Thursday, July 1, 2010

Because THIS is why women go to sperm banks

Watching a rerun of Law and Order SVU "Design" while I breastfeed Sunflower and there is a scene with a well dressed woman in a sperm bank as her daughter bangs on the piano in front of the owner. She's furious. Why? You see, she paid 20k for the sperm of a musician to ensure her daughter would be the next Mozart. I want my money back! she screams. She can't even play chopsticks all she does is bang on the damn keys! The owner says you did get sperm from a super musician! She responds then why did I get stuck with her? All while the child is sits there.

OK I get that Law and Order is not a prototype of reality. If so all crimes would be solved within a week like jigsaw puzzles and law professors would not bemoan the show for the incorrect way they handle the law giving laypeople horribly misguided expectations. But is this really what sends a woman to a sperm bank? It's like those horrid articles discussing donor egg and sperm in this very vein, like people prefer this method to create their family as opposed to their own DNA or having a partner for the sole purpose of raising super-geniuses. Granted, maybe there is someone out there who did this like the fictional Jan on The Office did, getting pregnant with donor sperm while dating Michael Scott because she didn't want his DNA in her baby. . . [and I let it go on shows like the Office since they are supposed to be humorous and not necessarily grounded in reality] but such people would be a very small minority.

As a minority I'm used to the media taking the actions of one and speculating the motives of all. Maybe if I wasn't part of the IF and loss community I'd not notice the generalizations that are created by episodes such as this, but I see it, and I guess when you're in the minority you are always at risk for the actions of few and media sensationalizing setting the judgmental tone towards many.


  1. I think it's the few bad apples that ruin the barrel - you have the crazies out there who want to handpick their child and go to great lengths to do it. Almost like you check the pedigree for a dog. If the child doesn't perform well, you want a refund. THOSE people don't deserve to be parents.

  2. oh that is just ridiculous, i know there are people out there like that but it's so hard to believe that they actually exist! how stupid would someone be if they thought that using the sperm of a musical genius would automatically make their kid one!!
    i'm sure law and order is as silly to lawyers as grey's anatomy is to doctors, but i have to admit i watch svu :) my favorite episode is called "selfish," a woman gets charged with murder because she doesn't get her son vaccinated and he ends up being the cause of a measles outbreak that kills another kid!!

  3. I know exactly the episode you are talking about. :)

    You know, I find it really frustrating when shows bring any part of infertility into the story line and then either fail to do it justice, spread misinformation, or feed unfair and cruel stereotypes. It feels like they don't take it seriously, they don't take the time to understand, or they are ratings whore-mongers who don't care about anything but creating controversy and getting attention.

    It's really quite sad because they have such an opportunity to do something positive. They either deny or fail to realize that there really are uninformed people out there who are dumb enough to think shows like that teach them something legitimate. From that perspective, I feel these shows have a responsibility to get it right. I understand that particular show builds off of sensationalist stories in the news, and it creates compelling drama, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't find similar stories that put a positive spin on things.

  4. Quite sad they always fail to teach valuable lessons.

  5. Unfortunately, it seems that the true experience of infertility is only truly realized by someone going through it. This said, I think that the media could make the "story" of infertility a compelling and realistic one rather than sensationalizing an aspect of it. Maybe then, those who haven't had to walk that path would have a greater understanding for those who are.

    On a side note, I appreciate that you are still watching Law & Order. I haven't watched it since law school, when I was still enamoured with the idea of being a lawyer!