A new reality show is hoping to pair women with the perfect sperm donors. But after receiving intense backlash, the show may already be a flop.
Channel 4 has announced it is producing a show that will follow women as they choose a sperm donor to ‘co-parent’ their child. The reality show- which is tentatively being called Parents to Be- will explore the different backgrounds of the sperm donors before the mother-to-be must decide which one will father her child.
According to Daily Mail, the show will have its own version of a sperm donor agency filled with experts that will choose the potential fathers before introducing their profiles to the women. The mothers-to-be will then decide which men they’d like to meet in person. They’ll have the opportunity to get to know each other better before the woman must make a final decision. The potential parents will also meet with each other’s friends and family.
The men won’t simply act as anonymous sperm donors, however. The show’s goal is to have both parents have an active role in the child’s life, the publication confirms. Some of the women are reportedly interested in having a romantic connection with the father, while others will be fine keeping things platonic.
It remains unclear who has signed up for the show, but Daily Mail says two ‘public figures’ are up for consideration. It is also currently running auditions to find male candidates. The show will reportedly debut sometime next year.
However, the show’s concept has already garnered intense criticism. Some critics claim it turns the conception off a child, which is a serious subject, into a “game.” Similarly, any children produced as a result of the reality show may struggle to have a “normal family life” given the circumstances.
Piers Shepherd, a spokesman for the Family Education Trust campaign group, has been especially vocal against the program. “Having a child is a life-changing event for any couple and should be the fruit of a loving and committed relationship between a husband and wife,” he said. “This Channel 4 show commodifies children by turning their conception into a game in which a woman weighs up the desirable traits of multiple fathers. It also separates conception and childbirth from the context of a loving relationship.”
He continued, “This is a grossly irresponsible experiment which will result in the birth of vulnerable children who are unlikely to enjoy the benefit of having a normal family life with a committed father and mother.”
Channel 4 has defended the program as relatable, however. Their spokesman said, “The series reflects the high number of single women in the UK who are trying to find someone to conceive and parent a child with using experts to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect parenting partner.”