Get Your Free Sperm Here!

(Hemera)

The Daily Beast reports on an interesting phenomenon: sperm donors who donate for free. One couple, stymied by the $2,000-and-up cost of acquiring sperm the usual way (sperm bank), started exploring alternative options online:

A few clicks later, the couple slid into an online underground, a mishmash of personal ads, open forums, and members-only websites for women seeking sperm—and men giving it away. Most donors pledge to verify their health and relinquish parental rights, much like regular sperm-bank donors. But unlike their mainstream counterparts, these men don’t get paid. They’re also willing to reveal their identities and allow any future offspring to contact them. Many of the men say they do it out of altruism, but some also talk unabashedly of kinky sex and spreading their gene pool.

In addition to the cost angle, some women like the option of having their children know their fathers, which many sperm banks don’t allow for. The free sperm route, however, has its drawbacks — a lack of donor testing, potential custody issues, and concerns over the legality of the practice.

In the absence of monetary compensation, many of the donors express a desire to “spawn as many children as possible,” a motivation that baffles researchers:

Rene Almeling, a sociologist at Yale University and the author of a new study of the fertility market, Sex Cells, says that among the 20 sperm-bank donors she interviewed, the most common motives were money, spreading “amazing genes,” as one guy put it, and helping women conceive. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, anthropologist Peter Gray, coauthor of Fatherhood, about the evolution of paternal behavior, says this drive to propagate reminds him of the ancient khan men of Mongolia—and of Moulay Ismail, the 17th-century emperor of Morocco—men who fathered as many as a thousand children, parenting none of them. “I’ll have to think about this a bit,” he says.


Mayuresh Gaikwad

You say: In the absence of monetary compensation, many of the donors express a desire to “spawn as many children as possible,” a motivation that baffles researchers

What is so baffling about it. Genghiz Khan and many others throughout history have had similar motivations

James

Did people like Ghengis Khan really desire to have as many children as possible, or were the children simply a side effect of being able to have sex with lots of women in an age with little in the way of effective contraception?

Mike Kenny

apropos the post--an organization designed to maximize not profits but a person's share of the gene pool:

http://michaelkenny.blogspot.com/2010/11/organization-built-on-maximizing-number.html

a person outsourcing parenting:

http://michaelkenny.blogspot.com/2010/11/billionaire-pays-people-to-have-his.html

imagining a billionaire 'buying up' as many eggs to be fertilized with his sperm and 'renting' wombs to carry the zygote to term as possible:

http://michaelkenny.blogspot.com/2010/11/sell-your-eggs-to-billionaire-sell-your.html

Marit

Wow, it's taken 30 years for something lesbians were doing with turkey basters and donated sperm to hit the zeitgeist.

Kris

"In addition to the cost angle, some women like the option of having their children know their fathers, which many sperm banks don’t allow for."

They aren't fathers, they are sperm donors. Fathers are men that raise kids, be it theirs biologically or not.

And there are married couples that do this because the father is infertile.

While I think it is great that this is happening, it makes me laugh that while, on one hand, the use of a sperm donor proves that DNA doesn't make a parenting relationship - there is always that other side that will want the donor to be known as a father.

Eric M. Jones

I can IMAGINE that certain individuals might think they are doing humanity a favor by donating their sperm to produce healthy happy children. The REALITY is that only a sociopath would have these thoughts.

pawnman

Or anyone who is honest with what their innate instincts push them towards. Evolution rewards those who spread their genes in the most efficient manner possible, and for men, that is having as many children as possible, especially if they don't have to invest in raising the kids.

Again, this is from a purely evolutionary perspective, not a statement on the ethical considerations in modern society.

Cory

This "interesting phenomenon" will end the first time one of them is hit with a judgment for child support. So, I give it about another 3-4 years (allowing for the child to be born, the parents to get divorced, and the lawsuit by a down-and-out mother to proceed through the courts).

Mike Hunter

Exactly! Which is why insisting on anonymity is so important if you're going to do this!

Pete

Anonimity might be great for you Mike, but do you have no feelings for what your kids are going to want? Men like you put known donors like us in a bad light.

