The age of consent for sex is 16.
They did not have sex. but this story still smells all kind of wrong!
He sounds like a thoroughly decent chap to me. I wish more young people were like him.
he’s left a legacy that will take away a little of the pain. To judge his gift is self-righteously sanctimonious.
Well, it’s a bit weird that his parents are aunt/uncle and grandfather/grandmother at the same time, but the woman who bore the children presumably wanted their children to have a genetic link with her partner and there’s no harm in that, is there?
With the age of consent for sex being 16 then I think there is something strange about asking a minor relative to donate sperm so you can have children.
Why didn’t they go to a sperm bank?
Why did they not ask an adult for a donation?
Why did they keep it secret from the child’s parents?
It is not clear whether the mother of the child is the aunt or her partner, as they are both potentially “Ms Ashman”. If it is the aunt, then this is dangerous in-breeding which could have serious medical consequences for the children.
Joe, although I agree the articles wording is unclear, the simplest answer is usually the correct one. Most same sex couples who seek a donor who is related to one of the couple do so so that the unrelated partner provides the other ‘half’ of the process, thus ensuring the child is related to both of them. Although not stated, this is the simplest answer so most probably what occurred here.
As for the questions asked by David – 1) if both partners wish to be related to the child, a sperm bank is out of the question. 2) We don’t have enough information to answer or even ask that. We don’t know anything of their situation which led to his donating. 3) The same as 2 – we just don’t have enough information. So we shouldn’t speculate.
Instead, we should just be happy that this wonderful young man so selflessly aided his aunt and her partner. He sounds like a great kid.
Also David, in answer to your third question I just reread the article and noticed this quote from the mother:
“I just wish that we had known about all of this before he died so that Charlie could know we had accepted it.”
So likely it was kept quiet out of a fear that the family would not be understanding of what had occurred.
The age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16 in this country.
Whether or not you agree that this is too high or too low is irrelevant.
The age of consent exists as the law states that a 15 year is a minor and therefore not in a position to make an informed choice about sex.
If a 15 year old cannot have have sex then I fail to see how donating sperm is acceptable.
You do realise that if the biological mother had sex with the 15 year then she would have been committing rape?
“So likely it was kept quiet out of a fear that the family would not be understanding of what had occurred.”
And also possbly because they were worried that they could be guilty of child abuse?
Some families are just weird
If there were a concern that it might have been seen as child abuse, why would the family go public now? The death of a victim of a crime does not preclude prosecution, and the biological evidence would be as valid now as never. The likelihood is that everyone involved is pretty sure there is no prosecutable offence (sexual offences generally require there to have been sex), and in any event, police and CPS have discretion not to bring charges when they are not felt to be in the public interest or the interest of justice.
@Phoenix0879 I agree with you in that I hope that the aunt was not the biological mother but we cannot presume this from the article. A clarification from Pink News would help.
@A. Nonymus “sexual offences generally require there to have been sex” – the child was required to perform a sexual act for the purposes of producing the semen; if an adult procures a sexual act from a child, it is an offence (even if the adult is not present at the time of the act, as if it weren’t all sorts of child abuse over the internet would be legal).
It seems inappropriate to me that the couple did not wait until the boy was legally an adult before asking him to do this. He cannot LEGALLY have consented to the donation of the semen. Anyone who says otherwise misunderstands the legal position of children.
I cant think of anything kinder than a young man offering to help his aunt & her partner become parents – what a lovely guy and a terrible shame about his unfortunate death
It’s the sort of thing the royal family would do. They’re all interbred and related too.
A story of a wonderful young man who did something very special to help his aunt and her partner, leaving his own legacy also.. AND now helping his parents as they have his grandchildren..
…and we reduce it to some idle speculation regarding the “who did what” with the sperm!
I would think that by the sound of it, this young man wanted to do this, went into the toilet, did the business, then OFFERED his sperm to his aunts partner… Therefore, NO ´sexual act´ had been procured by any adult. Nuff said really.
End result? (some) good came out of a tragedy.
Doesn’t this constitute some kind of incest, even if they didn’t physically have intercourse? The fact that his aunt told his parents that the children were their grandchildren does seem to indicate that the aunt was the one who had the children.
It’s quite clear that he did not ‘offer’ his sperm out of the blue to them.
They clearly told him of their plan.
Procuring a sexual act from a minor is a crime.
As adults they should have known better.
If a gay male couple had a 15 year old girl harvest her eggs for implantation in a surrogate they would be jailed.
There is a sexist double standard at work here.
