Fathers irreplaceable, says Bishop Nazir-Ali

“The role of fathers in the nurture of their children is unique and cannot be replaced”, says Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.

Writing in the Mail On Sunday, Bishop Nazir-Ali said: “Research shows that children are best brought up in families where a mum and dad are present.

“In particular, boys need closeness to their fathers for a sense of security and in developing their own identity”.

Plans

His comments come in the wake of plans for a national sperm bank to be opened in October.

The National Gamete Donation Trust (NGDT), along with Birmingham Women’s Hospital has been awarded £77,000 by the Department of Health to fund the project.

According to the Department of Health, the scheme looks to include “same-sex couples and single women”.

Important questions

Bishop Nazir-Ali stressed that the plans raise “important questions” about our children’s future and especially the “role of men in our families and communities”.

He argued that as this bank will allow women to choose from profiles of donors, it will raise “the spectre of ‘designer babies’, born to the parents’ specifications.”

He added: “What if the process of pregnancy and birth ‘interferes’ with the desired outcomes? Will such babies then be rejected?”

Latest trend

“It is not enough” argues the Bishop “to ‘want’ a child, let alone one with particular characteristics.”

Writing in the Daily Mail on Monday, social commentator Kathy Gyngell said: “This new NHS initiative, I fear, is just the latest trend in a society that increasingly devalues the role of the family.”

A Department of Health document outlined that the bank will be available both privately and on the NHS.

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