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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband (I'll call him Rod) has asked me to solicit your opinion about a touchy family problem. Here goes:

My sister-in-law, "Sandy," moved to New York to get away from a difficult lesbian relationship. She is now involved with another woman. They have been together for about a year.

Sandy has asked Rod -- her only brother -- for a huge favor. She wants him to be a sperm donor for her new partner because they want a child with "family genes." I oppose the idea, to put it mildly.

Abby, Sandy has a history of instability. Most of her relationships are short-lived, and I don't believe this one will last either. Sandy told Rod not to discuss the matter with me, but of course he did. He feels trapped. This drama has been going on since March. She's demanding an answer by the end of July. Please help. -- DESPERATE FOR DIRECTION

DEAR DESPERATE: Should the relationship between your sister-in-law and her partner fall apart, your husband would worry about the child's well-being.

Since you and Rod are both uncomfortable with the idea of his being a sperm donor, he should "just say no" to increasing the family gene pool.

DEAR ABBY: May I offer a new clause to the "Safety Contract for a New Driver" that appeared in your column? It would read: "I promise not to use a cellular phone while driving."

As I write this, my granddaughter is in bed recovering from an automobile accident that occurred because she was on the car phone with her boyfriend. To prevent such a thing from happening again, a law to stop people from talking on the phone while driving can't come soon enough.

I used to be in outside sales and carried a cellular phone in my car for business. However, when I used it, I always pulled over to the side of the road so I could give my customer my undivided attention. People who think they can drive and talk on the phone at the same time are only kidding themselves. They'd be shocked if they could follow themselves on the road and see how much they are NOT paying attention. -- TWO HANDS ON THE WHEEL

DEAR TWO HANDS: I agree. But the mobile phone lobby is very powerful, and until our legislators realize they are facing an alarmed and angry voting bloc if they don't pass laws prohibiting drivers on cell phones, nothing will change.

DEAR ABBY: Like "Cathy in Coral Gables, Fla.," I am 15 and having my first serious relationship with a boyfriend. I'll call him "Lamar." I used to call Lamar at least 10 times a day and go to his house every day. Like "Cathy," I finally got the impression that his family didn't want me calling that many times or visiting every day. So, do you know what I did, Abby? I cut back. I now call Lamar only five times a day and visit every other day.

Ever since I cut back, Lamar and I have grown closer. Now I am not only in love with him, but I'm in love with his whole family -- and I think they love me, too. -- CUT BACK IN MISSOURI

DEAR CUT BACK: Smart girl. Now, consider how much they'll love you if you call only three times a day -- and drop by no more than twice a week. They may even adopt you!

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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