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'The Switch' Brings Idea of Donor Sperm into Better Focus
Last week I finally got to the movies to see The Switch with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. I thought it was very entertaining and also interesting.
If you haven’t seen it, the basic plot is that Kassie, a single woman in NYC, decides that she is ready to have a child even though she hasn’t found a man to spend her life with and plans to use a known sperm donor. Her best friend, the neurotic Wally, is not a fan of this plan.
Kassie has a party the night of her insemination to celebrate when things get wacky. Wally “switches” the donor’s sperm sample with his own while very drunk. No one realizes what happens at the time. Kassie gets pregnant, moves away for six years, and then she and Wally drift a little.
Kassie returns to NYC and reconnects with Wally. While spending time with Kassie and her son Sebastian, Wally starts to remember that night and finally realizes what he did.
The movie was quirky, sweet and entertaining.
A Refreshing Portrayal of a Woman's Choice
What I found interesting were the relationships, the way lives were affected and how light and easy the idea of using a sperm donor was portrayed.
When Kassie tells Wally that she is going to use a sperm donor, he reacts like many people have reacted upon hearing this news: with questions and an unsettled feeling, but it wasn’t shocking. Her friends are incredibly supportive and even enthusiastic.
It was refreshing to see the decision portrayed in this manner. Her friend Debbie even cheers her on about doing it for herself, the power of women and how amazing it is that she was making her dream come true.
I think the portrayal was reflective of an overall more accepting societal response to the use of donor sperm. When a topic or issue becomes part of pop culture, it reflects society embracing the issue and movement toward acceptance.
There are organizations and groups that support and embrace single mothers, but there are still many who criticize the choice of a single woman to have a child without a partner. We at the sperm bank embrace a woman’s decision to have a child regardless of her relationship status. When a person has the desire to parent and the means to pursue that desire, no one should stand in the way.
I am glad that we had three movies come out this summer that brought the idea of donor sperm into better focus, even if the stories were sensationalized for Hollywood.