It is not appropriate to be impregnated by a child (and legally he was a child.)
at 15 he would have been considered old enough to give informed opinion to a medical procedure, and it would be a brave judge that over-ruled him (for example morning-after pills are supplied to minors even without parental consent). Boys of 15 or younger are parents and are expected to step up tto the mark in terms of responsibility, so he wasn’t a unique.
A wank into a container is different from sexual intercourse, so that element is a non-sequiteur.
So what he really did was to suppply genetic continuity.
@Joe (and others): The only sexual act possibly necessary to the donation of sperm would be solitary masturbation, which is not a sexual offence, no matter the age of the person doing it. Sexual health practitioners and educators do not face prosecution for soliciting a crime if they mention or even encourage solitary masturbation as a safe and legal form of sexual expression for children below the age of consent. A case like this is obviously different, but even if the suggestion came from the aunt and her partner it is hard to see a crime in the facts as reported. After all, prosecution is not normal in the case of underage parents (where it is quite certain that the letter of sexual offences legislation has been broken).
John, how do you figure that because the couple told them the children were their grandchildren proves it was the aunt he impregnated – it is because they are HIS children that they are their grandchildren. Which of the women he impregnated makes no impact on what connection the children are to his parents.
If you mean, she told them not her partner, his mother is his aunt’s SISTER – of course she would break this news, not her partner.
@ Joe – I agree that PinkNews needs to clarify the situation, but it seems the most likely answer is it was his aunts partner he impregnated. I agree, it’s speculation, but given they likely wanted a biological connection to the aunt’s family (the main reason anyone keeps donorship ‘within’ the family), why would the aunt then be the one impregnated? I’d say it’s a 98% chance it was the partner who carried the children. But it does need clarifying by PinkNews, that is certain. But the facts as presented lean more towards the partner theory.
As for questions of child abuse, I seriously doubt any court would consider charges on this as he does not appear to have been coerced or forced into anything he did not desire.
As others have said we seem to have let a heart warming story about light coming from tragedy become bogged down in “what if it was incest?!”. Are we really so jaded a community that we have to hunt for the negative in a story, which already has enough negative in it – the young man is dead. Lets all agree that what he did for his aunt was give her happiness and a family. Surely that’s a good thing?
“It’s quite clear that he did not ‘offer’ his sperm out of the blue to them.”
Quite clear to whom? Are you reading something different to me then? It is NOT ´clear´ and that, my dear is the point.
“They clearly told him of their plan.
Procuring a sexual act from a minor is a crime. ”
Yes, they probably told him of their plan… But there you go again, making the leap from your first to your second statement without proof (which the last time I looked was required for a prosecution?) Telling him about their plan/wishes is not the same as ASKING him for a donation? Is it not possible that HE decided to donate without them asking him? Of course it is. No-where does it say otherwise in the article.
Yes, I am only assuming, but then my dear, so are you. Only I prefer to see the good in people and not always looking for someone/something to punish.
“The fact that his aunt told his parents that the children were their grandchildren does seem to indicate that the aunt was the one who had the children.”
How do you work that one out? The aunt told the lads parent that the kids were their grandchildren because they ARE. They are the young lads offspring, so they are his parents grandchildren. It does not mean that the aunt must have been the mother. The children would be the lads parents grandchildren even if the lesbian partner was the mother..
The posters who’ve mentioned medical consent (where children under 16 do have limited powers, in sexual health as well as other areas) remind me of another point. British embryology law gives prospective parents the option of selecting embryos in order to increase the likelihood of a child’s being a donor for an ill sibling. Those donor children will have very much less say in the matter than this boy seems to have had, and ultimately all he did was to make a donation of biological material.
So would anyone like to address the hypocrisy at play here.
Would you support a gay male couple harvesting the eggs of their 15 year old niece to be fertilised and impregnated into a surrogate.
If not. Why not?
There is nothing lovely about this story.
It is the story of a grossly irresponsible couple exploiting a child for their own benefit.
@ SteveC – if it were legal for a medical facility to carry out the extraction of an egg, I would have no issue with it. However, the law for ‘official’ donorship states the donor must be 18. Since “DIY” egg donorship isn’t possible whether or not we would support it is a moot point and nothing but a smoke screen on your part. Personally I would support it, but since it’s not possible it’s irrelevant.
The difference in this case is that ‘unofficial’ donorship of sperm is not only possible but also not illegal, so what was done is legal. It is NOT child abuse as there is zero evidence of such. The young man offered them something and rather than waste it, they used it.
