If you need to use a sperm donor, and have ever thought that maybe it would be cheaper and easier to find one online than to use a registered clinic, you should listen to this Radio Four programme titled ‘Desperately Seeking Sperm’ and presented by Jolyon Jenkins.
It exposes a strange world where recipients seek out donors online, and where the donors compete with one another to try to produce the most children. These donors are unscreened for sexually transmitted infections or for hereditary conditions, and some insist on “natural insemination”. There was the donor who kept it a secret from his wife, the donor who claimed his sperm was so potent he could get women on the pill pregnant – despite their suggestions that their motives were altruistic, it certainly didn’t feel that way.
Of course, there are also longer term legal implications about using a donor you’ve found online men who donate through clinics are not legally or financially responsible for any child conceived through their donations. This doesn’t apply to men who donate through these online networks, and if a donor opts for natural insemination, he is always the legal father of the child concerned.
If you’ve ever had any doubts about using a donor from a fertility clinic, this programme may be enough to change your mind..