By on July 3, 2009

Michael Jackson was the father of his children whether or not they were a product of donor eggs, donor sperm, or gestational carrier. The way in which the children were conceived has no bearing on Mr. Jackson’s role as the children’s legal, social, and only father, regardless of his celebrity status and history of complicated relationships.

Egg and sperm donation are considered forms of tissue donation, differing greatly from adoption or even organ donation. In typical egg or sperm donation contracts, it is fully understood by all parties that those donating or, in the case of a gestational surrogate, carrying are doing only that: donating or carrying. To be clear—donors give selflessly of themselves and touch their recipients’ lives in wonderful, profound ways; however, they do not sign on for any future responsibility for offspring created using their gametes. Recipients of donor eggs or sperm—the intended parents—are responsible for the resulting children and are recognized as these children’s parents in a court of law.

Although it may be very tempting to delve into all aspects of the Jackson’s’ lives at this time, the way in which his children were conceived is neither the business of the public nor has it any bearing on the appointment of their guardian. A sperm or egg donor is a donor, not a parent. The person who raises a child is a parent. Mr. Jackson was his children’s father, and his own mother—the children’s grandmother and Mr. Jackson’s preferred guardian in the event of his death—is a much more logical assumptive legal guardian than an alleged sperm donor who has no relationship with the children.

It is vitally important to the welfare of Mr. Jackson’s children that they be left alone to be cared for by their now legal guardian, Katherine Jackson, instead of being subjected to the media’s invasive and, simply put, ignorant speculations about their biological origins. Biology and legal/social parentage are two completely separate issues, and the media should therefore stop treating the subjects as if they are one and the same.

Marna Gatlin
Parents Via Egg Donation




Portland, OR

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July 2009
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