The man, whose identity will be revealed on Monday's Good Morning America, claims that he donated sperm at least three times while he and Suleman were dating. Once, he claims, Suleman drove him to the fertility clinic to donate; the other two donations were made at home. "I just remember her saying when I donated that the doctor told her that she had to keep it warm by putting it between her — between her breasts — just to keep it warm, keep it room temperature until she took it in," the man says.
The man says that he dated Suleman between 1997 and 1999, and he believes Suleman was married at the time. "[I] just really want to know if these are [or] these are not my kids," the man says, "Either which way, you know, know that if she needs it I'll lend a helping hand."
There is too much about this story that bothers me; I'm hesitant to even write about it at this point. But this Good Morning America ratings stunt just solidifies the fact that this story has moved way beyond a legitimate news piece into a ridiculous media circus; the ABC News website shows a picture of the man with a giant question mark over his head, a graphic one expects to see on the Maury Povich Show, and not on a major news program. "GMA To Reveal Identity Of Man Who Could Be Octuplets Father" the headline says, a maybe on top of a maybe on top of a who the hell cares at this point?
The fact that men have been missing from this story has been pointed out before: but why, in this instance, do we need to make this story even more ridiculous by "unveiling" a potential father the way we'd reveal a hot new toy for spring or the winner of Project Runway? There are 14 children in this picture, and none of them deserve to have their personal lives diminished to a point where their possible dad sits in a chair with a giant question mark over his head. If the man believes he is the father, shouldn't he be talking to Nadya Suleman instead of Chris Cuomo at Good Morning America? If he really wants to "help out in any way", shouldn't he avoid feeding the ridiculous nature of this story that leads paparazzi to follow this woman around and post "OCTOMOM GOES TO STORE" pictures in the tabloids? And does sharing with the world that Nadya Suleman kept his sperm sample warm by placing it between her breasts really help anything?
We've seen this sort of thing before: when the Anna Nicole Smith paternity fiasco came about, men stepped forward to claim that they were the father, of course, that they loved her, and would care for her, and the child, and that their hearts were all in the right place. And we all know how that turned out.
Perhaps it is in our nature to seek out villains: Nadya Suleman is the villain of the moment, and all who come to speak on her behalf or out against her are greeted with a huge hullaballoo, painted to be the newest starring character in an increasingly bizarre soap opera where the smallest players, all fourteen of them, seem to just be numbers in the background.