The Roman Catholic doctrine on reproduction is one of the most stringent ones I know of – and one that I find completely internally (logically) consistent, though I don’t agree with all of their axioms.
However, on the issue of “assisted” conception, they’ve hit the target square in the center. Consider this story, via Althouse, of an actor who donates sperm to his ex so that she can conceive, with legal manipulations so that he isn’t held responsible for child support. They then get together again for a while, and the actor and his son form an emotional bond. Now the actor decides he’d like to be the child’s legally recognized father after all, with the privilege of visitation. The child’s mother is all “Nope! This child is MINE, ALL MINE. You can visit him when/if I say so, you have no rights over him.”
I don’t particularly care to discuss the legal implications of this case – Althouse’s place is the spot for that. I want to address the cause of this snafu. Notice that this is yet-another-custody-battle between adults who seem to think that having a child is a lifestyle choice like choosing where to rent an apartment! I definitely get the feeling that neither of these parents have ever stopped to consider what would be the best way to arrange their lives for the maximum benefit to THEIR CHILD. Maybe, O mother, you should have taken the fact that you dissolved a long-term relationship as a sign that you are not parent material, as you seem to lack the ability to commit to a relationship for the required eighteen years that raising a child to majority demands. And you, O father, you are an idiot for giving this woman your sperm so that she could have your child, using a legal fiction that allowed you to deny your fatherhood, and whatever difficulties you run into in the course of attempting to get the legal system to recognize biological reality are your just desserts for such stupidity. Did it never occur to you that deliberately conceiving a bastard child might have negative consequences for you? How about for your son? Now that you have met your child and find him agreeable, only now will you agree to execute your duties as father? At least this man is attempting to do more rightly by his offspring, late though it may be.
… really, woman. What sensible person thinks “My ten-year relationship has just gone down in flames, so what should I do? Get him to give me his semen so I can bear his child!” WTF. I can’t tell if that’s better or worse than a female who goes out to a bar to have a one-night-stand with some stranger in order to conceive, after she’s failed to find herself a mate who will voluntarily and deliberately create a family with her. You want a kid to raise? First off, don’t decide to embark on that right after you prove yourself incapable of sticking out a LTR with an adult. Secondly, if you’re dead-set on raising a child, pick one that already exists and desperately needs a parent. Thirdly, consider that your child has a RIGHT to know and be raised by both his parents, and if you deliberately arrange for that not to happen, you are a disgustingly selfish person who needs to examine her priorities very carefully, and rearrange them so that YOU are not the center of the universe.