Did you hear about the man who has 200 kids? He’s making the news this week and dropping jaws along the way.
It’s a sad tale, really.
It reminds us of why we do what we do.
There’s something wrong with Louis (an alias, for obvious reasons).
He’s lonely. He has lousy relationships. And his family life stinks.
That’s why he spent much of his adult life visiting local sperm banks.
He wanted a family.
What Louis did was illegal. Under European laws, only 10 families are allowed to use “deposits” from a single donor. That way, one man couldn’t create a town that trickled with his DNA.
But laws are meant to be broken.
Louis stopped by local banks as much as three times each week.
With his exaggerated profile, he had no problem convincing wannabe moms to spread his genes.
Recipients wrongly believed their donor was a college graduate… that he was a big wig at a bank… and that he wanted nothing to do with his offspring.
It was a lie.
In fact, the whole thing (which led to at least 200 kids and as many as 1,000) was a ruse… a selfish ploy for Louis to get what he never had.
We talk about the importance of our Connections often. But we fear we don’t examine the plague of fatherless households enough.
This tale brings the idea to life.
The evidence is clear. One of the greatest Connections we have in our lives is with our fathers.
Don’t believe it? Ask all the depraved men who decided to shoot up a public place in recent years. The vast majority came from homes with absent fathers.
Explaining the fact we’re seeing so much of this sort of violence is word that the problem has reached epidemic proportions. One out of four American kids now lives in a fatherless household.
Put another way, 88% of kids born as part of the postwar generation grew up with two biological parents. Today, just 68% will.
The effects are terrifying.
According to the U.S. Department of Health, 63% of youth suicides are individuals from fatherless homes.
So are nine out of 10 homeless and runaway children… 85% of kids with behavior disorders… and 71% of all high school dropouts.
But what does this have to do with Louis and his ways as a super sperm donor?
In a word… everything.
You see, Louis’ dad was a successful doctor… but a lousy dad.
The two hardly saw each other. And when they did, the old man put immense pressure on his son.
“When I was 21, I got a job at the bank and I sat behind a typewriter, which then became a computer, for 39 years,” Louis said. “My father was never able to understand that. He felt like he had given me a chance and I hadn’t taken it.”
With that broken relationship building like a cancer in his mind, Louis never took to the idea of marriage or building a family.
But still, the human need for Connections is strong.
It’s undeniable… and irreplaceable.
That’s why Louis stopped by the sperm bank several times each week before work. He’d drop off a vial filled with far more than warm sperm.
It contained everything he was missing in his life… hope, honor and kinship.
That’s why Louis broke the rules. Instead of stopping when he was supposed to, he kept donating.
He made deposits until the math finally added up.
“If I had 10 children this way, there would be a very slim chance of success,” he said. “But what if I had 100… or even more?”
The success he’s talking about isn’t the sort of success we’d hope for.
No, it’s a sick, twisted sort of success.
Even though he told every recipient of his product that he wanted nothing to do with the offspring… it was a big, bold lie.
All Louis ever wanted was somebody to reach out to him and call him Dad.
If he stopped at 10 kids, he figured the odds of somebody trying to find him were low. But with 100 kids, he needed just 1% of his biological offspring to care enough to reach out.
In an interview with The Guardian, Louis comes clean.
He gets to the crux of the issue.
“I had started to think, ‘Who will remember me when I’m gone? Who will talk about me? Who will be my heir?’” he said. “I think our biggest fear in life is not to die, but to be forgotten.”
If there were ever a story that shows the vital nature of our Connections, this is it.
Louis is a sick man.
But it’s not his fault. Like so many other men wondering aimlessly through our culture, he came from a broken family.
That’s why he did what he did. It’s what he knows.
All that… all those lives affected… all because he hoped he wouldn’t die alone.
Most folks these day have been duped into believing our Connections don’t matter.
They’ve been lied to and told that social media is just as healthy… if not more.
They’d rather lie on the couch than chat with their neighbor.
And they’d rather head to divorce court than deal with the tough facts.
The consequences, though, are all too real.
Just turn on the news.
P.S. Later this week, we’ll announce our biggest Connections initiative yet. It’s going to be huge… incredibly useful… and will certainly change lives. Stay tuned.