And (Mike again) I think the comment 'was absolutely spot on. If you choose to donate through NI of course you and your partners are going to have an increased risk of getting something. Dah. Basic probability.

Out of interest why do you donate through sex and not AI?

Unbelievable

Maybe it's because I'm not a particularly attractive man, but without intending anything naughty, let me tell you that there is something utterly flattering and delightfully affirming about a woman wanting my semen--or, better put, having my baby.

This isn't about getting to bed a desperate woman, but rather that out of all the many men in the world this woman might take as a lover or a sperm donor...she has chosen you for one of the most intimate, yet important, assignments of all time.

I have to tell you that I have occasionally fantasized that some beautiful woman would see me with my incredibly handsome son and think to herself, "That man makes beautiful babies." Of course, I don't think I have to go any further for the reader to know where that little story is going....

I would be overwhelmingly flattered if some young lady wanted me to be the donor--even if actual sex did not come into the picture.

Further, while I could not be a full-time daddy to a child other than my own, I would be delighted to play whatever role would be appropriate. However, for all of that, I do have standards. If I thought that the mother would not be a good one, or that child would be raised inappropriately, I would not comply, even if it was Jennifer Aniston.

Maybe.

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Heidi

I always wonder about the unintended incest that may result from sperm or egg donation, particularly if it is anonymous. What if two children conceived with the same donor's sperm (or eggs) meet and have children of their own? They risk passing on devastating genetic defects since they would be very closely related. Perhaps it is best to know who the donor is, for this reason alone.

Mike MacDonald

Evolutionary Biology meets Behavioral Psychology - I love it. The closest any science can come to providing a "meaning of life" is the propagation of one's DNA. Only an academic could be puzzled by someone's desire to do that consciously. As professor Tina Turner said, "What's love got to do about evolution?"

Emma

I was the creator of the first members only sperm donation connections site- FSDW (Free Sperm Donations Worldwide) - and there are almost 4000 men willing to donate for free as AI only (no sex) known sperm donors. We do not facilitate 'shipping' either (now there's a disaster waiting to happen)

I originally created it as I am child behaviour advisor and family coach by professional and couldnt imagine using sperm without knowing the man behind it? I also thought the prices the clinics charge were ridiculous. FSDW has over 2300 known success stories since its own conception in 2003.
I find it amusing that this hasnt been talked about really other than scandalous 'sex pest' type stories- and of course the health authorities concern over STDs and HIV. In reality you can buy STD and HIV tests that show the antibody within 14 days- and in the UK FSDW donors get regularly tested for free at NHS GU clinics. FSDW donors get themnselves tested far more rigorously than most married couples- and reduce the risks by not having sex. Most only donate to between 1 and 4 women/ couples.

Our oldest children are now around 8 and the beginning of a different way of parenting.
What makes FSDW so different? I have always spoken out for children and encouraged all to ensure that children know of their biological origins even if not being raised by him. Most are actually in touch with their 'Donor Dad' and see him even though the parents raising the child have full parental (and financial) responsiblity. He still matters though- he is biologically linked to the child for life- even if he is not taking on a 'traditional' father role. And having him in the life of the child also means more relaties- cousins, uncles...
And we know that children want this information and most want to actually meet him- before they become an adult! Many of my single members actually found donors to co-parent with - but for the most part the donor is always the 'donor dad' and those raising the child the 'real parents'. This happens with straight and lesbian couples. And since 2003 there has been no legal issues which is pretty amazing really. However I think that is because so much thought goes into the choosing of one another, and their arrangement is decided before conception.

FSDW has always been the only site in the word to ONLY allow for AI (no sex) and for no payments and for the donor to be known. Somne sites encourage this but in practice if you allow for NI men looking for free sex will register hoping for this.
As a result of our approach FSDW tends to get the genuine men- although of course some NI donors sill try to apply- and thats why we have the behaviour code. We encourage people to actas supportive community and share info about anyonein breach of the behaviour code. Anyone even suggesting NI is removed. I canot knowingly put my members or donors at more risk than is necessary. And there are numerous STDs that can be transmitted through NI and not AI. Statistically its also likely that NI donors are having more unrptoected sex- again increases the likelyhood of passing on genital herpes or chlamydia etc.