Stop being so presumptuous and simply have the grace to accept that this young man gave a wonderful gift to two branches of his family before he died. His aunt has a family and his parents have grandchildren. He did a beautiful thing, if only more families were as understanding.
We don’t know how he donated the sperm do we. iIt is possible of course that he may have had sex with her. If that is the case the she a rapist and should be in jail.
” if it were legal for a medical facility to carry out the extraction of an egg, I would have no issue with it. However, the law for ‘official’ donorship states the donor must be 18.”
Which is where the sexist double standard comes into play.
Why is it illegal for a 15 year old girl to donate eggs, but OK for a 15 year old boy to donate sperm?
These women need to be asked why they did not get the sperm from a consenting adult.
I can not believe some of the above comments. Anyone would think he had been raped or something the way you lot are talking. He done a wonderful thing for someone he loved and deeply cared for. Just be happy for them, it obviously means so much to his family. Who is anyone to judge?
SteveC, you’re just creating hyperbole to try and upset people, I think. If they had had sex, do you really think they would have gone public with this? Seriously? They’d have just kept it in the family, so to speak.
And it’s made quite clear that to donate OFFICIALLY the law is equal. It’s no one’s fault that it is possible any male to make an unofficial donation by whacking off into a glass and handing it over but that a woman can’t squat over a glass and just pop an egg out like a chicken. If it were possible for a girl to donate unofficially I would not oppose it.
There’s no sexist “double standard” here, just nature. Unless you want to call nature sexist, of course. This was an unofficial donation so the equality offered by official donation methods is utterly irrelevant.
Perhaps they felt he was the only male in the family they could ask? We just don’t know – but I see no reason to assume the worst. Or maybe he was the only male blood relative they could ask. The story is too basic for anyone to be saying things like you are.
Given the story is now public, I think we can assume the authorities will have already investigated this and if no action is being taken then they are satisfied no action is needed. So you’re jumping at shadows. Quite being such a negative nelly already. The kid did a wonderful thing and should be remembered for such.
Sorry – but this couple are vile.
Why did they groom a minor to father their children? They behaved in a classic paedophile manner. They chose their underage donor, knowing that he was easily exploitable and too young to know his rights.
Child abuse is always wrong. If it is illegal to get a 15 year old girl to harvest her eggs then it should be illegal to have a 15 year old boy harvest his sperm.
Why did this sick couple not ask an adult (who is legally able to give his informed consent) to donate sperm?
Why did they target a child?
There are some weird comments here from people trying to invent odd scenarios which obviously did not take place. Nothing ilegal or incestuous happend and although it is unusual for the donor to be so young there are certainly plenty of donors for both gay and straight couples who are related to the non-biological mother. Lesbian coupe often seek out a relative of the non-bio mother on purpose so that the baby is geneticaly related to both mothers. It gives a silver lining to the terrible cloud of the death of the young man as it is comforting for his parents.
SteveC, your hyperbole and ASSumptions are getting borderline ridiculous. We simply do not know ANYTHING about how the conception occurred, whether they approached him or he approached them after hearing they wanted a donor or any other combination of events. We know exactly zip about the circumstances so histrionics like yours only hurt the conversation. All you are doing is making yourself look foolish with this over the top screeching.
Official donorship of both sperm AND eggs is illegal for under-18′s. However, voluntary unofficial donorship by under 18′s is simply not addressed by current law. If a girl could find 1) a way of extracting her egg by herself 2) impregnating it with an available sperm and 3) implanting the fertilised egg into a surrogate all in their own home it would be just as legally blank an issue as this is. However, that isn’t possible so all this nonsense about 15 year old girls is merely an attempt to cloud the issue and you know it.
This is a legally blank matter as there is no evidence that this young man was forced into anything against his will or abused. And if there was ANY evidence then the police would already be taking action.
@Phoenix0879 “As for questions of child abuse, I seriously doubt any court would consider charges on this as he does not appear to have been coerced or forced into anything he did not desire.”
What part of the phrase “legal age of consent” don’t you understand? If a child wants to do something to which he cannot legally assent, that is of no consequence in the eyes of the law.
@ A.Nonymous “The only sexual act possibly necessary to the donation of sperm would be solitary masturbation, which is not a sexual offence, no matter the age of the person doing it.”
Procuring an act of masturbation by a child is illegal. If an adult were to go into an online chatroom and encourage a child to masturbate, that would be an offence. This situation is not legally any different.
I am gobsmacked that the couple couldn’t have waited until the boy was 16 before going through with this. What was the rush? Were they afraid he might change his mind and wanted it asap? I see little that is heartwarming nor edifying in the story, which is borderline abuse of a child.
