Deliberately bringing children into the world without a father figure has been described as “social experimentation” by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.
He was speaking after the launch of a national sperm bank, which drastically reduces the cost of buying sperm.
Laura Witjens, Chief Executive of the group which runs the bank said that it hopes to be able to, “set up a service for people like single women and same-sex couples”.
She said that the demand for IVF from these groups has “grown exponentially” and claimed that it has become more “socially acceptable” for a woman to have a child with no man in her life.
The national sperm bank, which launched last month at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, intends to cut the cost of buying sperm to around £300.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, has spoken out against the phenomenon of fatherless children.
He said: “It’s one thing for a child not to have a mother or father through tragedy but it is another to plan children to come into the world without a father.
“Research tells us that children relate to their fathers differently than to their mothers, and this is important in developing a sense of their own identity”.
Bishop Nazir-Ali added, “boys need closeness to their fathers for a sense of security and developing their own identity, including appropriate patterns of masculine behaviour”.
His comments echo a wealth of research by different universities into the importance of fatherhood.
A study by the University of Canterbury in New Zealand found that teenage girls raised without fathers were more likely to suffer from depression, have behavioural problems and drop out of school.
Last year, another study by McGill University in Canada suggested that growing up without a father can permanently alter the brain, causing children to be more aggressive.
The national sperm bank is available both privately and on the National Health Service.