baby had more than 150 brothers and sisters! Others discover more than 50 offspring in their child's donor group.

The sudden realization that they have half-siblings or several dozens of half-siblings has to be confusing to many of the estimated 30,000 to 60,000 IVF babies born in the United States each year. Some families decide to try to meet their IVF relatives. Others choose never to tell their children about their biological beginnings.

Scientists worry about America's sperm donation system for a different reason. There is the possibility, they say, that our collective gene pool could be in the process of becoming skewed. If a popular donor has a defective gene that causes a rare disease, that disease will be a silent ticking time bomb spreading more quickly and widely through the general population than it would otherwise.

I recently did some research on that Kansas doctor whose story I reported so many years ago. He is still in the same area, with an apparently successful psychiatry practice. I wonder if he ever stops to think about the psychological impact he's had on however many children it turns out he fathered.

Whether that doctor has stopped to re-think the ramifications of our current sperm donation system or not, I think it's high time some forward-thinking lawmakers did. We're way overdue for some laws governing this field.

Fooling with Mother Nature almost never turns out well.

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Investigative journalist and syndicated columnist Diane Dimond has covered all manner of celebrity and pop culture stories.






© 2011, Creators Syndicate