The full article on which this Pink News article is based is here:
- it covers clearly the full context of what this very nice young man did for his aunt and her partner. There are several comments following the article from his mother. His death is a tragedy, but at least his parents have a continuing physical link with him.
Thanks for the link Bill. Reading the comments should finally end the hyperbole of SteveC as it appears he was 16 and not 15 as the articles claim. More on this in a bit.
Even if he had been 15, the fact that no charges have been brought would say that the CPS considers it not worthy of prosecution. No one is arguing that *technically* such a thing may breach the law, but it is such a grey area that any attempted prosecution would fall flat because whether this breaches the law is debatable, given the donor offers without coercion.
The legality of 15 year OFFERING to donate is an extremely grey area and your claims about age of consent are muddying the issue, because no sexual relations may be involved (a solo masturbation session at 15 is not, to my knowledge, illegal). What happens to the… left overs when someone leaves the room isn’t their fault.
The couple didn’t “groom” him or some such nonsense. He knew they wanted to raise a family and offered. He did something wonderful. The children are related to both women, an ideal situation.
Back to the articles, which are poorly phrased. The eldest child is NOW 5. The father died LAST December. So, when he died at 20 his son was 4, making him 16 at conception. Poor wording of the articles has led to this entire thread being bogged down by hyperbole. Although one has to wonder if the poor wording was done specifically to generate spectacular headlines.
@ SteveC – you seem to know a lot about grooming children for paedophilia. you’re not a catholic priest are you?
let’s hope the flummery about child abuse can end now and people celebrate the gift this young man gave to his aunt and her partner by enabling 2 children. And the consolation it gives his parents.
Far better to do something useful with the result of a decent wank than to waste it in a paper tissue. An Alka Seltzer pot and a turkey baster sounds fine to me.
I smell trolls with those trying to make some sort of point against this.
Why did these lesbians suddenly decide to expose this boy as the father of their children, after keeping it a secret for so long???
A substantial payout from the NHS will DEFINITELY ensue, for the following reasons, and this financial payout will be entrusted to his offspring (since he is unlikely to have a WILL at an age of 20years):
1) His parents are bringing legal proceedings against the the hospital claiming that he was not given adequate protection from blood clots.
2) The hospital say they have investigated the case and shared with the family the areas of care they will improve following his death.
3) An inquest will be held next month.
LARGE PAYOUT = LESBIANS ADMITTING THAT HE HAS OFFSPRING = CLAIM THEIR “EARNINGS”..
Think about it: Is this “coming out” story really a totally selfless act??
Some of the comment son here are really quite odd.
I too don’t feel particularly easy about how they’ve used a fifteen year old to act as a sperm donor – after all he has been ‘used’ in the eyes of the as he was a minor.
However, we don’t know enough about the conception to argue one way or another. They may, or may have not slept together.
I personally think it’s a very irresponsible thing for the couple to do however their desire for children (and many other’s desire for children) often leads us to do some pretty odd things.
It is hard to be non-judgemental but that doesn’t mean the women are sick or deranged – just desperate for a kid.
follow the link in one of the comments.
He wasn’t 15 (though some would argue 16 is too young)
He was arguably too young for such a serious undertaking and his genetic proximity to his aunt makes having a child with her inadvisable on health grounds. But there is no suggestion of sexual abuse and there were probably good intentions all round. What matters now is a loving environment for the children, and it looks like both parents and grandparents will provide it.
However, 16 is still too young to make an informed choice and I doubt any of us at that age would have understood the action or it’s consequences to any great extent.
“Why did these lesbians suddenly decide to expose this boy as the father of their children, after keeping it a secret for so long???”
Because the boy’s parents had lost their son and it was an act of compassion to tell them that he ‘lived on’ in the children of his aunt.
The biological mother is the PARTNER of the aunt not the aunt.
How many 100s of thousands ya think the NHS will payout for medical malpractice that lead to this boy’s death?
If the lesbians kept the identity of their children’s father a secret (as planned), the distribution of these funds would be completely different…
This is not an altruistic gesture..
“This is not an altruistic gesture..”
With respect, that’s pure speculation. We don’t know the people involved but I doubt any decent person, gay or straight, would wish to profit from the death of their nephew. They didn’t know he was going to suffer a tragically early death when they conceived those children and they’ve managed OK so far by themselves, so why think they’re after the money? It could just as easily be that it was eating them up to hear his parents talk about him and they realised they could bring some small comfort.