So if not wanting money, sex or anonimity then why? This is the question that should be asked- but journalists ignore it- and many outside of this cant comprehend it.

This article demonstrates that- Quote - "But unlike their mainstream counterparts, these men don’t get paid. They’re also willing to reveal their identities and allow any future offspring to contact them. Many of the men say they do it out of altruism, but some also talk unabashedly of kinky sex and spreading their gene pool."

People think they either do it altruisitically, or for sex or because they egotistically want to know their genes are continuing (without the responsiblity) There is so much more to it though- and especially with FSDW.
Believe it or not people are realising what children want and need. FSDW donors care. They want to choose to to donate to because they care who is going to be raising their biological child! The want to choose a women or couple with the same type of values - or religion etc. They want to know of the child - what sex- how they are etc. They care. They choose the recipient wisely even though they know they are not going to be playing that traditional 'Dad' role. And most want the child to contact him and get to know him when/ if ready.
FSDW members looking for a donor are looking for not just a sperm producer but someone they can be proud to talk about to the child. We have 'Donor Dad questionnires etc- based on what DC children have told me they want to know. They want to know about him as a person- favourite subject at school, pet hates, proudest moment etc. FSDW aims to build families and look to the bigger picture- and honour the biological parents as well as the social ones. The parents raising the child are the ones who matter most -to most kids- as they are the ones meeting the emotional as well as physical needs etc. But their heritage also matters. You cant get this at a sperm bank. Most FSDW donors wouldnt donate to clinics because they understand how important it is to have a connection with the child.

I created Sperm Donors Worldwide (now FSDW) based on what I would want for my child should I choose to conceive with a donor. I wouldnt want to tell my child I chose 'donor 79356' because he had a high IQ and blue eyes. Id want to talk about his kindness, his sense of humour- and tht he was as interested in how I was going to raise them. Id want to know that if my child asked anthing I could get the nswers. And if they wanted to meet him they could- and would be happy knowing him. Imagine what it mutbe like for a child tofinaly track down the bio dad at 18 to find out he is a dead beat with no interest in them- he just needed a quick buck so donated to a sperm bank 18 years prior.

There are thousands of dc children- now adults- talking about how they feel about not knowing their biological origins or having the chance to contact their biological father. Through FSDW no-one has to go through that.

Yes, Im sure there will be someone who goes against the agreement and that there will be legal cases in the future- bu the laws do have to keep up with modern parenting. Families are now so different. But utlimately whatever happens we have to look more to the affect our choices have on children.

A sperm donor is not a father- a father is soneone who 'does' Any fertile male can create a baby. But it is the person who becomes a good father-andhe doesnt have to be the biological one. Ideally however children should know both. And that is what FSDW is all about.

There is so much more to this thanis being discussed. But at least ths is a start!
Emma
(The Child Listener- A Voice for Kids)

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Mike Hunter

"FSDW has always been the only site in the word to ONLY allow for AI (no sex) and for no payments and for the donor to be known. Somne sites encourage this but in practice if you allow for NI men looking for free sex will register hoping for this. ...Anyone even suggesting NI is removed."

Why is "free sex" such a bad thing, but; 'free sperm' a good thing? By suggesting that women should not have "free sex" you're implying that all women should strive to be prostitutes! Sex in exchange for goods or services is the very definition of prostitution.

"I canot knowingly put my members or donors at more risk than is necessary."

Isn't that a choice for consenting adults to make for themselves?

" And there are numerous STDs that can be transmitted through NI and not AI. Statistically its also likely that NI donors are having more unrptoected sex- again increases the likelyhood of passing on genital herpes or chlamydia etc."

Please post the study that has the "statistics" which you are referring to. Or did you just make that all up?

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Emma

Mike- I pressume you are an NI donor?

For statistics go to your local health departmet and ask them. Ask how many of the population in your country they estimate (lower than actual numbers) have STDs that can be transmitted though unprotected sex and that carry few symptoms so either party often dont know they have it. Then ask if they would advise any woman - and man- to have NI or AI for child producing purposes, with a non partner.

Of course free sex isnt a bad thing- if consentual - but men (and women) can get that anywhere- and preferably with a condom.

I dont knowingly facilitate it on FSDW because the focus is on the child that is brought into the world as a result and on doing this as safely as posible for all concerned. Im not the moral police- outside of my own ste you can do whatever you like. As long as not hurting anyone (including the child) I dont care. But this site was set up to bring children into the world knowing of the biological father (even if hes not raising them) and on trying my utmost to bring people togethe who are like minded and child focused. When you put sex it in it confuses things as well as increasing the risks. Of course if they want that - unrptocted sex- they have lots of sites to choose from- where NI is permissable. And if the woman wants it then go for it.

But I have to offer something in keeping with my own philosophy- of putting children (and families) first. And as much as a man may argue that not having sex doesnt have anything to do with it, I have found the opposite be true. The great thing about creating your own site is that you get to set the rules. If people dont want to abide by them they just dont join.

I will always only do what I think can bring about the safest, kindest and child focused options through FSDW. And in almost 9 years there hve been no health issues or legal issues. Id like to keep it that way. As many will know a woman on a 'free site' last year had HIV and was having NI with numerous men (who were in turn doing the same) until she found out she had it. She didnt think to test herself- and men didnt ask her to? Based on simple statistics this kind of thing will continue- chlamydia, genital herpes etc are rife- more have them than not- and yet they are only passed on through sex. Also the enormous risks when sites allow for fresh sperm to be shipped??!! I wont even go into that... ludicrous.

There have also been legal cases in other sites (not many yet) where there was no such an emphasis on a pre-agreed arrangement, and the arrangement was changed by one of the parties. Court is the the only way to resolve it. Any family lawyer will tell you AI and a known donor agreement shows clear intent- and the contract much more likely to be upheld. Again- if unsure- ask a family lawyer in your local area. I dont know where you live. There is also a free legalities page on the FSDW site as well as a box to ask for legal advice from professionals for around $11.

So regardless of whether it is an adults choice to take these risks I cant knowingly facilitate it. Why set up your own site to be different and not take a stance you believe in? I will continue to welcome AI only known donors - who are in my opinion AMAZING. I would rather focus on quality than quantity - and focus on the families we are building. I support FSDW donors 100%.

If there is a motivation to have free sex or payment Ido not believe I can as easily weed out the men who I would want as the bio father or my child, if I was looking for such a man. We want fantastic men, and in my opinion are doing a great job at that. As a recent member told me (I post many of these on our facebook page)
"Hi I found the site was great, the clear and simple rules made me feel comfortable that everyone was informed from the outset what the boundaries were. We found someone suitable donor....."

Its about choices. And I wanted a place where women can know that the boundaries include not even suggesting NI. Believe it or not there are a huge numberof men who dont want NI even if offered- for example if married. I aim to offer just one small place in the world where everyone is clear about what is expected. Im focused on them. What people do elswhere- if not hurting anone (including the resulting child) I dont really care about. The problem is, there is an awful lot of that around - ie of making choices that ultimately hurt children enotionally. Hopefully through FSDW we can continue to at least try to prevent that. You can read more about my thoughts about that on the Children Deserve to Know Where They Come From Campaign site. Sites like that, worshops, support etc are funded through member subscriptions. Its what keeps us going. I spend at least 6 hours a day responding to questions, supporting my members and sending them information and advice eg through the facebook page. So people can join knowing that thei $20 a month is actually going back into promoting child focused practices, and supporting them even after conception.

Mike- if you donate- can your children contact you, out of interest? What are your arrangements for what happens when the child is born? How many have you donate to- or plan to donate to? DO you keep track of where they are to check they dont meet later in life and inadvertantly have sex? The issues are huge...so I keep plugging with the support of hte FSDW community ..trying to reduce the risks, tackle those issues and educate ourseles about what DC children tell us about their experiences.

Emma
The Child Listener- A Voice for Kids

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Joe

It's virility, ego, id all of those great and horrible things wraped into one. The Kahns and Kings of history didn't really have anything to do with their power. So why not, chase woman and show your capabilities. It's a man thing.

Emma

Its not the kind of thing men in my life do:-) Most of the men I know have evolved considerably .. thank goodness.